Life. It’s full of beauty, full of fascinating discoveries, full of surprises… and full of responsibilities.
Your education, your job, your bills, your family. Everything is jumping, screaming, and begging for your attention.
And more often than not, those things get your attention first—before yourself.
In the end, your life always revolves around other people and other things.
You judge your self-worth by your job title, your intelligence by your college degree, your physical beauty by your weight, and your social status by how well you fit in with others.
None of that focuses on prioritizing you. Your wants, your needs, your values, your happiness.
Can you even remember the last time you did something just because it made you happy? The last time you switched off and spent time with the people and things that matter to you?
If you can’t, perhaps it’s time to set yourself as a priority in meaningful, everyday ways.
But, is self-care really that important?
Why Self-Care Is Vital
When you treat yourself as a priority and practice self-care you learn to show love for yourself. Loving yourself is by no means a cliche. Nor does it mean that you’re self-centered or selfish. It simply means you’re showing yourself the compassion you’ve perhaps only shown to others.
The amazing thing about prioritizing self-care is that it actually helps you with external associations. Your relationships with other people, the way you view unexpected situations, how you care for responsibilities, and much more.
Why is that?
Because by learning to extend care and love for yourself, you’ll start nourishing your self-worth, fortifying your strengths, and building your resilience. You’ll cease the negative self-talk and leave the harmful coping behavior for your negative feelings behind. And you’ll quit overthinking every situation and stop making a mountain out of a molehill.
In fact, you actually open yourself up to becoming more capable of showing compassion to others by being compassionate with yourself. Yes, the quality of your care for others depends on how well you care for yourself.
The simple truth, then, is that self-care isn’t a luxury, it’s essential.
Instead of it being just one more thing you “have” to do, you should actually make it a regular, refreshing part of your daily life—a lifestyle.
How You Can Make Self-Care a Lifestyle
Begin with your mindset. You have to be committed to making yourself a priority, to value yourself. That means asking yourself in every situation: How does this serve my well-being?
Consider a few aspects of a self-care lifestyle:
This involves taking care of your body—internally and externally. It means getting plenty of rest/sleep, regular exercise, and healthy meals.
How it aids your well-being: It helps you optimize your energy levels, giving your more strength and vitality to do things for yourself and your loved ones.
This encompasses expanding your horizon. Instead of staying in your comfort zone, challenge yourself to try new activities that stimulate you mentally. Envelop yourself in extended studies, start a new hobby, join a club, etc.
How it aids your well-being: It helps you shake off mental cobwebs, expands your knowledge and intellect, and renews your enthusiasm and zest for life.
This includes processing and communicating your emotions, sharing them with trusted friends, family members, or perhaps a therapist. It means effectively dealing with stressful situations and releasing negative feelings in a constructive way. And it also calls for setting clear boundaries.
How it aids your well-being: Keeping yourself emotionally balanced and healthy helps you to cope with painful experiences and minimize unnecessary suffering.
This means taking the time to nurture your relationships with others. It should include spending time with those who are supportive and uplift you and minimizing time with those who don’t. It also involves continuously creating new and expanding existing friendships and connections.
How it aids your well-being: It helps you avoid the negative impact of isolation and provides you with a reliable support network for tough times. Besides, hanging out with good friends, laughing, and having fun is an all-around happiness booster.
As you can see, making self-care a lifestyle will help you enhance your overall feeling of well-being. Why not take a few moments and consider what you value most and what makes you truly happy and then incorporate these things into your everyday life. At the end of each day, ask yourself if you upheld your core values and what you have done for yourself that day.
You don’t have to make drastic and monumental changes right off. Start slow. Take small but consistent steps to make yourself a priority. In turn, by learning to take care of your needs and to love yourself daily and consistently, you’ll increase positive energy you can then share with the world.