As human beings, we naturally want to take care of the people around us. It is important to look after our kids, significant others, family members and pets. We do this because we love one another and we want what’s best for their quality of life, however, we often neglect ourselves in the process.
Self-care is important for our physical health as well as our mental state, in fact taking time to care for yourself will have an overall benefit for you and your loved ones. Without self-care, your relationships with others can suffer and in turn, will lead to more suffering for you personally, nobody’s got time for that.
Some people think that self-care is selfish or inconsiderate but that’s just not true. We know now that making time for yourself actually makes you more productive and better able to care for others. By taking the time to give to yourself more you can build a better relationship with yourself, therefore, increasing your confidence and self-esteem.
The benefits of making time for yourself are endless but I thought I’d list the 4 benefits I resonate with the most. Once you start making time to take care of you, you may start to notice these positive changes.
Slowing down is a great way to take time for yourself, it can look like having a cup of coffee, reading a chapter of a book or simply taking 10 minutes out of your day to meditate. These kinds of things bring us back into the present moment and it helps us to re-focus on the important things.
The more you are willing to take care of yourself, the better you are going to feel. When we take a step back and make a bit of time for ourselves we can truly appreciate who we are and this will develop a much healthier relationship to self.
When you practice self-care you will produce positive feelings and that helps to boost your confidence and self-esteem too. Many self-care practices that you decide to try will make you feel good.
Whether you choose to take a long walk in nature, take a swim in the ocean, practice mindfulness or simply allowing yourself to indulge in that cheeky afternoon nap, you’ll feel good afterwards.
By being more productive, compassionate and positive you will have more to offer the world and the people around you. When we feel good inside we can do good to others, it really is that simple. Just as the old saying goes, you can’t fill someone else’s cup if yours is empty.
When I catch myself not “doing the work” I like to find a few good quotes and read them aloud. This usually gives me a boost of inspiration and I am reminded again of how important it is to take care of yourself.
1. When you take care of yourself, you’re a better person for others. When you feel good about yourself, you treat others better.
– Solange Knowles
This quote from Solange Knowles once again reminds us that you simply can’t help others without helping yourself first. Fill your own cup before you end up on empty.
2. Solitude is where I place my chaos to rest and awaken my inner peace.
– Nikki Rowe
Being in solitude is a fantastic way to recharge yourself. Not many people can truly be alone with themselves. I suggest making a bit of time where you are spending it with only yourself, meditation is a great place to start. When we can find peace in our own company you are on the right track.
3. Take care of yourself, you never know when the world will need you.
– Hillel The Elder
Another quote that reinforces the idea of not being available or able to help others when you haven’t taken care of yourself first. By practicing regular self-care you will always be ready for what life has coming your way.
4. Self-care is never a selfish act, it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.
– Parker Palmer
Self-care is never a selfish act and I beg you to keep reminding yourself of that. The most powerful part of this quote by Parker Palmer is the first sentence. At the end of the day taking care of yourself is the most generous thing we can do for the people in our lives.
5. Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.
– Tia Walker
Affirmations have taught me that I can direct my mind into a more positive space. By saying affirmations to myself throughout the day I can keep my mind from getting spun into negativity. We are constantly affirming in our minds, most of it is unconscious and can easily be influenced by the outside world. When we deliberately and consciously affirm we take back some control.
6. Caring for your body, mind and spirit is your greatest and grandest responsibility. It’s about listening to the needs of your soul and then honouring them.
– Kristi Ling
Keeping a balance in the pursuit of self-care can often be tricky. It’s hard to know what you need because everyone is unique, we all have practices that work for us but might not work for the next person. Keep experimenting and trying out different practices or rituals, you will find what works for you with enough experimentation.
7. Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.
– Deborah Day
Find the things in life that you enjoy, the things that make you want to get up in the morning and do them. Do things that you love and watch the magic happen.
8. How we care for ourselves gives our brain messages that shape our self-worth so we must care for ourselves in every way, every day.
– Sam Owen
Are you caring for yourself in a way that tells your brain you are worth something? We are the most important person in our lives, it’s important that you keep reminding yourself of this truth. Treat yourself with love, compassion and kindness at all times.
10. When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.
– Kim McMillen
If it doesn’t serve you, if it takes away from your life, if it makes you unhappy or brings chaos then you need to consider letting it go. It sounds simple but it is one of the hardest things to do. Change is never easy, you just have to ask yourself if you are worth it.
11. I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.
– Brene Brown
Brene Brown has some of the most powerful insights on the topic of self-care. She is such a fantastic example of someone who has owned their story, accepted what is and become brave because of it. We all have the ability to be brave, to own our own stories and learn to love ourselves unconditionally.
12. To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
– Thick Nhat Hanh
Be yourself, everybody else is taken. There is a freedom that comes from being yourself, fully comfortable in your own skin and not allowing what other people think to influence your decisions. Being yourself is the most powerful act of self-care I can think of.
13. Take time off… The world will not fall apart without you.
– Malebo Sephodi
I feel like this sometimes, like if I’m not moving forward things will fall apart. What I’ve learnt is that if I don’t stop moving forward once in a while, I fall apart. Make that me time, find that me time and use it to nourish and recharge.
14. Self-care is taking all the pressures you are facing right now, and deciding to which you will respond, and how.
– Imani Shola
Taking a step back from all our troubles, tasks and obligations to think about how we will deal with them instead of responding automatically. This is a great mindfulness practice, to be able to look at a problem as an outsider so that we can make decisions in a calmer way.
15. Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
– Howard Washington Thurman
Finally, the most important question! What makes you jump for joy, what makes you excited, what lights your internal fires? What is the thing that makes you feel alive? We need more people in the world that are alive, loving themselves and others equally. So get out there and for goodness sake, please take care of yourself.