What Is Self-Care And Why Is It So Important To Your Health?

There is no way to say exactly what counts as self-care as everyone has their own and unique definition.

The underlying rule is that it’s something that gives you lasting pleasure over the long term, Courtney says. And while there are many examples of self-care that seem to walk a fine line between being healthy and indulging in excess, self-care doesn’t have to be about filling your calendar with luxe experiences or activities that cost money (although it certainly can).

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Consider a manicure or a massage or other pampering activity. It might seem indulgent, but if the activity helps you relieve stress and buy time for yourself, it counts as self-care, Amsellem says. If weekly manicures or monthly spa days are beyond your means, they’re likely to stress your life in the long run, so there are plenty of other self-care practices you can employ.

“Self-care doesn’t have to cost anything – it’s all about doing things you enjoy. And many of the things we enjoy or feel fulfilled by don’t cost anything,” Amsellem says. “Getting outside and taking deep breaths, for example, might be the greatest act of self-care.”

Even if you don’t have a lot of time and money to spend, Gill Lopez says you can still self-groom several times a week by turning things you do every day into self-grooming practices.

Maybe you’re trying to be more mindful of your thoughts on your commute, or maybe you’re finding ways to make daily tasks like showering more enjoyable. Choose a soap with a scent you love and focus on the physical sensations of the shower. Gill Lopez says: How does your shower smell? how does it sound How does the warm water feel on your skin? “For about 10 minutes in the shower, which I have to do anyway, instead of letting my monkey brain run wild, I’m right there,” she says.

Daily chores like making the bed in the morning are also examples of self-care — or can be. “This is where that individuality comes in, because for some people, making the bed doesn’t feel like self-care at all—it can just feel like a chore,” says Amsellem. But if it helps you grab your day and gives you a sense of accomplishment early on, you’ll have it with you even when the rest of the day gets thrown off track, says Amsellem.

The simple act of making the bed in the morning probably isn’t enough to account for all of your self-care, she says. You may routinely need to devote time and energy to other self-care practices, she adds. “But if there are days when you feel out of control, one of the greatest forms of self-care might be to start the day doing what you wanted to do for yourself on those days.”

And sometimes, when all of our other self-care plans are thrown off balance (you’ve worked through your yoga class, your boyfriend canceled your coffee date — we all know that), it’s these little self-care exercises that just help get enough rest, to get through the day and wake up in a better mood tomorrow.

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What Is Self-Care And Why Is It So Important To Your Health?

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