5 Ways Taking Care Of Yourself Can Make Life Better
Self-care feels like it’s become a big word in the last few years. Maybe because we’ve realized that we tend to overwork and over-stress ourselves instead of taking care of ourselves.
But self-care needs to be more than just a popular word. It really is something important- something we need to put into action.
That being said, it’s not always easy to develop a good self-care routine. A lot of things can get in the way (and sometimes it feels a lot like work).
By constantly reminding myself that I need to take care of myself, I’ve finally found some good self-care practices that help me. And I’ve discovered that it actually makes my life better. Sometimes a lot better.
So what does taking care of yourself look like and how can it make your life better?
What Self-Care Looks Like
It’s interesting to discover what people envision when they hear the word ‘self-care’. For some, it’s an image of going to the spa or getting a massage. For others, it’s an image of not so fun things- like eating more vegetables or going to the gym.
The reality is self-care looks different for everyone. And it usually involves a combination of things we enjoy and things we don’t enjoy that much but are good for us.
We need activities and experiences that are just enjoyable without being practical. It’s good for us to awaken our inner child and let go of responsibilities and stress for awhile.
But we also need to keep ourselves physically healthy, and sometimes that means going to exercise when we feel like taking a nap. Or anything else that requires self-discipline.
Self-care is really about finding what you need- physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually– and then developing regular practices that fill those needs. It’s not always easy, but here are some ways it will make your life better:
#1- More Enjoyment Out of Life
The longer we go being stressed all the time and not enjoying anything, the harder it is to remember what enjoyment feels like. It’s almost like enjoyment is something that needs to be practiced to keep it a part of life.
I know from experience how hard it is to enjoy life when I’m exhausted, stressed, and always on the move. I’ve been so burnt out in the past that I couldn’t even find joy in the things I normally liked to do.
Taking time out for self-care can in itself be something enjoyable. But it also makes you able to enjoy the rest of life much more easily. When you feel taken care of, it’s a lot easier to notice and take in the good things happening in life.
#2- Better Mental & Emotional Health
I mentioned that self-care is about finding what we need– physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. That’s important because sometimes we remember that we need to take care of our physical selves and forget about all the rest.
Taking care of yourself physically- getting enough sleep, eating good food, etc.- will help with mental and emotional health. But don’t forget to make your inner self a priority as well. Emotions and thought-patterns don’t just take care of themselves.
Finding what really helps you come to a better mental and emotional state will make your life much better.
#3- Better Ability to Handle Stress
Practicing self-care doesn’t mean stress will magically go away, though that would be nice. But it does make us able to handle stress better when it comes along.
One of the obstacles to taking time out for yourself is usually that there are so many other problems that need to be dealt with. It feels like we need to push through all the difficult stuff and the to-do list and then take time for ourselves (if there’s any left).
But I’ve really noticed that when I step away from the problems and demands of life to do something for myself, I can usually face everything better afterwards.
#4- More to Give to Others
One of the hardest things for many people, especially those who are used to being caretakers, is that self-care feels selfish. It’s hard not to feel guilty at first when we take time for ourselves or have to say ‘no’ to someone.
But not only is self-care necessary (and definitely not selfish), it also allows us to help others better. Stressed, tired, and burnt-out people do not make great helpers.
We need to restore our own supply of energy before trying to give more away. We may not be able to become ‘the best version of ourselves’ by practicing self-care but the better we feel, the better we can fill the needs of those around us.
#5- Sends Yourself a Positive Message
For me, part of finally placing importance on self-care was sending myself the message that I was worth it.
We all probably have a lot that demands our attention, energy, and time. It’s easy to feel like we are last on the list of importance. And many times we act like taking care of ourselves is not important at all.
Regular self-care is a message you send to yourself that you are important and you are worth it. Once this message starts to get through, your emotional well-being should improve and life will seem better.
We just need to show ourselves a little kindness.
Self-Care Is Really Good For You
Self-care is more than just a popular word or idea. It really is good for us and necessary if we want to do more than just survive life.
So in case you missed any of it, here’s a quick reminder of what self-care is and how it will make your life better:
- Self-care is learning what our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs are and taking the time to fill those needs regularly.
- Taking care of ourselves gives us the ability to enjoy life more fully.
- Regular self-care will help to improve our mental and emotional well-being.
- We can handle stress much better when we are caring for ourselves.
- Practicing self-care and filling our own needs means we have more to give to others.
- Self-care sends the message to ourselves that we are worth it.
Maybe now is the time to start finding some small ways to practice self-care. You might be surprised at how much better you feel about life!
(I love using essential oils as part of my self-care routine. Here are some good essential oils to use for emotional well-being. And to go along with self-care, discover why mindfulness is something you can’t live without.)