Why Self-care Isn’t Selfish
While it might sound contradictory, practicing self-care can actually be one of the most selfless things you can do. When you take time out to for you, it revitalizes your life so you can be the best version of yourself for others. Discover our favorite self-care tips below.
Many are familiar with the increasing pressures of the workplace and life in general, where the work never really ends in our hyper-connected world. This warped balance can leave us feeling burnt-out and unfulfilled. That’s why self-care is important. No matter how fancy the term sounds, self-care is critical for our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
When we neglect self-care, by putting others first all the time, we abandon the practices that make us healthy and happy, and allow us to thrive. If you want to maintain an active, full life, it is important to take a time out each day just for you.
Self-care means paying attention to and supporting your own physical and mental health. It is a big part of treating many physical and mental health disorders.
Five Ways to Practice Self-Care
- Exercise. Physical activity reduces stress, boosts mood, elevates energy, exercises your heart and improves circulation, among countless other benefits. When we work out because we love our bodies – rather than as a punishment for eating that extra slice of pizza – it can be a wonderful self-care strategy.
- Practice self-compassion. Being kind to yourself is the foundation of self-care. Self-compassion means turning off the critical, inner voice and allowing yourself the time for self-care.
- Get enough sleep and eat well. Nourishing your body with adequate rest and a healthy diet are crucial factors to feeling and functioning at your peak. No one can thrive long-term on minimal sleep nor fast food.
- Calm your mind. Even if it’s just for five minutes each day, engaging in meditation, mindfulness, or yoga practices can help de-stress and revitalize both your body and mind.
- Have a social support network. While being too social can become taxing, having supportive, social connections help us feel less isolated and they prevent burnout.
You might not be able to engage in all of these practices every day, but if you make self-care a priority and incorporate it in your daily life, you may feel and function better.
The bottom line is: the better we feel and function, the more we can do for the people and things we care about, and that is a win-win.
“Self-care: 4 ways to nourish body and soul,” Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Harvard Health Publishing, health.harvard.edu, Nov. 16, 2017.
“Self-care for the caregiver,” Marlynn Wei, MD, JD, Harvard Health Publishing, health.harvard.edu, Oct. 17, 2018.
“Practicing Self-Care Is Important: 10 Easy Habits to Get You Started,” Noma Nazish, forbes.com, Sept. 19, 2017.