How important is self-care?

selfcareYou are important. Did you know that?

Many of us live in a fast-paced environment where we are forced to balance work, friends, family, our health, and even the pressures of social media. Stress is easy to take on and difficult to overcome. Some of us might commute long distances to our jobs and spend too much time in traffic. Maybe you have a difficult family situation or are raising a child by yourself. Perhaps you haven’t been able to feel comfortable paying your bills in years, scraping just enough to get by every month. Whatever your situation is, everyday activities can take a toll on our physical and mental health. Taking time out of your day, week, or even month to reflect on your well-being is a great way to refresh your spirit and allow yourself to rest and recover.

What is self care?

Self-care can be whatever you want it to be. It is the practice of taking time to yourself to do something that makes you feel relaxed and happy. It can be drawing a warm bubble bath at the end of a long day or fitting in a gym session after you haven’t had the time to work out for a while. It could be buying yourself a new outfit or taking a yoga class. If self-care can be anything, is there anything it can’t be?

According to psychologist Raphailia Michael, “It is not something that we force ourselves to do, or something we don’t enjoy doing. Self-care isn’t a selfish act either. It is not only about considering our needs; it is rather about knowing what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves, being subsequently, able to take care of others as well. That is, if I don’t take enough care of myself, I won’t be in the place to give to my loved ones either.”1

If you need ideas, here are 4 things you should focus on when selecting a self-care activity:

1. Choose your social group.

Do you want to invite people to your self-care activity? Some people may want to relax with their friends, while others rather be alone. Carefully consider who (if at all) you want to participate with you. Do your friends like to gossip or create social stress? If they do, you may want some alone time

2. Choose your space.

Is a loud coffee shop the best place to start your new book? Or would you prefer to snuggle up on a cozy chair, or outside at a nice park? Your environment in which you participate in your self-care activity is arguably the most important aspect of what you decide to do.

3. Keep out judgment.

If you aren’t used to forcing yourself to relax, you might get caught up in worrying if you are relaxing the “right way”. Observe your judgmental thoughts, but don’t entertain them. It takes a while for the brain to wind down and it might take practice to fully embrace the concept of taking time out of the day just for yourself.

4. Give it your all.

Don’t hold back! If you are staying at home to cook yourself your favorite meal, light a few candles for the table and turn on some calming music to improve the experience. Splurge on the little things that make your time as enjoyable as possible.

However you decide to practice self-care, know that you deserve to take time to yourself and don’t feel guilty for doing so. You are worth every minute of it.

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This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.


  1. Michael R. What Self-Care Is – and What It Isn’t. Psych Central Updated July 8, 2018. Accessed August 29, 2019.

  2. Why is Self-Care Important? September 5, 2019By Courtney Jackson, MPH, CN