Why Taking Time for Yourself is Essential to Mental and Physical Well-Being and Health
We’ve all heard of the term ‘self-care’, but what does it really truly mean? Self-care means dedicating time to you - and only you - in any way that you feel helps you relax on a mental and physical level. On a daily basis, we are confronted with stressors that can accumulate throughout the day, hardly leaving us with time to think outside of what we have to get done. In all of that, we aren’t necessarily doing things for ourselves or putting our needs first; we are doing things for our jobs, our kids, our partners, and operating in a ‘survival’ mode state.
What does this pattern do over time? It leads to burnout. Burnout has so many dangerous and adverse effects such as depression, anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, irritability, and unhappiness. Are you really going to be the best you if you are feeling all of these emotions because life has handed you responsibility after responsibility, with little consideration for your personal time?
Let’s take a look into why self-care is so important and we’ll provide you some actionable strategies that you can implement right away.
The roadrunner life is not sustainable and it’s easy to put your needs on the back burner. But in doing so, you are not giving yourself the time you deserve to relax, reset, and rejuvenate. Self-care sounds indulgent, but it really doesn't have to be. The practice is fundamental to emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental well-being and is something everybody should be setting time aside to do.
Why is ‘you time’ so important?
● It promotes a positive relationship with yourself (boosts self-esteem and confidence). It is a reminder that you are important and so is your mental well-being.
● It creates a healthy work-life balance. With overworking comes exhaustion and that will develop into a less productive, less happy you. Habits such as implementing professional boundaries when it comes to your job (taking adequate breaks throughout the day, exercising on your lunch break, and not overextending your services), can aid in continued care for yourself.
● Self-care helps you manage stress better. When you take time to breathe, let go, relax, and meditate (even for short periods of time), you are much less likely to lash out, be negative, experience bad moods, or be irritable with yourself and with others.
Taking Care of Yourself is YOUR Responsibility
Only you understand how you feel and if you don’t advocate for yourself, who will? You must set time aside for yourself and only you if you want to be the best version of yourself. Some self-care tips that can be part of daily ‘you time’ include:
- Putting your phone away for 30 minutes to meditate (experience the benefits of mindfulness and this will become something you truly look forward to)
- Exercising (yoga, cardio, weight-lifting: whatever helps you disconnect with the outside world so you can reconnect with yourself)
- Write in a journal
- Take a warm bath
- Read a good book
- Controlled breathing - when you regulate your breathing, you are lowering your heart rate, lowering your blood pressure, reducing stress levels throughout the body, and reducing tension
- Prioritize sleep and eat healthily!
There is no One-Size-Fits-All Approach
When it comes to putting time aside for your well-being, there is no generic, standardized approach - do what works for you. What works for one person, may not be the same thing that works for you. The fact is, we have a lot of societal and family pressure on ourselves; there is a lot that is expected of us as human beings, and this can no doubt be overwhelming and invoke negative emotions. If you let those bottle up, they are bound to explode. But when you are able to release your tension or stress through mindfulness and indulging in 30 minutes per day of reading, journaling, or whatever self-care means to you, you feel less inundated when life becomes hectic.
Check out our articles on ‘Well Being’ and gain insight into EPOCH’s approach to contentment. We always manage to put time aside, even in the midst of chaos, because we understand how crucial a clear and steady mind is to overall well-being. When you continue to push yourself without any regard to how your body and mind feel, you are not taking care of yourself. We underestimate how much stress our minds and bodies can handle, but that is not always a good thing. By taking the time to focus on clarity of the mind, you are giving yourself the quality time it rightfully deserves.