Self care is any intentional action to take care of one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being. It is a vital part of sustaining good health and a vibrant life. It is a way of living that integrates behaviors that help you to be energized, replenish your personal motivation, and flourish as an individual.

When we feel stressed, it is easy to stop doing things that replenish our energy and keep us going through the difficult phases of life. Self care is the active, intentional participation of enhancing your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and quality of life. It can relieve some of your stress. It is essential to maintain both the physical and mental elements of self care to attain an overall state of wellness. Physical and mental health can balance your mind and body, which are essential to achieving wellness for optimal functioning.

Why does it seem easier to take care of everyone and everything else instead of yourself?

We often do not give a second thought to taking on another task, abandoning the gym for a conference call, or signing up the kids for another activity. The excuses, reasons, and justifications become second nature, and then we believe them to be true. This notion could not be further from the truth.

Get real: self care is not a reward. It is a vital component to living a balanced and joyful life.

Somewhere along the way, it seems that we were taught that the harder we work, the greater the payoff. However, the payoff certainly comes with a hefty price tag. Numerous studies have demonstrated that wearing down one’s body, overloading the brain, not getting sufficient sleep, and remaining in a constant state of stress is completely counterproductive to both our mental and physical health.

It is easy to fall into the trap of neglecting yourself when you are busy and overwhelmed. At that point, even the smallest moment of reprieve feels extravagant.

If you take time for lunch, make it to a spin class, or leave work before 7 pm, you feel good for doing something for yourself. Yet, oftentimes, that good feeling turns into feelings of guilt for not being as “productive” in the right areas and ultimately causing you to negate the spin class you just completed.

What if the narrative changes and you start telling yourself that you need time for yourself and that it is crucial?

It is time to rewrite the narrative and change the conversation you have been having in your head. Make the conversation about wellness and longevity rather than work and achievements. When you continue to put yourself at the bottom of the priority list, you are saying, “I am not worth it.”

So, it is time to put in the work and start taking care of that amazing mind and body of yours. While there are plenty of negatives from a lack of self care, there are a ton of benefits from self care. Here are a few of the benefits of Self care:

1. Prevents overload burnout.
2. Reduces stress in the body.
3. Nourishes the body.
4. Helps you re-focus.
5. Improves your quality of life.
6. Maximizes your potential.
7. Doing the things that you enjoy.
8. Increases your physical and mental resources to deal with stressors.

Now is the perfect time to take a few moments and reflect on what your self care practices are!

Envision how you would feel to take that walk, or how you would feel without your phone ringing at dinner, or how nice it would be to watch one of your favorite television programs without interruptions.

If you feel courageous and ready, compile a list of things you do daily that stop you from providing basic and essential self care acts. Next, make a list of simple self care practices that you can create and implement to ensure a happier, healthier, more present you. All that is left is for you to take that first step and put yourself on the list. There is no better time to start than today. The time to engage in self care is long overdue. Do not let anything or anyone hold you back!