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What is Self-Care and Why is it Important

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What is Self-Care

In recent years, self-care has become somewhat of a buzzword. But what does it entail? This post discusses what self-care is, what it isn’t, and discusses why you need to establish a solid self-care routine in your life.

     With all the buzz surrounding self-care, it’s easy to look at what others are saying while completely neglecting its true meaning.  Yes, pampering yourself at the sauna, going away on nice, relaxing vacations, and celebrating your accomplishments are excellent ways to engage in self-care. But it’s about more than that.  Because we may have a limited view of what self-care looks like, we may not understand how powerful it can be in supporting our overall health care. 

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Self-care is the combination of actions we take to care for ourselves on multiple levels.  It is the choices we make to preserve our psychological, physical, spiritual, financial, social, and intellectual well-being.

       Self-care is not the same thing as self-pampering or self-indulgence, and it doesn’t have to cost anything. It’s not about living like royalty or surrendering to every selfish impulse. It’s about knowing your worth and giving your mind, body, and spirit what they need in order to thrive. And it’s about choosing to take action for your own good every day.

The Purpose of Self-Care

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   The purpose of self-care is to restore your energy — not take away from it. It’s not meant to deplete your bank account or add debt to your list of things to stress about. To be able to take care of others, you must first learn to take care of yourself. This includes being compassionate in the way you speak to yourself.  Self-care is understanding how you recharge, or what you need in order to feel the strength to take care of everything else going on in your life.

Having a self-care practice forces you to get to know yourself on a deeper level, to better understand what you might need in a given moment.  Do you need to lay down and listen to music for a bit? Do you need to go for a walk? Or do you need to make time to catch up with an old friend?

     With conflicting perspectives on self-care, some people think engaging in self-care is selfish, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  When you consider your personal needs for well-being and carve out a plan to put yourself first, you wind up having more to give and share with those around you.

Why Self-Care is Important

        Self-care at any age is important but especially for women over fifty.  While we each have our own journeys, at this point in our lives most of us are facing significant changes in at least one area – careers, relationships, parenting, finances or health.  Change is not synonymous with challenge but for many of us even a good change can create stress, while the negative changes makes it harder to get up every morning with joy on our minds. 

Woman in Yoga Pose

       In the midst of all this change, self-care, when done thoughtfully, intentionally and consistently can make a tremendous difference in our physical, mental, and emotional health..Self-care is so important because of that familiar adage “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” If your gas tank is running on empty, you can’t possibly give what little energy and focus you have to anyone or anything else.

When you’re well-rested, you have more energy to be productive at work. When you’re less stressed, you have more flexibility and mental freedom to come up with new, creative ideas.   Self-care is not selfish. It’s taking responsibility for putting your health and wellness as a priority in your life.  Isn’t it about time for you?

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