I don’t know if it’s just me, but do you ever see movies or tv shows with really wealthy women lounging at the spa all day and think “wouldn’t it be nice to do that on the regular?” No, it’s not just me? Didn’t think so. I think we’d all enjoy a spa day…….Or two or three. A little self care can go a long way. But is it really necessary? I mean seriously, who has the time and money to spend ALL DAY getting pampered?
Just as thoughts of all day spa treatments enter our mind, they’re gone again, replaced with thoughts of reality and more pressing matters. We forget about them for weeks or even months at a time, until they’re triggered again and maybe, just maybe, you have every intention of booking that massage but before you know it, you’re distracted again. Which is ok, right? So what if I don’t schedule some self care time? I still have my family, my job, my health, my friends. It’s not like my boss is going to lecture me about taking an afternoon off to have some “me time.” Quite the opposite, actually. My boss doesn’t even understand the concept of “me time.”
My family won’t disown me if I don’t schedule that hour for some self care. Matter of fact, they wouldn’t survive if I did! Clothes would be mismatched. Dirty dishes would be left in the sink. Unfolded laundry would be left on the couch. Rooms would be disheveled. Hair would be, dare I even say it?, unbrushed.
There’s no way I could take some time out for self care! My family would fall apart.
My health isn’t going to suffer, either. I’m not going to have a stroke or heart attack. I won’t catch some crazy virus, get the bird flu or develop celiac because I’m not taking a little time out for self care. I’ll still have all my limbs and even my two front teeth! My body won’t suddenly fall apart. That nagging back pain will take care of itself and if it gets really bad, I’ll just pop an Advil and call it a day. No need to take some time out for self care. I’ll be just fine without it.
Then again, a spa day does sound nice. And relaxing. A massage would help the lower back pain. It doesn’t have to be a full day either, a quick back massage or facial, even a foot massage would be amazing! Life has been stressful lately, with a family to take care of and a career to maintain, a little down time would be nice. There’s so much talk about self care, maybe there is something to it….
These thoughts sound familiar? You’re not alone! Self care, while so important for our health, is often neglected because the benefits aren’t always seen right away. Often times, you have to be consistent with self care and most of us claim we don’t have the time. Sure, we get a massage and feel relaxed for a bit but as soon as we pull out of the spa parking lot, someone cuts us off and we forget all about the zen we just obtained. But what if you had that ‘zen’ on a regular basis? Well, my friends, you can!
Self care is simply defined as: the care of oneself. But perhaps a more well known definition would be as Oxford defines it: The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
Self care can help increase quality of life and help eliminate stress. Not only is it important to you but to others around you as well. In order to be there for your family, you have to be well. It’s hard to take care of children when you’re sick with the flu, it’s the same with your mental and emotional health, too!
Think of it this way: you’re running late to a big meeting at work. You hop in the car, speed off and next thing you know, you’ve gotten into an accident. Not only will you completely miss your meeting but you’ve totaled your car. Now you have to deal with insurance, potential medical bills, a car rental agency, the list goes on and on. It is the same way if you don’t take time to care for your well-being. The lack of self care will cause a car wreck and all the baggage that goes along with it. In other words, when you carve out time for a little self care, you are able to give more to others!
A little self care goes a long way. Less stress leads to a healthy immune system. A healthy immune system can fight off colds, an upset stomach and the flu a whole lot easier then a weakened immune system. I don’t know about you but I hate being sick. It’s too much of a hassle to be sick. I much prefer being healthy, thank you!
Self care can also boost your self esteem. Whether its taking time to exercise and look good in those skinny jeans or taking time to self-reflect; by ridding ourselves of all the negative self talk, we increase our self esteem. And let’s face it, unless we’re Kanye West, we can all probably use a little more self esteem.
It doesn’t just stop there, self care can increase self awareness, too! Think about it. You’re taking time out to focus on what makes you happy; doing things you really love to do and therefore, discovering more about yourself.
While it would be nice, self care doesn’t have to be a full on spa day, either. Ain’t nobody got time for that! A regular, monthly massage would be super beneficial for the body, though. Kiss those back knots goodbye! Some regular activities you can do for self care include (but definitely aren’t limited too!):
– prayer and/or meditation
– getting outdoors
-plan a lunch date with a friend
-simply take a few minutes to yourself
Any of these can be done on a regular basis and don’t require hours of your time. You can even combine activities – go for an outdoor walk and combine being outdoors with exercising, for example! Or take a cue from this guy, who discusses the importance of only taking 10 minutes daily to yourself:
“Living My Best Life” – we’ve all heard the expression and seen the Instagram posts with someone on the beach with that caption. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably secretly a little jealous, too. I can’t help but think “I wanna live my best life!” Well, the secret to doing so is taking care of oneself. You know why everyone is so happy at the beach? It’s cause they’re on vacation, taking time to relax and get away from the stress. Self care at it’s finest, if you ask me!
Wright State University. “Self Care.” Wright.edu https://www.wright.edu/student-affairs/health-and-wellness/counseling-and-wellness/workshops-and-self-help/self-care#benefits 1 December 2019.
Monique Tello. “Self-care: 4 ways to nourish body and soul.” 16 November 2017. Health.Harvard.edu. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/self-care-4-ways-nourish-body-soul-2017111612736 1 December 2019.
Katherine Hurst. “What is self-care and why is self-care so important?” Thelawofattraction.com. http://www.thelawofattraction.com/self-care-tips/ . 1 December 2019.
Puddicombe, A. (2012, Fall). All it takes is 10 mindful minutes. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/andy_puddicombe_all_it_takes_is_10_mindful_minutes?referrer=playlist-the_importance_of_self_care#t-1273