The world today demands so much from us. Self-care is a way of biohacking wellness to make sure we’re always ready to take on whatever life throws our way.
Self-care has become something of a buzzword in recent years, but what exactly is it? Simply put, self-care is anything you do to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Whether it’s getting enough sleep, eating nourishing foods, or spending time outdoors in nature, self-care is all about filling your cup so you can show up as your best self for the people and things you love.
Still not convinced that self-care is worth your time? Here are six reasons why self-care is important for your mental health and wellbeing:
Boosts Your Mood and Energy Levels
Taking the time to care for yourself can also help improve your mood and increase your energy levels. When you make self-care a priority, you’re more likely to feel happier and more capable of taking on the challenges of daily life.
When you’re stressed and overwhelmed, it’s difficult to be there for others. But when you take care of yourself, you’re better able to show up for the people and things that matter most to you.
Gives You a Sense of Control
With all that’s going on in the world today, it can be tempting to just give up and feel like you can’t do anything to make a difference. Issues like the need for widespread CO2 reduction, the conflict in Syria, and world hunger, can all seem so insurmountable.
All these problems demand our attention but it’s important to remember what we can actually do something about: ourselves. We can control how we react to the world and the things happening in it.
For most of us, that means taking care of ourselves so we can be in a better position to help others. When we’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or just plain exhausted, it’s difficult to be effective in taking care of anyone else.
Instead of worrying about things you can’t control, focus on the things that you can do in the here and now. For instance, if you worry that your favorite shampoo is tested on animals, then research cruelty-free hair products and make the switch. If you’re concerned about the amount of plastic in the ocean, start carrying a reusable water bottle with you so you can reduce your reliance on single-use plastics.
Improves Your Sleep Quality
Self-care can also improve your sleep quality. When you’re stressed, it’s harder to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. But when you take care of yourself and make time for relaxation, you’re more likely to have a restful night’s sleep.
Think of it this way: the more productive and rested you are during the day, the less likely it is for intrusive thoughts and worries to keep you up at night.
Nudges You Toward Healthier Habits
We all know how hard it can be to begin or maintain healthy habits like eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, or getting enough sleep. But when you make self-care a priority, it can help you develop and stick to healthier habits.
That’s because self-care requires you to slow down and listen to your body. When you do this, you’re more likely to notice when you’re hungry or need to move your body. You’re also more likely to pay attention to how certain foods make you feel or how tired you are after a workout.
When you already have a healthy habit or two in place, self-care can also help you stick to them. For example, if you make time for a morning workout, you’re more likely to do it if you’ve already taken care of yourself by eating a nutritious breakfast and getting enough sleep the night before.
Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety Levels
Self-care is a simple but effective way to help you manage stress and anxiety levels. This can involve simple activities like taking a relaxing bath, going for a walk in nature, journaling your thoughts and feelings, or mindfulness practices like yoga or motivation—whatever works for you.
Makes You More Resilient
Self-care can also make you more resilient. When you take care of yourself, you’re better able to handle stress and bounce back from setbacks.
That’s because self-care helps you develop a strong foundation. When you have a solid foundation, it’s easier to weather the storms that come your way. Just like a house is more likely to survive a hurricane if it has a strong foundation, you’re more likely to weather life’s challenges if you have a strong foundation of self-care.
Resiliency is key to facing the world. And self-care is one of the best ways to foster it. Working on your resilience now will help you better face the challenges that come your way in the future.
The benefits of self-care are vast and varied, but ultimately it boils down to one simple truth: taking care of yourself is essential for a happy, healthy life. So make time for yourself every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you for it—and, one day, maybe the world will, too!