One of the biggest trends that I’ve seen over 2020 is self-care. Pinterest is filled with self-care tips but WHY is self-care so important for mental health?
We’re getting ahead here. Let’s start with the basics.
What is self-care?
Self-care is taking care of your body and mind. Taking care of ourselves by doing tasks or not doing something deliberately to better our minds and body. Giving yourself the time, energy and space that you also give others.
People sometimes view self-care as selfish, but it’s not! The time you take to self-care SHOULD be all about you, and that’s not a bad thing.
How I got into self-care
I’ll be honest, I heard the term “self-care” being used and never really took the time to research and understand it until six months ago. (where my life changed basically)
I was starting my blog and I researched topics that I could write about. Self-care was one of the most popular topics at the time but the downfall was, I had no idea what it actually meant.
I would wear a face-mask and assume that was my “self-care routine” and wonder why my anxiety wasn’t magically cured weird right? I quickly realised it was going to take more than a face mask to sort my head out.
So, I researched a lot and I found this idea on Pinterest that I should write out all my good and bad habits. I spent about half an hour writing everything I loved and disliked about my life and myself. I then circled the things I had the power of changing. (This is an important one, if you can’t change something, don’t linger on it, work on the things you can change)
A few things on my list were:
- Drinking too much
- My low confidence
- Anxiety taking over my life
- Allowing other people’s opinion stop me from doing things
I circled all four of those things because I had the power to change every single one of them.
I won’t go into much detail on how I worked on those four things – let me know if you would like me to make a separate post.
Reasons why Self-care is so important for mental health
I have listed four reasons below why self-care is so important for your mental health.
The first reason alone should be enough to get you motivated and started.
Self-care allows you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself
We spend so much time fussing over romantic relationships and friendships and we miss out the most important person. ME! (or if you’re reading this, you)
Building a relationship with yourself, understanding what you like, what you dislike, what works for you and what doesn’t is so important.
I’ve noticed a huge change in my personality and the way I am with others due to self-care. I look after myself and it radiates with other people. Self-care allows you to the best possible version of yourself and that’s why this is the number one reason why self-care is so important for mental health, because it allows you to be the best you possibly can be.
It allows you to build healthy relationships
As I touched on previously, looking after yourself first will allow you to build healthier and happier relationships.
Since I started to properly self-care, I have built a lot of personal and professional relationships because I am in a better headspace to deal with everything that comes with it. (conflict, confrontation, disagreements) and I believe that I am able to maintain these relationships regardless of the above because I am more equipped to handle it, mentally.
Self-care allows you to follow your dreams
Now let me explain this one. When I started to self-care, I had more clarity, motivation and drive. I believe in myself. Therefore, allowing myself to go after my dreams because I believe I can genuinely succeed.
Looking after yourself, and learning about yourself can really provide clarity in your life.
When Lyle and I decided we were going to go travelling, I knew that I wanted a break from finance jobs, I’ve been doing it from the minute I left school. (I know that 7 years isn’t that long in the same line of work, but it’s all I’ve ever known and want to do something different)
SO, fast forward to now. I am going to become a full-time blogger. I have pushed it aside for years due to confidence, timing and just a whole load of excuses, BUT since I started to take self-care seriously, I know exactly what I want to do and that I will do it.
No matter how big a dream may seem, go for it! You have to start somewhere so why not start now?
Self-care allows your confidence to grow and you then become your true self.
I was GOBSMACKED when I looked back at pictures of myself from a few months ago. I remember being so obsessed with fitting in and looking like everyone else.
I would wear the heaviest make-up, full eyes, lashes, heavy contour all because I thought it would look better. THEN hide it all with a terrible filter because I couldn’t take a picture without one. Now, I use a filter if I feel like it, but I try to use my natural camera as much as I can.
I’ve included two pictures below to show the difference.
I cannot stress enough how much self-care has helped me find the confidence to love myself and become the person I want to be.
Another example would be, this time last year, I was in a job that I really didn’t enjoy with people that made the job even more unbearable, BUT I fully believe that I would have left sooner if I was into self-care because that place didn’t provide happiness in my life and I should have realised a lot quicker that removing that toxic energy from my life, would then allow me to be happy (in my work life)
Take control back of your life, know what you want and go for it.
I’ve listed twenty self-care ideas that you can do to get started!
- Get into a sleep routine
- Learn to say no
- Work on your gratitude (every day if you can)
- Be inspired, create a list of all your hopes and dreams
- Drink more water
- Do a self-care workbook
- Cut out caffeine, try tea
- Go for a walk
- Practice breathing techniques
- Listen to self-care podcasts
- Treat yourself
- Exercise more
- Plan to socialise
- Create savings goals
- Learn a new hobby
- Join support groups and reach out to like-minded people
- Look after your hair, use hair care products
- Cook! Make your favourite meal
- Buy yourself flowers
I could list a million self-care ideas, but I think I will create a separate post for them!
After reading this blog post, the number one thing on your list is to do something off the self-care list. Start researching, create lists of things you want to do in your life and things you want to stop.
Taking control back and learning to love yourself is an amazing process and totally worth it.