Why We Should Take the Time to Practice Self-Care Everyday + A Free Worksheet
Happy Friday! Today I have a treat for all of you-Abbey Mae’s first guest post! It’s been wonderful to collaborate with Diane Munoz to bring you this post on self care. If you love this post as much as I do, check out Diane’s website below for more content like it. Hope you enjoy!
With longer work days, multiple activities to coordinate after school, and a phone that never quits, we are busier than ever. Scroll on to learn how putting aside some of your limited time to practice self care can actually make you more productive (and happier!)
I’m a big fan of the show Parks and Recreation. In one of my favorite episodes, we find out that Tom (Aziz Ansari) and Donna (Retta) celebrate an annual “Treat Yo’Self Day”. They save up all year to take an entire day off from work to enjoy binge-shopping, spa treatments, and mimosas.
Predictably, their splurging is way over the top. (Elbow bling, anyone?) But you have to admit, the idea of a “Treat Yo’Self Day” does have its appeal. Who doesn’t wish they could spend entire day just spoiling themselves? And ridiculousness aside, Tom and Donna are on to something. The pros who research all the things have learned that “treating yo’self” really is beneficial. Too bad the rest of us are way too busy for that, right?
The good news is, you don’t have to take an entire day off or max out your credit card to take better care of yourself. (Although if you wanted to splurge on “clothes, fragrances, or massages” like Tom and Donna, I wouldn’t judge!) Taking a little time each day to practice self care has so many benefits. Here are some of the things that regular self care can do for you:
Self Care Makes You More Productive
When you’re happy, relaxed, and well-rested, you’re on your A-game, right? Taking great care of yourself allows you to be more engaged because your needs are being met. You’re not falling asleep at your desk. Your focus doesn’t wander to things you feel guilty about or wish you were doing. Your focus and attention are at their best. Taking time to take care of yourself ultimately pays off because it makes you more productive and better at taking care of your responsibilities.
Self Care Reduces Stress
Imagine how you feel after a day at the beach. Laying in the golden sand, watching the sparkly water, while sipping on something cold and fruity. Pretty relaxing, right? Now compare that to how you feel at the end your average weekday. Sitting in traffic, phone constantly going off, and landing on the couch at 8pm wondering how you’re going to find the energy to do it again tomorrow.
Burnout can leave us feeling unhappy, worthless, or resentful of others in our life. (Do any of those sound familiar?) We NEED self care to balance us out. Taking care of yourself helps you to feel calm and more relaxed. It increases positive thinking and feelings of gratitude. As a result, it also makes you less less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
Self Care Increases Your Self Esteem
You invest in the things you care about. You pay close attention to your projects at school and at work. You take pride in keeping up your apartment. You pay double for organic fruits and vegetables. When you care about someone, you treat them well, right?
Well, guess what? You’re someone! The Golden Rule is to love others as you love yourself. I say swap that around and love YOURSELF as you love others. Acting like you value yourself makes you BELIEVE that you have value. Who doesn’t need more of that?
Self Care Improves Your Physical Health
Think about it. When you take a sick day to actually rest, you get over a cold faster right? The opposite is also certainly true. I know the times that I made myself power through a cold, it lasted for weeks! Practicing regular self care really does shorten your recovery time from illness.
Self care can also lead to better eating habits because it’s a healthier way of dealing with stress (as opposed to stress-eating Fruity Pebbles at 11pm). For all these reasons and more, research has shown that self care increases longevity and improves your quality of life.
Self Care Improves Your Relationships
Practicing regular self care reminds us (and others!) that our needs are important too. We are so quick to spend our time and energy caring for for the people we love. But for some reason we hesitate when it comes to taking care of ourselves.
Setting aside time for self care sends the message that we value ourselves, which makes others value us more too. When we feel valued, we feel more connected to the people we love and we are less likely to feel resentment towards them. You know the saying, you have to love yourself before you can love others, right?
Self Care Sets an Example for Others
This is an unexpected benefit to self care, but it’s an important one. Practicing self care sets a great example for the people we’re closest to. Think about it. Do you really want your future children to think burning themselves out is normal? Taking good care of yourself sets a great example for your friends, your S.O., and even your parents!
It’s amazing what setting aside a little time for yourself can do. And it really doesn’t take a lot of effort. Daily self care can be as simple as treating yourself to that scone with your morning coffee once in awhile, having lunch with a friend instead of eating while you study, or actually getting 8 hours of sleep each night. Yes, practicing self care can be an investment of time and money, but the gains in your happiness and well-being are so worth it. Trust me, this is one “splurge” you won’t regret!
Bonus: Click here to get your free daily self-care plan!
Diane Munoz is a counselor, blogger and hardcore Ravenclaw who helps teens overcome anxiety so they can become confident and successful women. Check out her blog and free Resource Library at dianemunoz.com. The videos, challenges and worksheets are sure to help you take back control of your life. Find her on twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.