The Importance of Regular Self-care
By: Jessa N. Bame MSW, LSW, SUDP
Self-care is like good dental hygiene. You wouldn’t wait until you have cavities to brush your teeth. So why should you wait until you’re in crisis to practice self-care? The answer is you shouldn’t.
Regular self-care is an important part of your physical and mental health. By setting aside time to do something that takes you to a more positive state you are contributing to your overall health.
Contrary to popular belief, self-care can be quick, inexpensive, and easy to do. The trick is to DO IT! Become a self-care master in just three simple steps:
Step 1: Think of things that bring you joy, rejuvenate you, or positively impact your mental state.
While self-care activities are often associated with females, self-care is for everyone and can be anything. Choosing a self-care activity is simpler than you think. Have you ever said to yourself, “I miss doing…” or “I wish I still did…”? That “thing” you wish you still did is a perfect place to start. Self-care is unique to each person and each person can have several different self-care activities. For some it could be morning meditations and for others it might be volunteering. Self-care could even be deciding to stay home when you’re not feeling great. The key is to choose things that fill your cup not empty it.
Step 2: Incorporate the self-care activity into your routine.
Self-care generates the best results when it’s regularly practiced, so make it easy on yourself! Try setting reminders on your phone to trigger yourself to practice self-care or create a self-care box with your “go-to” self-care tools. Self-care can even be incorporated into things you do in your day-to-day life. For example, during your commute you can listen to music or call a friend. You can even take 10-minute breaks throughout the day to read a chapter from your favorite book. These small moments you take for yourself pay dividends down the road.
Step 3: Reflect on your results.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that self-care is not about perfection. It is better to attempt a self-care activity and do it poorly than to do nothing at all. Reflect on the times you practiced self-care. How did you feel? Is your routine working or do you need to try something else?
Jessa N. Bame MSW, LSW, SUDP