Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably familiar with the term self-care. It’s one of the most popular buzz words in mainstream media. Everyone is talking about it. What you may not know though is the idea of self-care isn’t a new phenomenon. The practice of self-care has been around for thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks engaged in a method they called ‘philautia.’ The translation of philautia is ‘self-love’ or ‘love of self.’ The Ancient Greeks believed loving yourself created the foundation in which all other love was built. So what exactly is self-care and why is it so important?
What is self-care?
Self-care is the act of loving yourself. It’s consciously doing things that make you feel happy and bring you joy. It’s taking care of yourself and listening to your mind and body. When you care for yourself, you improve your overall well-being. Your mental, emotional, and physical health will all be better.
Self-care isn’t doing things for others or checking things off your to-do list. If it feels like a task or creates more stress in your life, then it’s not self-care. Acts of self-care should improve your mood and bring you gratification.
Why is self-care important?
It is essential to set aside time for yourself each and every day. Focusing on yourself will energize you and make you more productive. It’s an integral part of self-love. When you love and care for yourself, you increase your confidence, self-esteem, and happiness. Taking time for yourself will help you to relax and reset. It will rejuvenate you and help reduce any stress and anxiety you may have. When you respect and care for yourself, others will do the same.
Is self-care selfish?
Self-care is most definitely not selfish. Self-care is a way to refuel your mind and body. It energizes and invigorates you enabling you to be more present and productive in your everyday life and with those you love. When you fulfill your own needs, you will be better able to care for others.
How to practice self-care?
There is no one way to practice self-care, and it will be different for each and every person. What brings you joy and happiness may be completely different than what brings someone else these same feelings. It is also not uncommon to be unsure of what you need or enjoy. The trick here is to do some trial and error. Come up with some ideas of what you think might bring you joy and happiness. Try them out a few times and see how you feel. Below are a few examples to get your wheels turning.
Examples of self-care
- Getting plenty of rest
- Eating healthy
- Going for a walk or hike
- Spending time in nature
- Reading a book
- Learning something new
- Listening to music
- Writing or journaling
- Spending time with animals
- Enjoying your favorite cup of coffee or tea
- Placing flowers in your home or office
- Playing a sport or game, you enjoy
- Spending time with friends
- Getting a manicure or pedicure
- Going to the doctor for annual checkups
These are just a few ways in which you could start caring for yourself. The list goes go on and on. The key here is to set aside time for yourself where you focus solely on you.