Why Everyone Needs A Self-Care Day

Updated October 7, 2022by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Life can be incredibly tough if there's one thing every human knows. Everyone experiences different hardships, obstacles, and challenges that vary in intensity, duration, and impact. Getting through each day and living well often requires a great deal of strength and endurance. It's important to set yourself up for success every day so that you can rise to the occasion and confront challenges head-on when challenges come.

Self care is for everyone. You can take many steps to live a happier, healthier life, one of which involves having regular days for self-care. Everyone needs a self-care day to check in with themselves, get some much-needed relaxation, and promote physical and mental health. If you've never taken the time for self-care, you may not know where to start. However, with the right tools and willingness to take time for yourself, you can craft the perfect self-care day that can leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care describes the steps you may take to promote your physical and mental health. It can include hobbies, activities, mindsets, practices, goals, and more. It looks different for every person according to their needs and interests. So, what feels good or comforting for one person may feel draining to another. Finding a self-care routine right for you can take time, but it's well worth figuring out. Don't be afraid to try various things until you find something that sticks.

What Self-Care Isn't

Although self-care looks different for everyone, there are many things self-care is not. For one, it is not a cure for mental health disorders. Although self-care is important and recommended for those experiencing mental health issues, it cannot always fix or solve these problems. In most cases, a person will need the help of a mental health professional, medication, or a combination of the two.

Self-care also shouldn't be used as an excuse to put off important tasks or overindulge. For example, it probably wouldn't be wise to spend your rent money on a new wardrobe in the name of self-care. Likewise, neglecting studying for an important exam so you can have a spa day could hurt you more in the long run. Practicing self-care doesn't mean neglecting your responsibilities. It should propel you forward so that you can spend more time on what needs to be done.

International Self-Care Day

July 24th is International Self-Care Day. It is a day meant to encourage everyone to take time for themselves and practice personal well-being. No matter where you come from or who you are, you too can celebrate International Self-Care Day. The trick is finding something you love to do or that feels relaxing and then leaning into that activity or hobby. Different people like different things, so what feels fun to you may not feel so exciting for someone else. Some people will practice self-care by watching a movie or getting a pedicure, while others will find it relaxing to go for a jog or be out in the sunshine. As long as you dedicate the day to yourself, there's no right or wrong way to celebrate International Self-Care Day.

The Importance Of Self-Care

If one thing is for sure, it's that self-care is important. Failing to practice it can create anxiety, depression, and other problems. Of course, everyone needs different levels of self-care, and everyone benefits in different ways. Practicing self-care promotes physical, mental, and emotional health. It can make you happier and healthier both with yourself and life itself. Your overall well-being can benefit you, and you may be more equipped to perform at your best.

Slowing down enough to practice self-care can also make you more aware of the areas of your life that need attention and can help you focus more on your own needs. When life gets hard, you can be more resilient when dealing with problems. You may find that you get more sleep, feel more energized, or feel more positive about life in general. Your stress may lessen, your concentration might improve, or your anger may disappear over time.

Self-care doesn't have to take up a lot of your time, but you can still reap many benefits from it. It's not the time spent on it that matters, but what you choose to do during that time. So, be sure to make it count.

Benefits Of Self-Care

Practicing self-care means taking care of yourself in all aspects. This includes mentally, physically, and emotionally. Not only do you need to attend to your basic needs, such as eating, sleeping, and grooming, but it's also important to prioritize those other things that impact your life. Having a self-care day can have both physical and mental health benefits. Some of these might include:

  • Increased happiness: Healthier people are often happier people. Since self-care can make you healthier in multiple areas, you may find your happiness and satisfaction with life increase as a result.
  • Less stress: When you find the self-care routine right for you, it will likely become something you look forward to. Even though life can be difficult, having something to calm you down from time to time can give you the courage to keep pushing forward.
  • More energy: Self-care can pick you back up when life drags you down again. In many ways, it can give you a new start in which you feel relaxed and restored.
  • Better health: Your mental and physical health can benefit from self-care. You may lower your risk of diseases and illnesses and eliminate unnecessary stress in your body and mind.
  • More independence: Leaning on other people for support is vital, but self-care can teach you to depend on yourself too. You can discover that you have the tools you need to get through hard times.
  • Healthier coping mechanisms: Not everything we do to feel better is always the healthiest option. Finding positive ways to practice self-care can keep you both mentally and physically safer overall.
  • Better emotional regulation: Slowing down enough to notice and name what you feel can help you regulate your emotions better and accept them as they come. The more you do it, the better you can get at it.
  • Increased productivity: When you take care of yourself without neglecting your responsibilities, you can efficiently accomplish more.  

