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Importance of Self-Care - An Overview

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Self-care is doing something to nurture or honor oneself. It is the time spent to reboot and revitalize energy. Read below to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Paratwar Nayana Kapil

Published At January 18, 2023
Reviewed AtMay 24, 2023

Introduction

Self-care is something done to nurture and relax the body. It is important in a world where life and work demand only "do more" and "give more" from one. It is a way to recharge oneself. Constant workload and duties can cause both physical and emotional drain. As the saying goes, "one cannot pour from an empty cup"; people who are having burnout cannot give their 100 percent.

Our body works hard 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It needs to recharge to function well. The importance of self-care is, therefore, important. Incorporating small changes in our daily routine is self-care. It includes simple things like eating a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, spending time with loved ones, taking a relaxing bath, reading a favorite book, listening to music, or doing something that one enjoys.

Why Is Self-Care Important?

Self-care releases good chemicals in the brain, thereby boosting productivity. Many believe that taking care of themselves is a self-indulgent and selfish activity. But no, indulging in self-care is important because when one takes care of themselves, one can take care of others. They are in a better mood and energy and are less likely to lash out at people around them. Also, taking care of oneself is important as it affects mental health. People who take better self-care do not suffer from anxiety and depression. Self-care helps people with anxiety and depression to improve their living conditions and help them come back on track. For others, it can enhance their life experiences.

Self-care comprises seven key factors:

  • Mental Well-Being: Being able to cope with life stresses, overall life satisfaction, mental health, and emotional well-being fall under this pillar.

  • Knowledge and Health Literacy: Everyone must have an idea about health information and services available to make decisions regarding their health, as it is an important aspect of self-care.

  • Physical Activity: Incorporating physical exercise into the daily routine, whether participating in sports activities, cycling, or walking, is pivotal.

  • Healthy Eating: Maintaining a consistently nutritious, calorie-appropriate diet that supports our body's overall needs has multiple benefits.

  • Good Hygiene: Practices such as brushing and flossing the teeth, bathing or showering regularly, and washing hands, as well as consuming certain foods, helps boost inner health.

  • Risk Avoidance or Mitigation: This includes practicing preventative methods that help support and improve health over time, like applying sunscreen to get vaccinated and limiting alcohol and tobacco use.

  • Responsible Use of Products, Services, Diagnostics, and Medicines: This can include wellness services like gym memberships or nutrition planning to improve physical health, the use of devices like at-home blood pressure monitors, and health products like vitamins and supplements that promote overall wellness.

How Are Self-Care Practices Linked to Positive Health Outcomes?

Self-care practices focus on one's mental, physical, and emotional health. Self-care can help improve mental, physical, and spiritual health for those living with chronic health conditions. A few examples can be correlated with positive health outcomes:

  • Getting Adequate Sleep: As per research, sleeping for at least seven hours per night has been linked to a reduced risk of heart attack, asthma, and depression.

  • Eating a Proper Diet: It has been proved that people who consume five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily have a lesser risk of heart problems and improved longevity. Eating balanced diet, which includes green leafy vegetables, sprouts, mushrooms, and broccoli with two to three types of fruits per day, can improve health.

  • Sufficient Exercise: Exercise improves blood circulation. Getting adequate exercise for 30 minutes per day at least five times per week is rewarding for health. Yoga also improves several health issues like burning fat, acne problems, heart-related disease, thyroid, and muscle tightness, which will help a person to look healthy and charming.

  • Spending Time Outdoors: Spending time outdoors, especially in nature, is an act of self-care that can heal a person physically and mentally. Nature walks benefit people suffering from depression. Studies had shown that people suffering from mild to major depressive disorders showed significant mood upliftments when exposed to nature. They also felt more motivated and energized to recover and get back to normalcy.

How To Create a Self-Care Routine?

When a self-care routine is devised, it is important to create it in a way wherein it is manageable. The tasks or activities included in the regimen should be achievable with minimal effort. Here are a few tips to consider when building self-care practices to support mental, emotional, and physical health:

  • Physical Self-Care: Getting in touch with how it feels physically can be a helpful indicator of what self-care practices would be most beneficial to incorporate. Identifying what helps most can create a more sustainable self-care routine. Getting adequate sound sleep, opting for a more nutritious and healthy diet plan, or regular exercise can all be a part of great self-care practices.

  • Mental Self-Care: Self-care practices that keep us mentally healthy are just as important as self-care for our physical health. Mental health care can be practiced with things done to relax and calm the mind. This can include listening to music, watching a favorite show, or going for a nature walk.

  • Social Self-Care: Social self-care is spending quality time with people we love and who understand and care for us. This may include spending time with family and friends. It also includes establishing new connections with strangers for interaction.

  • Emotional Self-Care: Being able to deal with feelings healthily is critical for emotional self-care. There are many ways to keep oneself happy if you are suffering from emotional damage. Tips to improve emotional self-care include journaling, practicing gratitude, and acceptance.

  • Spiritual Self-Care: It is not necessary for a person to practice a certain religion. It is important for a person to move worldwide and apply meaning to daily life experiences. Spiritual self-care may include practices like yoga, meditation, or simply practicing gratitude.

Conclusion

Life is precious. It is meant to be lived to the fullest. Practicing simple self-care techniques can pave a long way in improving physical, mental, and emotional health in a busy schedule packed with targets. Self-care also improves one's productivity. It is not a difficult task to perform. Incorporating a small part of the day to indulge in self-care is essential in everyone's current lifestyle. "To take care of loved ones, first take good care of yourself."

Paratwar Nayana Kapil
Paratwar Nayana Kapil

Psychologist/ Counselor

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