Why You Should Care About Self-Care
Self-care seems to be one of those buzz-words that everyone is tired of hearing about. I can almost feel people mentally rolling their eyes when I bring up self care. It seems so obvious, right? We need to take care of ourselves. Unfortunately it is very easy to get into the habit of neglecting some aspect of our life that could benefit from some of our energy. When I taught group therapy and I asked people to tell me what they think of when they hear “self care” the answers I would get would be things like:
Getting my hair done Getting a massage Buying myself __________
Going to get a manicure/pedicure Going on vacation Shopping
All of those could be examples of self-care but true self care that we can practice on a daily basis does not cost anything. Shopping, going on vacation, getting a massage or going to a salon are not something most of us can afford to do on a regular basis. Just because we don’t have the budget to get a massage every month it does not mean we cannot practice self-care!
The biggest news in the world right now is COVID-19. Everyone has fears and concerns so it becomes even more important to practice self-care when we are worried and feeling stressed.
What Is Self-Care?
You might be asking, well if it’s not just vacations or spa days, what is self-care then? Self-care is taking an active role in our own good health and mental well being. This is important on a daily basis but especially during times of physical illness or stress.
Stress is often called “the silent killer” because it contributes to many underlying health conditions that can go unnoticed. Stress is often what leads us to overeat, under exercise, zone out as a way of relaxing, and mentally check out of our lives in a way that can become dangerous if done for more than just a day or two. It can lead to heart disease, obesity, depression, anxiety, GI problems, and many other chronic health concerns. One of the best ways to combat stress is to practice self-care.
“I was busy;
but not in a way most people understand.
I was busy taking deeper breaths.
I was busy silencing irrational thoughts.
I was busy calming a racing heart.
I was busy telling myself I am okay.
Sometimes, this is my busy –
and I will not apologize for it.”
Self-Care Is Self Love
Daily self-care involves taking care of our physical and mental needs in a loving way. It means putting ourselves first in a way that many people may find difficult at first. Some people, often women, feel that taking care of themselves is selfish. This could not be further from the truth! We can’t take care of others if we are not first healthy ourselves.
Daily Self-Care Includes Things Like:
These are just a few ways that you can focus on to begin to make self-care a bigger priority in your life.
“Self-care has become a new priority – the revelation that it’s perfectly permissible to listen to your body and do what it needs.”
You Deserve The Energy You Give Others
It may be counter-intuitive that a time of so much uncertainty is the most important time to practice better self-care. However, when you are out of your routine – working from home, the kids not in school, self-quarantined, it is actually the perfect time to disrupt the status quo by doing something different. The time and energy that you give others is important, but just as important is giving that same time and energy to yourself. We are trying to prevent getting sick and taking care of yourself is one of the best things you can do to prevent illness.
Take some time for self-care today, I promise you, you will not regret it!
Stacey Aldridge, LCSW
Stacey is a therapist in private practice in the Jackson MS area. If you would like to make an appointment with Stacey at Grace Christian Counseling in Canton, MS or Vicksburg, MS please call (769) 224-4234 or contact her. Video sessions are available for those who are avoiding public places or self-quarantined!