The Importance of Self-Care
Unless you’ve been living on a deserted island, you’ve heard about self-care. You’ve also probably heard that it’s important for everyone to add self-care into their daily routines. Unfortunately, there seems to be confusion about self-care.
A generally accepted definition of self-care is doing some nice for yourself with the same kindness and nonjudgment that you’d show a good friend. The key to self-care is to do something you enjoy that doesn’t have a long-term negative effect. Unfortunately, some folks have taken self-care to an extreme and given self-care a bad rap. These people focus only on themselves at all times, but this behavior has negative outcomes: not having close friends, taking what others say too personally and getting upset, and an inability to figure out what’s going on around them. Since this self-absorption has negative outcomes, it’s not self-care.
Many will say that they don’t have the time to indulge in self-care. We’re all busy, but what happens when you give and give and give and finally crash & burn? Who’s there to pick up your responsibilities? The reality is that if we don’t take time for self-care, we will, at some point, burnout. Burnout has a rippling effect of negativity – it’s bad for you, your family, your friends, your job, and your community. The bottom line is that when we’re not able to fulfill our regular responsibilities, it hurts others.
Doing things you enjoy doing doesn’t seem as though it will have many benefits for others, after all, you’re focusing on yourself and not on others (which, for many, feels unacceptable, even though it really is acceptable and necessary). Research is showing that adding daily self-care into our lives has many benefits including, but not limited to:
· Increased productivity
· Reduced cold and flu viruses
· Increase in positive thoughts
· Improved sense of self-esteem
· Increased resistance to stress, depression and anxiety
· Increased ability to meet others’ needs
Check out the following links for some ideas on self-care activities.