Let’s get real: Over the past week, how many times did you take at least 15 minutes out of your busy day to nurture yourself? If you’re like most women, the answer was probably close to ‘0’. Self-care is not at the top of our priority list too often, unfortunately.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is ‘any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated’. Self-love is ‘the regard for one’s own well-being and happiness’.
Together, they comprise a very important part of a holistic and healthy lifestyle. Women too often forget about caring for themselves. Instead, they forego their own health for the sake of a work deadline, a child’s after-school activity, or a family commitment. Life gets in the way and women stop socializing, quit going to the gym, and fall back on convenient, unhealthy eating habits.
The Importance of Self-Love and Self-Care
It’s easy to scoff at the terms ‘self-love’ and ‘self-care’ and toss them aside as new age, hippie talk, right? Many women, especially those in older generations, seem to believe that helping others and yielding to their every request is more important than taking time for themselves. They believe that they’re selfish or, worse, lazy if they don’t jump at the request of every single person in their lives.
I’m here to help you debunk this myth! It is NOT selfish or lazy of you to say ‘NO’ and take some well-deserved time to yourself. Self-care is crucial to a healthy, long life. Not taking time to care for yourself is very, very stressful, and you should know by now that stress can lead to a number of health symptoms. Too much stress can cause cardiovascular disease and lowered immunity (and low immunity leads to cancer).
Besides, if you’re not taking care of yourself well enough, you can’t ever be there for those people you love at full capacity. Skipping self-care means you are cheating both you and your loved ones!
Some Benefits of Self-Love and Self-Care
Setting aside just 10 minutes each day for self-care can help reduce the effects of stress on your body. You’ll feel more focused, more engaged and more ready to take on your busy day. Self-love and self-care are important to avoid burnout – something you do not want to experience! Burnout can take weeks, if not months, to recover from.
Things You’re Doing Wrong
Without realizing it, you’re probably doing a bunch of things that sabotage your health:
- If you go to work feeling sick because you think the office can’t run without you, you’re telling yourself that everyone else’s needs are more important than your own. This is so not true!
- When you have a huge to-do list of household chores that you refuse to ask for help with.
- You’re exhausted from a full day of volunteering and a friend calls with a self-perceived ‘crisis’. And, you agree to help her out.
- When you agree to stay late at work to finish a project because all your male colleagues have ‘something going on’.
- When you’ve worked a 40-hour week plus you’ve spent another 25 hours plugging away to build your own business and you still agree to attend your nephew’s birthday party (even though all you really want to do is sleep).
How You Can Practice a Bit of Self-Love and Self-Care
Let’s be reasonable: You’re not suddenly going to throw your hands up in the air and say “I quit” to every single demand put on you. But, can you carve out 10 minutes every day to do something that helps you regroup, refocus and rebalance? Yes, you can (I saw you shaking your head…)!
You are NOT selfish (or lazy) to schedule self-care rituals – don’t forget this! In fact, you’re the opposite because you’re building up your positive energy. And, you can be there for others in an even larger capacity.
For example, when you neglect yourself, you attend your son’s soccer game but your heart isn’t in it (it’s desperately craving your beautiful bed); but, when you reenergize your mind and body, you have so much energy at your son’s game that you’re the loudest Mom out there cheering him on! And, bonus, he feels extra special!
Now, schedule your self-love time. Yes, you have time for this. Just 10 minutes a day can help improve your overall mental well-being and reduce your stress. Download the free guide below with 10 self-care activities that take 10 minutes or less to get started.
If you’re still stuck for time, ask for help with your chores or wake up a few minutes earlier each morning. Take a shorter lunch break so you can leave work earlier. Attend a HIIT class rather than run for 60 minutes. Be creative – there are ways to take back 10 minutes each day!