From a psychological standpoint, self-care is a concept that is continuously gaining more well-deserved relevance. The concept is becoming increasingly popular in modern-day discussions, and for good reason. After all, who could deny the importance of caring for one’s self? Specifically, this term is being thrown around more frequently when it comes to balancing work schedules, family life, social engagements, other responsibilities, and of course, fun and relaxation.

How people define self-care varies widely.  Self-care can be practiced in so many ways and can be interpreted differently by each individual. For example, some may consider taking a five minute break to meditate a high-level of self-care, while others may need a two week vacation to fill their self-care “cup.”

Lately, I have heard some criticisms of the concept as some people believe that when others make the declaration that their actions are in the service of self-care, they are really justifying inaction or laziness. While this possibly may be true at times, by and large, those who practice self-care do so for its psychological benefits. Self-care is done a disservice when the term is thrown around in vain but not actually practiced in a consistent manner. Self-care is not to be confused with laziness or making excuses for your inaction. Self-care is about taking necessary time out of your everyday demands or responsibilities in order to stay fresh, rejuvenated, motivated, and ultimately: to be happy.

Benefits of Self-Care

No matter how you define it, self-care has its benefits. Research has found that those who practice self-care are likely to experience increased happiness, feelings of relaxation, reduce stress, improved health, increase compassion for yourself and others, increased ability to manage time and responsibilities, increased motivation, and overall more productivity.

Addressing Your Needs

Needs are needs. They do not simply disappear because you neglect them. Unmet needs do not just evaporate; they remain within us and continue to remain neglected. Ultimately, needs that are neglected usually have a way of being assigned to someone else, and more specifically, someone who is not responsible for taking care of our needs. This can lead to problematic relationships and difficulties in personal and work lives.

Ways to Practice Self-Care

Every person has a different definition of self-care. For some people, it’s about rewarding themselves for a job well done, while for others it’s about finding ways to increase relaxation. The following is a list of some self-care ideas, but it is certainly not all-inclusive list. This list is just to get you thinking about different things that you can incorporate into your daily or weekly life in order to increase feelings of refreshment and positivity.

  • Take a five or more minute break during the work day to perform deep breathing.
  • Meditate daily.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Read an enjoyable book for a set minimum amount of time each day.
  • Take a relaxing bubble bath.
  • Go for a walk with a friend.
  • Call or get together with a friend or family member.
  • Buy yourself something nice.
  • Get your hair or nails done.
  • Get a massage.
  • Play golf or another activity that you enjoy at a set frequency.
  • Engage in prayer or other similar activity.
  • Meet with a therapist to proactively work through challenges.
  • Read a self-help book.
  • Watch a TV show or movie.

If you struggle with taking care of yourself and want to learn ways to change your life for the better, we can help. Whatever the reason, give us a call or send us an email. Remember, there are many reasons why people seek therapy. Professional mental health assistance can greatly benefit you in many ways, including making important changes in your life.

We are committed to providing therapy and counseling services in a comfortable, relaxing, encouraging, and non-judgmental environment to yield the most realistic and best outcomes.  Give us a call or email us today to schedule an appointment.

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