Why is self-care so important?

In a world where work, friends and family take priority we can easily forget about our own health and wellbeing. Self-care is something we don’t practice very often but this doesn’t mean we should overlook its importance.

Self-care is much more than just pampering ourselves, it involves making decisions that will benefit our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. There’s a common misconception that thinking of ourselves means we are being selfish. But this isn’t the case, looking after ourselves puts us in a better position to look after other people. It can make us happier parents and more productive work colleagues. Practicing regular self-care can also help to improve our mood, reduce stress and feel more organised.

Here are some suggestions on what you can do to take better care of yourself:

Set aside some ‘me time’

This could be for an hour or two each day it could include watching your favourite film or TV series, doing some reading or practicing a hobby.

Keep up with health appointments

Many of us are guilty of avoiding a visit to the dentist, GP or optician. We might feel as if we don’t have the time, or we don’t want to bother them, but it’s essential to keep on top of health appointments and this is especially important if you have a health condition. Think of it like a car getting an MOT, it’s perfectly fine to go for a check-up every now and then and it can help us keep on top of our health.

Stretch

Stretching isn’t just for athletes before they run a marathon. Doing daily stretching exercises can have many positive health benefits including improving posture, flexibility and circulation. Stretching also releases endorphins helping us to feel good. You could try stretching first thing in the morning or in the afternoon if you start to lose focus.

Learn to say ‘no’

This is something that many people might find difficult, but it doesn’t have to be to everything. Accepting invitations from friends can help us feel less isolated. The key is to recognise when you begin to feel overwhelmed.

Keep your brain active

Whilst there’s conflicting evidence as to whether brain training games actually improve memory or attention, there is research to suggest that keeping your brain active can prevent the risk of cognitive disorders including dementia [1]. Puzzles, crosswords and sudoku are good ways to keep your brain active. You could also try reading before bed or learning a new skill.

 

You can discover more self-care suggestions when you join the Low Carb Program.

 

References:

[1]    Wilson, R.S., Boyle, P.A., Yu, L., Barnes, L.L., Schneider, J.A. and Bennett, D.A., 2013. Life-span cognitive activity, neuropathologic burden, and cognitive aging. Neurology81(4), pp.314-321.