Self-Care Benefits: Why It’s Actually Important + Ideas for Self-Care
Self-care has become a hot topic in the last couple of years. But, what really is self-care, why is it actually important, and what are some ways to focus on self-care when life gets busy? We’ll answer all of these questions below!
Related read: DIY Spa Day: How to Have a Relaxing Spa Day at Home
What is self-care?
Self-care is the act of taking care of yourself to create and maintain good health and wellness. While many think of self-care as bubble baths and manicures, it’s much more than that. It also focuses on social, physical, and spiritual health.
Self-care isn’t just a trendy catchphrase. It’s an important dedication to your overall health and wellness. It’s putting time and effort into activities and practices that improve your well-being for a healthy and happy life. In fact, there’s research-backed evidence of self-care benefits, which we’ll share below.
How can self-care improve your life?
We can all agree that a bit of self-care goes a long way in simply feeling calmer, happier, and more productive. But there’s even more to it than that. This study, along with many others, show that when you practice self-care that’s focused on different aspects of your health (mental, physical, emotional, etc.), you’re mending or preventing disease, limiting illness, and restoring good health.
It’s been clinically proven that practicing self-care can lead to improved wellness. Of course, benefits vary based on different self-care exercises.
Here are some of the most notable ways self-care can help you:
- Reduce stress
- Lessen or eliminate depression and/or anxiety
- Increase productivity
- Boost energy levels
- Improve relationships
- Lower chances for or prevent illnesses
- Prevent medical conditions like heart disease, stroke, and cancer
Types of Self-Care
As we mentioned, we often think of self-care activities that focus on our state of mind. However, there are various types of self-care, including:
- Emotional: allows you to recognize, sit with, and move past your emotions
- Physical: fosters good physical health and wellness by tackling physical illness
- Mental: focuses on a headspace that’s conducive to good health
- Social: helps you to build and grow good relationships
- Spiritual: lets you think beyond yourself and develop a deeper understanding of the world around you
Self-Care Ideas (something for everyone!)
Now that we have a better understanding of what self-care is and its benefits, let’s look at how you can care for your mind and body.
Tip: We recommend jotting down a few of these ideas and creating a self-care kit and schedule. This will help you prioritize your health and wellness even when daily life gets busy and ensure you’re ready to reap self-care benefits regularly.
Take a break from social media.
While social media is useful in many ways, it can be healthy to take some time away. Endless research shows risks in social media overuse – less productivity, increased mental illness, and feelings of loneliness.
We all know how hard it can be to go offline. To do this without feeling deprived or completely disconnected, remove social media apps from your phone 1-2 days per week, do certain activities like walks or lunch with friends without bringing your phone, and avoid using your devices in bed.
Visit the spa.
A day at the spa is the ultimate way to unwind, and spa treatments have so many health and wellness benefits. We love a regularly scheduled spa day, whether it be once a week or once a month. This is also the perfect activity to enjoy alone, with friends, or with your significant other.
Create an at-home spa day.
Can’t swing a day at the spa? That’s okay! There are so many great ways to create your own spa day at home. Here’s our favorite at-home spa day routine:
- Light a candle and prepare a tasty drink.
- Apply a hair and eye mask.
- Soak in a warm bath.
- Massage your skin with a smell-good moisturizer.
- Give yourself a manicure and pedicure.
- Enjoy a nap or a good night’s rest.
Oakwell Beer Spa offers many unique products, including a spa day gift box to create your own spa kit. Shop here!
Create an enjoyable morning routine.
This self-care practice might be one of the most overlooked ones. Your morning sets the tone for your entire day. An enjoyable morning is one of the easiest ways to manage stress, increase productivity, and take on the day with optimism and focus.
The best part about creating an enjoyable morning routine is that it can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be. If you’re short on time in the morning, create a fun playlist to listen to while you get ready. Other ideas include getting up 10 minutes earlier to read while you enjoy coffee, preparing a good breakfast, or meeting a friend for breakfast once a week.
Take time for physical activity.
This one might be the best practice because it offers so many self-care benefits and can be done in countless ways. Whether you love getting active or it’s the last thing on your to-do list, there are ways almost anyone can enjoy physical activity.
A few suggestions –
- Take a walk around your neighborhood.
- Join a class at your local gym. Do it with a friend if you need motivation and social self-care, too!
- Do a fitness class at home. There are so many online options found on YouTube!
- Park in the back of the parking lot at work for a longer walk.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Play in the backyard with your dogs or children.
While eating healthy is an obvious way to take care of yourself, sometimes our bodies and minds just need to relax after a long day of work. Treat yourself to your favorite takeout every now. Then, relax your mind while you kick back on the couch with a good book or movie.
While meditating is talked about a lot, many people avoid it because it can be challenging to do. However, there are many ways to meditate to reap emotional, mental, and spiritual self-care benefits.
When we think of meditating, we often think of sitting up straight while focusing on our breath and nothing else. However, there are several simpler ways to incorporate meditation into everyday tasks – connecting your breath to your steps while you’re on a walk, taking time to appreciate nature, eating meals without distractions, or listening to calming music when you lie down to go to bed.
Take a vacation.
One of the best ways to take care of your overall health and wellness is by breaking up the monotony of your typical routine and enjoying new experiences. Planning a weekend getaway every now and then is the perfect way to do this.
Short on time or money? A staycation always works too!
Interested in visiting a place that offers experiences for relaxation, city life, and nature? Check out this weekend in Denver itinerary.
Enjoy Your Self-Care!
While self-care is meant to be enjoyable, it’s also critical for a long, happy, and healthy life. We hope you’ve found a couple of suggestions here that you’ll try today. As we mentioned, making a list of a few self-care activities to have on hand and gathering what you’ll need is an excellent way to make sure you’re prioritizing yourself.
For even more ideas, you may be interested in reading: A Practical Self-Care Sunday: 25 Ideas to Recharge