Wellness Wednesday: Why Self-Care Is Critical To Your Health by Brad Krause

What is Self-Care?

Some people consider self-care indulgent and selfish, but self-care is critical to your health. In fact, neglecting self-care can actually cost you, leading you to burnout. As Susan Noonan, M.D. writes at Psychology Today, self-care “is often one of the first things to go when you are overcome with emotional problems and mental illness…. But self-care behaviors are one of life’s basic necessities and not just superfluous luxury items, or the cherry on top.”

couple sitting pug self-care

Photo credit by Pixabay

The myth of self-care being indulgent probably comes from our idea of pampering, which often means a costly trip to the spa or a shopping spree. In reality, effective self-care is far more basic than that. Psych Central defines self-care as activities that we intentionally do to care for our mental, emotional, and physical health. We should not feel forced or unhappy when pursuing self-care activities.

Basically, self-care is our way of taking care of our own needs so we can live out our lives in the happiest way possible.

The Benefits of Self-Care

What other benefits does self-care provide?

  • This article from First Round states that healthy self-care habits give successful people the tools they need to be more productive, such as endurance.
  • Proper self-care can improve your resistance to disease, according to this post from The Law of Attraction.
  • It can also improve self-esteem and self-knowledge.
  • By preventing burnout and overexertion, self-care allows you to give your best for the things that matter to you like your career, your loved ones, and your dreams.

Simple and Overlooked Habits for Self-Care

All of us can probably improve our self-care habits right now with a few simple changes. Here are some ideas that we often overlook:

Relaxation Time

While we frequently make time for work, exercise, chores, and socialization, we often neglect scheduling time for relaxation outside of sleep. An excellent way to relax is with meditation, which can help bring clarity and focus. Another great method of relaxation is by spending time in nature, especially if you are often cooped up in an office. Several studies show that just being exposed to the sights and sounds of nature can reduce anxiety and depression while improving self-esteem and mood.

Picking Up a Hobby

Hobbies provide quite a few positive benefits for people from all walks of life. If you’ve always wanted to explore a new hobby, now’s the time to do so. There’s an endless array of possibilities to check out, from learning how to paint to starting a collection of coins, old toys, or comic books.

One of the most beneficial hobbies you can pick up is learning a new instrument. Not only will an instrument help boost your ability to create new memories, but it can also build your coordination and increase your comprehension skills. If you want to start out with something simple, try your hand at a clarinet or a saxophone, both of which are great for beginners.

Stress Reduction

When faced with high-pressure or unpleasant situations, our bodies naturally react in ways that can be unhealthy. While fight-or-flight reactions are important when we face real danger, they are not helpful while at work or in dealing with loved ones.

How can you reduce anxiety in stressful situations? Taking three deep breaths is a simple and effective strategy that can help to preempt stress symptoms. Learn more “in the moment” techniques from Harvard Business Review.

The Importance of Smiling

Did you know that smiling and laughter can benefit you? According to Lifehack, these activities release endorphins, which make us feel happier and less stressed. Laughing also expands the lungs and stimulating homeostasis, which stabilizes your body.  Spending time with loved ones who make you smile and reflecting on the joyful activities, events, and memories in your life can help you smile more.

Learning To Say ‘No’

If you feel obliged to say “yes” to everyone, you are likely overwhelmed and overworked. This can easily lead to burnout, fatigue, and a severe drop in productivity and put you at risk for illness. In fact, learning to say “no” will help you prioritize your time for the things that matter most to you. If you’re a people pleaser, learn how to say no more often.

Good Sleep Hygiene

It’s important to maintain good sleep hygiene, that is, healthy habits that allow you to get the best rest possible. SleepEducation.org suggests tips including getting seven hours of sleep per night, keeping consistent wake and sleep times, and establishing a relaxing bedtime routine.

Proper self-care helps us maintain a healthy body and mind, allowing us to be more productive, helpful, and balanced in life.

About The Author

This is my first time featuring a guest author like Brad Klause. He reached out to me via honeybunnytwee@gmail.com . However, after being hacked, he is taking opportunity to rebrand and restructure his online presence. Therefore, let him know what you thought of his article in the comments or directly at brad@selfcaring.info. Visit him at selfcaring.info.

Additionally, email me at honeybunnytwee@gmail.com if you have a ‘Wellness Wednesday’ article you would like me to feature. In other words, I’m always looking to collab with and support my fellow bloggers!

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20 thoughts on “Wellness Wednesday: Why Self-Care Is Critical To Your Health by Brad Krause

    1. Yes, I remember hearing that the simple act of smiling improves one’s mood significantly

  1. I totally agree with all of this. We tend to feel guilty when we take time to take care of ourselves, and yet, if we neglect it, in the long run we won’t be able to properly take care of our loved ones.. And all the suggestions you gave are not necessarily expensive nor time consuming! Sometimes you just need to smile more often and go to bed.

    1. Agreed, sleeping is important because it kind of gives your body a chance to reset itself. Self-care doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg, but it’s valuable and important to take good care of oneself every once in a while

  2. I love this. I so often feel super guilty when I need to take some time for self care. For me self care is taking my vitamins and brushing my hair. So simple and yet as a busy mom, I often forget to do both of those things. However you won’t find my kids without brushed hair on any given day!

  3. I loved reading your article. Each and every point that you have mentioned starting from why self care is important to how we can actually achieve this is so very relevant for each of us. Great post.

  4. It is so importnat to take care of yourself! So many people spend their lives takign care of others and don’t invest the time in themselves. Finding some relaxing time, choosing a hobby, anything to reduce stress and take time for you. And saying no! It’s OK to want to help people but sometimes you have to learn to say no and not feel guilty about it. Great self care tips. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I know for me, hobbies are important. Sometimes you need that alone time to recharge and just get into your personal element. That in and of itself can be extremely relaxing. I use drawing for that. Put the headphones on, sit at my drawing tablet and just zone out. So therapeutic!

  6. Self care is so important because you can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I’m better off saying no to things I don’t want to do instead of saying yes to everything. My new motto is “if it’s not hell yes, then it’s hell no”

  7. Wonderful article on self care. I know I am guilty of not participating in as many self care activities as I probably should. I do however love my hobby, writing. And by giving myself a bit of time each day in participate in some kind of writing activity i can almost instantly feel my mood elevate and the stress melt away.

  8. You are so right! Most women totally neglect themselves out of fear that people will view them as selfish and egocentric…I know I did. It took me until 45 years old to finally start living for myself and not my kids, friends, coworkers, parents.

  9. Even though my blog is business related, I speak of the importance of saying “no” a lot! It’s so true that it can truly improve your overall psyche when you know your limits and prioritize.

  10. Often when you’re in the midst of chaos and overcommitted obligations, you don’t feel you have the time for self care. This is when it’s most important. Great tips & remider!

  11. Yesterday a wise person said to me, “keep smiling. It looks good on you.” I feel like this is just great life advice, in the simplist form. I’m currently working on creating my very own space in my spare bedroom. It’s an office and workout space, just for me. I’m decorating it exactly how I want it. It’s all mine, and that is a perfect place to work, relax, meditate, do yoga, and just be in my own little bubble.

  12. One of my favorite ways to relax is by watching stand up comedy specials! I always feel loads better after a stressful days when I’ve been laughing for an hour straight!

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