Self-care is a concept you are probably familiar with. Whether it’s the at-home face mask and manicure version of self-care, journalling, moving your body more or mindful eating. When it comes to actually practicing the kind of self-care that’s really important to you – and your wellbeing – there’s a certain degree of stigma attached to focusing on yourself rather than anyone else. Prioritising self-care can be challenging.
Even for people that already try to put a focus on their own health and wellbeing they may find that there is some internal guilt or external perceptions of selfishness. However, when you don’t prioritise yourself and put others’ needs first, the results can be increasingly problematic, over time. For your mental health and wellbeing, self-care is a vital piece of the puzzle, and shouldn’t be overlooked in favour of less healthy, effective or practical ways of feeling better in yourself.
What makes prioritising self-care so important, and why is it vital to take scheduled time out, for yourself and your needs? Read on to find out why it’s so important to put yourself at the top of your list of priorities – and what can happen if you don’t:
What Happens When You De-Prioritise Self-Care?
When you don’t put yourself first, it’s rarely the people you’re putting all your effort and time into who suffer. De-prioritising self-care will have a direct negative impact on your personal health and wellbeing, and over time, can lead to physiological effects alongside mental and emotional impacts.
Here are just 4 ways that de-prioritising self-care can impact you:
#1 – Stress
We all know that stress can have a severe impact on our daily lives if left unchecked. Not focusing on your own self-care is an easy way to let those stressors keep on building up, with no way for them to be released. Self-care is a valuable tool to reduce stress, keeping your mind and body healthier and happier every day.
#2 – Fatigue
Burn-out and tiredness are clear indicators that you aren’t spending enough time on yourself. Whether it’s a hectic work schedule, a huge amount of emotional responsibility or even just looking after children day in-day out. Fatigue shows you aren’t giving your brain the space to prioritise itself, and without learning to put yourself first, your tiredness will only worsen.
#3 – Poor Health
While our mental health is often the first place that we see the effects of not enough self-care, physical issues can also arise over time. Overeating, not exercising, and not sleeping well are all real-world effects that lack of self-care can cause. Your mental and physical health are intricately connected, and what affects one will also affect the other.
#4 – Emotional Tol
If you aren’t putting yourself as a priority, this can have a serious emotional toll. It’s common for feelings of resentment, disappointment, and frustration to appear when you aren’t prioritising self-care. You may be snappier and more irritable, and even feel very down and upset, at times.
3 Reasons to Prioritise Self-Care and Yourself
Now that you understand some of the symptoms of not putting yourself first, let’s take a look at why self-care is so vital for you to do:
#1 – You Can’t Help Others If You Don’t Look After Yourself
One of the complaints many people make about self-care is that it takes time away from helping others. While self-care can feel ‘selfish’ at first, without first helping yourself, you aren’t as helpful to others either. Being well-rested, mentally happy, and physically healthy, you are able to be a better parent, friend, partner or co-worker. Without self-care, you won’t be able to do as much for others – and you won’t feel as good about doing it, either.
#2 – A Healthier Lifestyle Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Self-care is part of the foundation for a healthier lifestyle. While exercise and eating food that’s good for you is also important, you need to build on yourself from within, to really be healthy inside and out. By practising self-care, you’re not only setting a good example, but you’re making yourself feel better too. Stress, anxiety and fatigue can all threaten a healthy lifestyle – but with a bit of self-care, you can ensure your mind and body are as happy and energised, as each other.
#3 – You’re Setting Yourself Up for Wellbeing Success
If you’re already in a bad mindset, fatigued or stressed, you aren’t setting yourself up for success in any aspect of your life. After all, if your plate is full, you won’t be looking for new opportunities to fill it. From your working life to your personal life, self-care sets you up for success and starts you on the right foot to explore new and better things that are exciting and help you to grow and become happier.
No matter how busy your day is, or how many plates you’re spinning, setting aside a little time for self-care can go a long way towards making the world look that little bit brighter and better. Prioritise yourself, and you might find that other things fall into place just a little easier.