Why is self-care important? Because without any of it, you’re headed for burnout — or worse!
Why is self-care important? Well, for starters, let’s face it: if you don’t prioritize taking care of yourself, it’s unlikely anyone else will.
That’s not necessarily because friends, family, and employers don’t care about your mental wellness. At a certain age, we’re expected to know what we can and can’t do to keep ourselves healthy.
If you’re constantly accepting overtime, not taking vacations or mental health days, and never saying “no,” then everyone may simply think you’re more than capable.
But if you’re asking why self-care is important, something is nagging at you. You may not be quite as good at handling everything that you agree to like everyone — including you — thinks.
So, why is self-care important? Here’s the bottom line: self-care routines have “been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy, and more.”
And taking a “me-day” every once in a while is a vital part of a self-care routine. Sounds pretty good, right?
Before you hit terminal burnout and pop off, it might be time to plan a self-care day.
Here are a few tips to help you do it!
1. Be mindful
When planning a mental health day, the focus should be to live in the moment. Even if you’re doing everyday tasks like washing the dishes or doing laundry, be present. Those little things aren’t all that difficult, but they are sort of mindless tasks that give your brain time to stress out.
Instead, try listening to a podcast that relaxes you and can root you in the moment. Maybe put on some relaxing music and pay attention to sensory things like the feel of the water or the dishes' smoothness. If your sink is near a window, gaze out and take in the sights.
Be curious about what’s going on around you while you’re doing your mundane tasks. But above all, be in the moment — not dreading some future bull****ery that hasn’t even happened yet and only has a small chance of occurring.
2. Meditate or show off your yoga moves
This really should be at the top of the list and something to kick things off. Meditation in the morning can help root you in the present throughout the day.
You may even find that meditation is something you carry with you and do just about anywhere, every day. If you're not great at clearing your mind, there are excellent guided meditations you can do.
Just search ‘em out on YouTube or read this!
While yoga isn’t exactly the same thing as meditation, it's often considered a kind of moving meditation. It clears your mind and forces you to focus on the movements and how they make your body feel. It’s a great way to activate your body and your mind.
3. Start a gratitude journal
No matter how stressful days get, the number of WTF moments, or how hard the Scaries hit, there’s always something to be grateful for. That’s one reason why gratitude journals are so effective.
A journal is something you can start on your mental health day and then work on every single day after it.
Take time to create one. Make it pretty and functional. Make it something that instantly relaxes you when you open it up. Include your favorite quotes, insights about gratitude, and even your answer to why self-care is important to you.
4. Why is self-care important and how to do it, tip 4: mute the phone
Better yet, turn the damn thing off. Have you noticed how tense you sometimes get looking through social media? There are tons of pitfalls there.
We compare ourselves to others, absorb all the political acrimony, and love memes but don’t think of how they’re reinforcing the brain's cheap-reward centers. Bottom line: social media has its pluses, but it can also be a real ****show.
While it’s good for burning a bit of time on the toilet, it shouldn’t be something you consume in large quantities. And smartphones dominate our thoughts so much that they’re reducing attention spans.
So, take a break to truly get mindful on a self-care day.
5. Spend time with nature and nurture yourself
If you’re able to get out into nature, do it! There are so many health benefits to being in the great outdoors. You'll immediately start to feel at peace, and as your mind wanders, you may notice how you feel deeply connected to everything there.
It’s because we are! We’re of the Earth — not offices, computers, and fluorescent lights.
If you’re unable to get some nature-time, at least consider getting yourself a houseplant or five. Take some time to pot them, read up on their needs, and start tending ‘em.
While it’s not the same as being out in nature, keeping plants around has similar benefits. It also helps you focus on something else other than the Scaries that bombard your life.
6. Create a plan for each day
Be honest with yourself. How many self-care things can you do each and every day? A mental-health day shouldn’t be once a year — it should happen whenever you need it. But you can’t take them every time you feel stressed out.
This is why increasing your daily self-care and having a plan to do it is what has lasting benefits.
At some point, sit down and structure your time. Find some alone time each day where you can turn off your phone and do the things that bring you sanity. Even if it’s just 30 minutes a day of meditation, yoga, or caring for those plants, it’s way better than nothing.
Maybe you'll meditate in the morning and then decompress without your phone right after work. The choice is yours. Make it a good — and consistent — one!
7. Try fighting the Sunday scaries with some Sunday Scaries
To really maximize a self-care day, we suggest popping a few CBD gummies. Nothing says relaxation like kicking the Scaries to the curb so you can focus on wellness. A little CBD can go a long way toward quieting your mind and loosening it up, so you can get mindful and focus on caring for yourself.
Say “whatever” to all those nagging thoughts and chill with some delicious gummies to get the most of that mental-health day — or any day!