As I’m sure we all know it is easy for life to get in the way of looking after ourselves at times. With leading a busy lifestyle and managing the curveballs life can throw at us, it can be hard to make ourselves a priority. Whilst some individuals may find this difficult, self-care is imperative for protecting our own physical, emotional and mental well-being.
The Self Care Forum defines self care as “the actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing and wellness.’ Many of us may believe that in order to accomplish this we should set aside a regular timeslot in our daily routine. It doesn’t have to be this way , I consider self care as taking ‘time-out’ from your usual routine to do something purely for your own enjoyment, even if it is just for 5 minutes.
But how can we actually do this? Well, first of all self care should be fun, not a chore. It could include reading a book, eating your favourite foods, taking a bath or literally doing nothing (my personal fave).
The benefits? Other than generally feeling good, 9 out of 10 GP’s found that self care played an important role in general health practice and preventing the likelihood of developing illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. Another benefit is that it has also been found to reduce stress levels or help in managing stressors. In addition, it also helps to improve our emotional and mental health. Self care helps people to enjoy a longer and more rewarding quality of life.
It’s common for those who don’t make time for themselves to make others around them the priority. Selfish or Selfless? Well at the end of the day, if you don’t take care of yourself can you really take care of those around you? Probably not.