The benefits of self-care will look different for everyone because everyone will practice self-care in unique ways. It is less important what someone does to care for themselves and more important to ensure those hobbies, habits, or activities add to their life. If you can find a self-care routine that works for you, the rewards you can reap are endless.

Examples Of Self-Care

You can do plenty of things to craft your perfect self-care day. Even if you don't have a full day to devote to yourself, you can always take half an hour or so to spend some time on the things you like. Here are some examples of self-care you can try:

  • Take a bubble bath or a long shower
  • Sit in the sun
  • Read a book
  • Write your thoughts down in a journal
  • Sip on your favorite drink, such as coffee or tea
  • Go for a walk
  • Cook and eat a refreshing meal
  • Watch an episode of your favorite TV show
  • Get a good night's rest
  • Drink enough water
  • Get some exercise
  • Meet with your therapist
  • Spend time with friends
  • Play an instrument
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Do yoga
  • Listen to music

You may have to try different things until you find something that sticks. For example, if your habit of listening to music doesn't seem to be helping anymore, try something new. Take a bath, go for a long drive, or call a close friend and grab a coffee. Over time, you'll see that self-care is all about prioritizing yourself to give your best self to the world around you. You may not see the positive effects immediately, but try to be patient and give it time. Once days, weeks, and months pass, you may be able to look back and see that your life was changing for the better all along.

Self-Care Looks Different For Everyone

Self-care can look different for everyone in terms of the activities, hobbies, and habits they choose to pick up. Why? We're all unique individuals with our interests, needs, and desires. What is fun or relaxing for one person is boring or anxiety-inducing for another. This is okay because we all have the chance to explore what works best for us.

Just like self-care can look different in terms of which activities someone chooses, it can also look different in the amount of time someone devotes to it. Some people will want an entire day they reserve for themselves each month. Others will need daily self-care, even if it's just for 15 or 20 minutes.

Keep in mind, too, that our needs change over time. If you're going through something stressful, you may need to make more time for self-care. On the other hand, if most things seem to be going right at the moment, you may need less time for yourself. Your interests might also change, so you may need to switch up your routine.

Regardless of your life stage, it's always important to check in with yourself and adjust your self-care needs as necessary. Neglecting yourself, even for a time, can create more problems down the road. To pour into other people and put your best self forward, you first have to take care of yourself. If you've always put others first, it's understandable that putting yourself first can take some getting used to. However, it's necessary and ultimately worth it for your well-being. When you practice self-care, everyone else can benefit as a result.

The Power Of Online Therapy

If you're new to self-care, you might need some help with your routine. Whether you're experiencing anxiety, depression, or are generally not feeling like yourself, speaking with a mental health professional can get you the help you need. Depending on your needs, traditional or online therapy may be a good option.

BetterHelp is an online counseling platform that matches you with a qualified therapist with the click of a button. You can chat with your therapist from the comfort of your home and according to your schedule. It is ideal for those with busy lives or who do not have the resources or time to drive to an office for sessions. You can connect using your phone, tablet, or computer and meet with your therapist through a video chat, phone call, or chat room feature.

One study found that internet-based treatment was just as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy for treating disorders like anxiety. Even if you are not experiencing a specific mental health condition, you may still benefit from talking with someone who cares. We all go through difficult times in life, and no one deserves to face them alone. Therapy could make a positive difference in your life. If you're considering online therapy as a viable choice, reach out to BetterHelp today.

Commonly Asked Questions About This Topic

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