Self-care isn't selfish. It is tempting to view self-care as a self-indulgent practice because we assume that we're only using our time wisely when we're "producing" something. It turns out that we're actually producing better physical health, improved mental health, and personal productivity when we take time for self-care. Practicing self-care also puts you in a position to be your best self. That means you're refreshed and reinvigorated enough to give your best to your family, friends, and employer. Nobody can run on empty forever. Self-care is a way to put some fuel in your tank using a positive, gentle approach to caring for yourself.
If you've been having trouble making positive changes for your health or life, a lack of self-care could be in play. We know from research that practicing self-compassion increases self-improvement motivation. Making the conscious decision to take meaningful time out for yourself can set you on a path to better habits.
Self-care is important in all seasons of life. Let's explore why you need self-care in your life.
What Is Self-Care
Self-care looks different for everyone. The easy definition of self-care is that it's any activity you deliberately engage in for the sake of your mental, physical or emotional health. It's time taken out of your day for your well-being. We'll cover some very easy and satisfying self-care practices that you can start doing from home a little later!
Why Is Self-Care Difficult to Practice?
Many of us have difficulty taking time out for self-care. One popular rationale for neglecting self-care is that we're too busy. However, the truth is that self-care is essential for anyone who has a high-demand, stressful lifestyle. Practicing self-care equips you to handle high-pressure tasks in your life. One study involving medical students in the United States found that those who engaged in self-care reported less stress and higher quality of life.
The Importance of Self-Care for Reducing Stress
A life lived without an "off" button isn't sustainable. Escaping to a quiet room or spot in nature where you can take a "mental" vacation allows you to press the pause button on the stressors that are wearing you down physically and emotionally. No, self-care sessions can't erase your problems. However, they can give you time to recharge and gain perspective without background noise from the world. That puts you in a better space to tackle your problems!
Don't Make Your Next Big Decision Without Conducting a Little Self-Care
Self-care can actually help you to make better decisions. That's because we are in a better frame of mind to make good decisions once the relaxation response has been triggered. In fact, we know from research that relaxation-inducing activities like meditation and purposeful breathing cause us to make smarter, better decisions. You don't necessarily need to be practicing meditation or breathing techniques to tap into this perk. Simply being in a relaxed state where your mind and breathing are able to slow down can put you in a place of better cognitive function. This can be extremely important when going through periods where you feel like you have a lot "on your plate."
Simple and Satisfying Ways to Practice Self-Care
There's no list of approved activities you have to do when practicing self-care. Your self-care strategy should include whatever makes you feel good. Self-care activities can include everything from yoga to eating healthy and supplementing with the herbs and minerals. It is really about whatever makes you feel good. Let's explore some very simple and satisfying self-care ideas!
Pamper Your Feet
In between walking up-and-down stairs, doing aerobics, and standing in line at the grocery store, your feet take a beating each day. So, grab a foot basin for soaking feet and pamper those peds. Don’t forget to add foot soak essentials to the water, such as tea tree oil and Epsom salt.
Schedule Physical Exercise
The act of carving time out of your day to exercise can leave you feeling more empowered! Making physical exercise part of your self-care protocol shows that you value your body and health. Running, jogging, stretching and dance are all great activities. You can also turn your self-care into a challenge by signing up for an online class to learn a new dance or workout style from home. Again, the fact that you're carving out time to explore a new side of yourself is almost as important as the actual activity!
Try an Epsom Salt Detox
Epsom salt helps draw toxins out of your body. An Epsom salt bath is an easy, economical way to relax the body and recharge the mind. Researchers have found that Epsom salt helps boost mood and relieve pain. Make sure you use Epsom salt. Table salt is not the same thing. Also, be sure to purchase this product from a reliable source. It should contain 100 percent magnesium sulfate.
Add Palm Oil to Your Diet
Palm oil got a bad reputation because it has high levels of saturated fat. However, recently researchers have been learning more about the benefits of various fats, including palm oil. Currently, clinical trials are underway to determine if palm oil can help lower blood cholesterol. We need certain amounts of these fats in our diets. Harvard doctors say that palm oil is a better choice than shortenings and butter for cooking. Palm oil is also available as a daily supplement.
Take a Sitz Bath
Here's one that covers both relaxation and physical health. The soothing, warm water of a sitz bath feels especially amazing if you sit at a desk all day or have tension in your gluteal area. Sitz baths reduce inflammation and promote blood flow. They're also great for improving hygiene. Sitz baths can be enjoyed at any time. However, they are especially therapeutic if you're suffering from any kind of discomfort or infection. Are you wondering how to make a sitz bath? A traditional sitz bath soak only requires lukewarm water and Epsom salt. Some people prefer to personalize their sitz baths for specific benefits using essential oils. When choosing a sitz bath, select one that has a flusher attachment, like this one. These types of sitz baths are better as they are easier to fill.
Enjoy Some Mindless Entertainment
Self-care doesn't have to be serious. Book some self-care sessions that involve movies, television shows or books. You can make self-care sessions feel different from the daily grind by lighting candles or eating dessert in bed while you enjoy your entertainment.
Commit to a Good Sleep Schedule
Are you in a cycle of simply settling for as much sleep as you can get? Burning the candle at both ends can leave us less productive. It can also create some very serious short-term and long-term health issues. It may be time to get serious about creating cutoff times in the evening for all electronics and activities.
Self-Care Is Too Important to Ignore
Don't question if you deserve time for self-care. Instead, question how you plan to spend the time you've carved out for self-care! There are so many simple ways to show yourself compassion.
Make sure you have the right tools for nurturing a commitment to self-care. Fivona has a huge selection of high-quality self-care tools to help you elevate your daily routine. Consider ordering things like a soft blanket to wrap around yourself, a portable sitz bath or a new book for your night table. This can help to ensure that your personal self-care "toolkit" is always ready and waiting after a long, stressful day!