Though the term sounds incredibly simple, many are confused on the actual definition of self-care. The truth of the matter is, self-care encompasses an uncomplicated yet multi-faceted meaning. In the simplest of terms, it is care provided by you, for you.

For a lot of us, the first thing that comes to mind is sitting in the fancy massaging chairs at the salon while someone performs a much needed and overdue pedicure. But let’s think outside the box here for a bit and discover what all “self-care” really entails.

Benefits of Self-Care

Quality of life as a whole is affected by balancing output and input. If your output is greater than your input, you probably aren’t functioning at full capacity. It’s similar to only putting enough gas in the car to get through the task at hand.

When you practice self-care, your tank remains equipped to fulfill that which you are demanding each day. When balance is achieved, the benefits of self-care include:

  • Mental Clarity – Your brain needs pampering to function properly. It requires nourishment, rest and stimulation to keep the firing on all cylinders.
  • Healthier Immune System – When you are taking care of your body, your immune system gets a great boost of goodness to keep fighting. Much like your brain, your immune system requires proper nutrients, but also rest and rejuvenation to fight off the nasty cold and flu season.
  • Increased Physical Endurance – Have you ever heard the saying “A body in motion stays in motion”? It’s pretty simple really. Proper maintenance is key for anything to go further and last longer.
  • Improved Self-Esteem – When we feel good, we feel good. Creating time specifically devoted to self-care provides the perfect avenue to steer clear of negative self-talk and beating ourselves up. Instead, we are moving in the direction of better health, which boosts confidence and self-esteem.
  • More of You to Give – Being well-versed in self-care might seem a bit selfish, but it’s the complete opposite. Self-care replenishes our resources to be able to give. You can’t give away what you don’t have, right?

Where Do I Start?

Understanding the why of self-care is only the beginning. Hopefully, this knowledge will be enough to inspire you to actively incorporate some self-care into your life. Take some time for personal evaluation and remember, this is about you!

First up, ask yourself some questions:

1. What makes me happy?
2. What do I enjoy doing?
3. When do I feel my best?

Get to know yourself. Self-discovery is part of the whole process. If you’ve always wanted to try ballroom dancing classes but have never given it a chance, go for it. You’ll cover psychological, spiritual, physical and social self-care activities by learning the fox trot!

Based on your answers you’ll find the right direction for your self-care routine. No two people are the same and each person’s self-care rituals are going to be a little different than the next. And that’s okay.

Self-care isn’t about anyone else; it’s about you and restoring your mind, body, and spirit. It’s about carving out time to rejuvenate our lives and live a more purposeful and meaningful existence. It’s about you take care of you!