Most of us have heard of self-care and its benefits.
If you haven’t, check out my previous post on the A to Z of Self-Care.
In essence, self-care is:
The actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness. (Source)
The categories of self-care include physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and professional.
There are some obvious and well-espoused benefits to practising self-care, including (but not limited to):
- improved mood
- reduced physical illness
- reduced anxiety
- improved relationships
But I believe there are also some unexpected benefits of taking care of ourselves.
When you make it clear to yourself and others that you dedicate time to looking after yourself, it shows that you respect yourself and your wellbeing. Also, part of self-care is establishing clear boundaries – saying “no” if you need to, separating work life and home life, removing toxic people from your environment, and so on. When you’re clear about these boundaries, the people in your life will start to recognise and respect these boundaries. No more taking work home to work late into the night, no more attending social events that you don’t want to attend, no more being pressured to do anything that you feel isn’t in your best interests. Sounds good, right?
When you spend time looking after ourselves, naturally it improves our mood. When our mood is better, we feel happier. And when we feel happier, we’re much more likely to feel energised and motivated, and thus our productivity increases. When your productivity increases, it’s a good feeling. No, our value as a person isn’t based on productivity, but when we feel invigorated and inspired to do more, to create more, to achieve more, it’s an undeniably positive feeling.
When other people in your life (your family, friends, colleagues) see you taking care of yourself and thriving because of it, chances are they’re going to want to get in on the action. Therefore, by engaging in self-care, you could inspire those around you to start taking care of themselves too, leading to them being in a better mood (and more pleasant to be around!). You’re an inspiration!
4. Happier pets
When we are feeling low, our pets notice. They show concern for us and try to make us feel better. So, on the flip side, when we are happier and more content, our pets notice! We all want what’s best for our pets, we want them to be happy, and one of the best ways we can do that is by providing them with a living environment that feels calm, relaxed, and content. How can we do that? By feeling that way ourselves. Most of us have had the experience of walking into a room and feeling a vibe, whether it’s good or bad, it’s just palpable. If you exude calmness and contentment, you will fill your space with those vibes, and as such, your pet will be able to enjoy those vibes too.
If you are interested in learning more about self-care, here are a few books you could take a look at (please note: these links are affiliate links – if you buy a product using these links I may receive a small commission from the seller at no extra cost to you. For further information, please click here):
- The Self-Care Project by Jayne Hardy
- 365 Days of Self-Care: A Journal by Jayne Hardy
- Take a Moment: Refocus, Recentre and Relax Wherever You Are (Wellbeing Guides)
Do you take part in self-care? What benefits have you noticed? Let me know in the comments.