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Understanding these self-care benefits will help you improve your life and become a better person. If you are a working mom and/or a homeschool mom like me, you probably know that our schedule is tight and we often neglect taking care of ourselves. But neglecting ourselves can lead us to poor health, bad mood, and burnout.
What is Self-care?
Self-care is the act of taking care of yourself. It is doing exactly what you need to do to feel the best all around. This includes mentally, physically, and emotionally. Each person has their own way to give themselves self-care. This can be anything from quitting your exhausting job, to getting your hair done, or ensuring you have time to read each evening before bed.
Taking care of yourself should not be overlooked. There are many benefits that result from a self-care routine. If you are not taking care of yourself eventually it can lead to overwhelming stress, lack of confidence, less productivity at work and even cause deteriorating relationships with family and friends.
To really understand self-care, you need to understand yourself first. Ask yourself these questions to gain some clarity.
- What are the things I need to do to feel complete?
- What activities help me relieve stress?
- Is there anything I can eliminate from my daily schedule that is preventing me from taking care of myself?
- Am I happy with my exercise routine and am I eating healthy?
The way you answer these questions determines your self-care needs. Once you have defined your needs all you need to do now is to add it to your schedule and do them to reap the benefits.
5 Major Self-care Benefits
Self-care is extremely beneficial for optimal health. Let’s look at a few of the amazing self-care benefits you’ll experience over time.
- Increased Positivity – Adding these activities to your schedule will give you something to look forward to. Now you will no longer be thinking about how bad your day is and only be looking forward to reading that book in total silence or getting your nails done after work.
- Increased Self-Confidence – Your needs are now a top priority and that is a good thing. Self-confidence will naturally increase because you are simply doing the things that make you feel good.
- Improved Immunity – Self-care allows you to give your body a break from stress, anxiety and emotional trauma which increases your immunity. Stress and depression can overload your mind and body which is crucial to reduce as much as possible.
- Better Relationships – The more your needs are met the better your relationships will be with other people. When you are feeling down about yourself and don’t feel important chances are that’s what you are putting onto others.
- Higher Productivity – All the benefits that have been stated above help with increased productivity at work and at home. Less stress, higher immunity, and higher self-confidence all help to boost productivity.
Remember, self-care is all about you as an individual. So, what you need to do to take care of yourself won’t be the same as your spouse, friends, and family.
After this routine is put in place you will notice a significant change in your health and overall well-being.
Why These Self-Care Benefits Are Important?
Self-care is simply doing the things you like to do that helps you feel happy and healthy. There really is no limit to what self-care is because it’s all about what you like doing for yourself and your personality that makes you a better person, parent, spouse, sibling, and friend.
Don’t do things you think you need to do or what others say you need to do. Do what you know you love and want. It doesn’t have to require money or be anything extravagant. Pray, get up early, read your Bible or a devotional book, or go for a jog are some simple ideas.
Neglecting yourself and putting your needs on the back burner inevitably leads to an unhealthy life. Self-care needs to be a part of everyone’s personal schedule and shouldn’t be overlooked due to time or because someone believes it is selfish. Self-care is essential to having a healthy, productive, and happy life.
3 Things Self-care Helps Prevent:
- Stress — Most everyone lives with stress in their daily lives but it’s important to try to reduce this as much as possible. Plenty of medical research shows that stress can cause many negative side effects. This includes headaches, low energy, aches and pain, and even insomnia.
- Burnout – Burnout is another form of extreme stress that results in physical and emotional exhaustion, negativity, lack of enjoyment and the feeling of hopelessness. Burnout typically happens when people are overworked or during events that you feel you can’t control. Self-care allows you to take a break from these activities that can result in burnout. Even if it’s a simple one-minute break where you just close your eyes and breathe, it will help reduce this type of stress.
- Negativity — Putting everyone else’s needs over your own will turn just about anyone negative. The feeling of not being important and that their needs overpower yours is a horrible feeling. The fact is, the more your needs are met the more others’ needs will be met too. You will experience less bitterness and resentment towards others if you take care of yourself.
