Self - Care IS NOT selfish.
Hello Parents and Nannies! Let's talk about something that most of us don't incorporate into our lives... Are you ready?
Taking time for yourself is a lot easier said than done. We know the struggle! We get caught up working, raising a family, and hustling, that we tend to forget about caring for ourselves. It's hard to sit and relax when your mind wonders to those 100 emails you have to tend to, projects that you need to complete or activities you need to find/sign up for the kids.
Not only is it important to take care of ourselves through self-care, but it is teaching children to practice self-care as well. We, parents and nannies, are role models to the younger generation. Children absorb so much knowledge through observing their role models. When they see us practice self-care, it will encourage them to practice as well.
What is self-care?
Self-care is taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy in regards to mentally, emotionally and physically. Self-care is important so that you can do your job effectively, you can help and care for others and so that you can accomplish the things you want and need for the day. Our body, mind and spirit need to unplug and recharge to be able to function positively and effectively.
The World Health Organization defines self-care as: “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
There is so much happening in the world. It is very easy to become overwhelmed and stressed. Kelsey Patel, a Los Angeles-based wellness expert, says, "People are feeling lonelier and less able to unwind and slow down, which makes them feel more anxious and overwhelmed by even the simplest tasks." Self-care is part of the answer when it comes to coping with the daily stressors in our lives. This is not only coping, but managing those stressors through daily self-care.
We need to take care of ourselves and do things that feels nourishing. In some cases it means doing something relaxing and calming. It can also mean doing something that is intellectual, spiritual, physical, practical, or something that you need to get done. Self-care is also a form of educating yourself on your health. Better understanding you and checking-in on yourself so you know what you want or need.
Self-care is different for everyone. It can also differ from day to day. One day self-care may mean reading a good book. Another day it is running or exercising. No matter what form or day, self-care is important so that you can put your best foot forward throughout each day.
Only 30% of Americans set time aside for self-care.
Single people practice self-care better than people who are married or in a relationship.
- 42% of singles take time for self-care and themselves.
- Only 30% of those in a relationship take time for themselves.
Men practice more self-care than women.
- 49% of men consistently take time to practice self-care.
- 32% of women can say the same.
47% of Americans prefer at-home ritual and spas as a form of self-care. While 41% prefer visiting the spa to get treatments.
33% of people opt to exercise outside and 31% prefer working out at the gym.
Americans, on average, practice 65 minutes of self-care per week.
65% of people believe that self-care can boost their confidence.
Parents are more likely to feel guilty about self-care.
- 39% of parents feel guilty about taking some "me-time". The common thought of guilt of taking time for self-care is time they could have spent doing household duties or spending time with their children. We all deserve a little "me-time" - especially parents.
More people think that self-care is taking care of their physical health than mental.
67% of Americans admitted that they take care of others more than themselves.
59% of people will only engage in self-care when they are stressed.
67% of individuals reported that they felt more productive after practicing self-care.
71% say that they have been much happier after taking time for themselves.
Types Of Self-Care
There are numerous types of self-care out there. Self-care is anything that makes YOU happy and cared for.
There are three different categories of self-care:
Emotional. Self-talk, bubble baths, saying "no" to duties or things that cause unnecessary stress, pausing to take time for yourself, setting up a time each week to talk to a friend.
Physical. Prioritizing your sleep, adopting a routine for exercise, choosing healthy and nutritional foods.
Spiritual. Attending religious services, meditating, spending time in nature, writing in a gratitude journal, and incorporating random acts of kindness throughout each day.
There are two additional categories of self-care:
Temporary. This is self-care that last for a moment or day. Examples: having dinner with friends, receiving a spa treatment or anything that is only done for one day.
Enduring. This self-care has more of a permanent effect. Examples: practicing mindfulness regularly or exercise.
Benefits of Self-Care
It has become well known that self-care contains amazing benefits. Some of the practices of self-care can be linked to longevity and numerous positive health outcomes.
Activities that support mental and physical health are: exercise, yoga, healthy eating and mindfulness. Paying attention to our well-being means asking ourselves big questions and then finding avenues to get there. Such as, "What makes me happy?", "What satisfies me?", or "How can I relax/de-stress?"
A list of Benefits:
Score higher when it comes to measures of mental and physical functioning.
More in tune with your own emotions.
Easier to identify when we are feeling anxious or unbalanced.
Being self-aware. Which helps us perform better in our jobs, enables us to be more mindful, and helps combat burnout.
Reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression.
Minimize frustration and anger.
And SO MUCH MORE!
Next Steps - Getting Started
Let's get started on this journey of self-care!
What activities bring you joy? Replenish your energy? Or restore your balance?
Within the week, think of one behavior to incorporate into your routine.
With that one behavior/activity, start to build it to where it is now incorporated into your daily routine.
Reflect on how you are feeling.
Then add additional practices when you are ready.
Get support! You can share your practices with family, friends, loved ones, coaches, licensed professional, or healthcare plan.
Need some help figuring out some self-care ideas to ease you into the journey? Here are some ideas for you:
Journal. Get a specific journal just for you.
Start your days with breathing exercises and setting your intentions for the day.
Reflect on what you are grateful for at the end of the day.
Pick a bedtime and stick with it.
Call a close friend to talk.
Take up a relaxing hobby that you enjoy.
Put your phone aside for 30 minutes to allow you to have some peace and release yourself from constant notifications.
The bottom line is that self-care is an investment in you and your well-being. Self-care is a choice and only you can invest in yourself. It is not selfish. It is nourishing yourself so that you can live a happy, meaningful and healthy life. Also, so that you can be mentally and emotionally prepared to handle stressors when they do come. Engaging in self-care activities, means you are giving yourself permission to take care of yourself.
You are not alone! We are all practicing and working on incorporating self-care into our lives!
Thank you for reading! Have a great day!
Let's work together and raise the standard!
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