5 reasons to take care of yourself and 7 easy ways to do it!

by Naïby Jacques

What’s going on?

You don’t take the time to treat yourself right. You feel overwhelmed by the daily tasks that are accumulating at work or at home, and you struggle to complete your projects. You don’t feel like your best self and you reject or ignore your basic needs, nd when you go through difficult times, you lock yourself in a bubble. But your situation is not improving. You are no more efficient or enthusiastic.

For many people, self-care may seem like an indulgence, a luxury or something selfish. And for others, it must be earned only after having made a sacrifice or completed a large-scale task. Unfortunately, these ideas come from our family education or our social environment. During the first twenty-five years of my life, I was completely unaware of what self-care really meant and why it’s so important.

I ignored and I refused this need, and I didn’t see how much I was hurting myself. I had to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease — now healed, thankfully! — and face many failures to force myself to take care of my needs. Despite this, this concept was still unclear. 

Today, I still haven’t achieved complete wisdom yet, believe me. It's always an uphill battle, especially since I became a mom. I tend to forget my own needs and cater to my adorable little monster first. But for some time now, I have been pondering the importance of taking of yourself and I’ve understood many things that should inspire you.

What is self-care?

It's crazy how we are inclined to do everything for our children. We tell them to eat and sleep well to ensure their proper development. We organize social, cultural or sports activities to stimulate them. We give them gifts or toys to please them. We try to calm them down when they become too restless... In short, we strive to be constantly listening to them and seeking their well-being. At the same time, we ensure that they evolve well and that they become balanced beings.

And that's normal. Any good parent — or any parent who tries to become one, anyway — loves their children. Every good parent is benevolent.

When we have had parents who took good care of us, gave us guidelines and structured us during our childhood, we generally become good parents for ourselves. And conversely, if our parents failed to teach us how to value ourselves and define our limits for our own good, we neglect ourselves.As an adult, it is up to you to take over for your parents. It is up to you to become accountable to yourself. And you are the only person who can meet your own needs.

At its very essence, it’s a matter of recognizing your needs, listening to them and responding to them.

Why Should You Take Care of Yourself? 

It's easy to neglect yourself when you’re too busy or worried. But that may turn against you. You’re preventing yourself from making progress or evolving, whatever the situation. By taking care of yourself, you restore your energy quickly. This happens for the following reasons:

1. You prevent burn outs

You avoid getting to the point where you feel you can’t take it anymore and where you want to abandon everything because you pushed yourself too much.

2. You reduce the negative effects of stress

A little stress can be good to motivate you to reach your goal, but after a while it hurts your mind and body. By taking care of yourself, you keep stress from taking over so you can function to the fullest of your ability. 

3. You help refocus yourself

The best way to pay attention to yourself is to take breaks. When you are stuck on something, let it go, walk away and go get some air, for example. You’ll come back more inspired or even creative.

4. You re-connect with yourself

When you focus, you push away the noise that stirs in your mind, you get to know yourself and develop your qualities. And you hear that little inner voice that can guide you.

5. You strengthen your self-esteem

Self-esteem includes self-confidence and self-love. You give yourself the space and the time to be able to act adequately and you respect your limits. And when you remain true to yourself, you tell yourself that you’re worthy of love and respect. 

Basically, taking care of yourself allows you to rest, to recharge and to nourish yourself physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.

7 Inexpensive Ways to Feel Good About Yourself

For a very long time, I thought that to self-care was associated with luxurious personal care, but this is completely false. You don’t have to go on a spending spree, like filling your wardrobe with designer clothes, spoiling yourself at a spa or going to Bali to lie down on a beach crystal-clear, turquoise water. These things are great, of course, but you can do simpler things: 

  1. Take the time to eat balanced, healthy meals or be physically active on a regular basis.
  2. Begin to recognize your accomplishments and mini-successes and celebrate with small rewards.
  3. Consciously choose to stop ruminating on the past and thinking of worries projected in the future.
  4. Agree not to always have the answers to everything right away.
  5. Stop overanalyzing until exhaustion and follow your intuition.  
  6. Write in a journal and remove layers of long-buried pain and grief to find inner peace.
  7. Create a peaceful little corner to relax in with a good book or a simple cup of tea.

It's Time to Take Care of Yourself

People think that taking time for oneself is quite an undertaking. But it’s essential to transform or correct an unfavorable situation.

Taking care of yourself isn’t a reward. It’s a process. When you become a morning person to give yourself enough time to write, read or practice yoga instead of rushing to the office by car, in the frustration of traffic jams, you’re taking care of yourself. When you accept your emotional wounds — sadness, anxiety, anger and your fears — rather than hiding them with temporary solutions, you’re taking care of yourself. When you say no to commitments that don’t respect your values ​​instead of saying yes to everything and running into additional responsibilities, you’re taking care of yourself.

Now you understand what you have to gain. By committing to yourself, you send yourself a message that says: "You are worth taking care of."

Make the times where you were too hard on yourself, obsessive and perfectionist history. Be pragmatic, live in the present moment and have the courage to dissolve your inner barriers. Recognize the feelings that require your attention and live a fulfilled life. 

You deserve it. What are you waiting for?

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Naïby Jacques
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Naïby Jacques

Passionate about holistic health, Naïby Jacques is on a mission to help people add more plant foods to their diet by giving clever life hacks with simple and mouthwatering recipes. Get her free e-cookbook 14 recettes crues, simples et satisfaisantes qui séduiront votre entourage (French only) on her blog De Bon Cru.

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