If you find yourself at any point feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or just negative towards people stop what you are doing immediately. You can easily take a few minutes to refocus your mind.
Maybe you need to talk to your friends and family for a few minutes or look at a few pictures that make you happy such as babies or cats. This will allow you to relax and adjust your attitude. You will be amazed at how much more productive you will be if you just put yourself first.
Simple Self-Care Tips And Ideas
Self-care is a very broad term and can honestly mean anything. Self-care can be described by each person differently. To one person it can be about doing anything that is fun and exciting but to the next person it is about being quiet and fully relaxed in the moment and even then, someone else might think it’s a combination of both. Self-care is an individualized plan of activities that will allow you to be mentally, physically and emotionally healthy.
If you haven’t been practicing self-care for a while or at all, it can be overwhelming at first to break it down and know where to start.
- Self-Care First – Just like health studies have shown exercising first thing in the morning gives the best results the same goes for self-care. Take care of yourself first to start your day off positively. When you get things out of the way you’ll feel accomplished and awesome.
- Schedule Self-Care – Today people are more productive than ever. But, they are also distracted. The best course of action is to schedule the things you want to do for self-care. Schedule that haircut or massage. Schedule a short phone call with friends or family during your break at work. Schedule lunch with friends. For me, I include a few minutes for quiet time or a nap daily. If you write it down you’re more likely to do it.
- Be Attentive – Be aware of your surroundings as well as yourself. Your environment and knowing what you like and dislike plays a major part in self-care. If you are adding things to your routine that you don’t like and don’t make you happy, look for a way to remove it or make it better.
- Reward Yourself – Self-care shouldn’t only be about rewarding yourself but it is a great way to get started. It could help you to get some much-needed work done and help you get the care you need. Maybe you know you need to exercise but it’s not something that you really enjoy doing. Start rewarding yourself for doing it so that you get an immediate benefit for anything that will only provide long-term results. For example, did you do your exercise every day for a month? Schedule a facial or massage to reward yourself.
- Prayer & Meditation – Prayer is a way to give God all your worries. Meditation after reading the Bible, is a great way to fill your mind with encouragement and help you relax. Studies show that meditation and prayer help cut down on stress and improve memory.
- Take Alone Time – Self-care doesn’t have to be about going and spending a bunch of money or doing exciting activities. Sometimes people just need alone time. Take time away from children and coworkers so that you can rejuvenate and focus on your own thoughts.
- Spend Time with Friends and Family – Schedule some time with friends and family. Go out to dinner or play board games at their house. Do something different than you usually would do with them also. Make it a date so you have something to look forward to.
- Spend Time in Nature – Go for nature walks. Breath some fresh air. Enjoy some sunshine outside. Creating a habit of spending time in nature helps to relax and stay in tune with God’s beautiful creation.
With so many self-care benefits, one can only improve their lives as they intentionally take time aside to recharge, relax, and take better care of themselves.
Self-care can be simple. All you need to do is figure out what is best for you and do it. One thing that might help you decide what to do is to write down the goals that you have for yourself so that you can ensure that the things you do lead you towards meeting those goals.
Your Turn: What self-care benefits you’re needing to experience the most now?
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Ana is the unhurried homeschool mom of 3, wife, and homeschool blogger.
She loves to encourage, inspire and empower moms to go from stressed to blessed by providing them with the tips, strategies, and resources they need to succeed. Ana is the founder of They Call Me Blessed and the creator of:
- 5 Days to Your Best Homeschool Years,
- Hebrew for Homeschoolers,
- Charlotte Mason Online Conference,
- The Homeschool Sisterhood,
- Grow Your Blog Partying in 30 Days, and
- the Beyond Blessed Life Planner.
She leads a vibrant free community for homeschool moms on Facebook and you can connect with her at www.facebook.com/theycallmeblessedblog.