It’s easy to neglect taking care of yourself because when you're busy and overwhelmed, even a small reprieve feels like a luxury. Actually taking time to eat lunch, exercise, and hang out with friends? That just feels like slacking.
This mindset backfires and isn't sustainable. Self-care actually helps you make progress faster for a few reasons:
Self-care prevents “overload burnout.” We’ve all been there. You push yourself to the point that you can’t take anymore so you just give up. Self-care helps you avoid getting to that point.
Self-care reduces the negative effects of stress. A small amount of stress can serve a purpose, but after awhile, it just breaks down your mind and body. Taking care of yourself means keeping your stress from taking over so you can function at full capacity.
Self-care helps you refocus. When stuck on a complicated problem or project, a good recommendation is to walk away and come back to it after a few minutes—taking a break, literally. Breaks are the epitome of self-care, and studies show they’re great for helping you perform better.
Self-care is part of the process of living. Just like eating, sleeping and exercise are good for your well-being, finding and implementing your own self-care routine is integral to reaching your life goals and thriving as you attain those milestones.
Remember that self-care is a priority and necessity to care for your body and mind daily, not only when you may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed or ill. When you are feeling these emotions and feeling unwell, these are often signs that you may need to slow down and take greater care for yourself.
Practicing self-care can also be easy and fun. If you're unsure how to practice self-care, take some time to think about what makes you happy and allow your body and mind to relax. Find what works for you and try to practice your self-care as often as you can.