Why Self-Care Is for Everyone
By: Sarah Fader
Updated January 25, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn
Self care is for everyone. You might think that you don’t need to take care of yourself because you are always busy caring for others, but that isn’t true. It’s a healing journey when you care for yourself. Self care is for everyone, and it’s important to have mental health awareness. Therapy is cool! Going to your psychiatrist can be a wonderful experience. You can even put self care reminders on post-it notes over your house so that you remember and know that it’s important to make time or find ways to care for yourself. Here are some reasons that self care is for everyone:
You Don’t Have to Be Selfish to Care for You
When you engage in self care, you are going to prevent anxiety and depression from coming at times. People who care for themselves are well versed in understanding their needs. Whether you are gardening or writing in a journal, self care has the potential to make you feel alive. Maybe you’re an independent artist, and you express yourself through art? Engaging in the arts can be a great form of self care, whether you are a professional or not.
Self Care and Depression
Self care is crucial for people that live with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. People who live with depression have serious challenges. If you are depressed and in crisis, you might be nervous or reticent to reach out for help, but you can always call the National Suicide Prevention Line (1-800-273-8255). You may not know it, but reaching out saves lives, including your own.
Depression isn’t easy to manage. You might be fearful of confronting your problems. But the sooner you can get the support you need to heal from that pain. There are so many resources out there for people with depression. You’re not alone in your struggles. It can be challenging to admit that you have depression or suicidal thoughts but remember that if you do, it doesn’t mean there is something fundamentally wrong with you. Being honest and transparent about where you are mentally entails expressing your experiences and learning from them. If you’re struggling with depression, you might forget or feel too exhausted to take care of yourself, but you can leave self care reminders throughout your house or set alarms on your cell phone, for example. Maybe you leave little notes around on objects you generally come in contact with throughout the day as a surefire way to remind yourself to try and engage in self care? Perhaps making lists of things you enjoy or enjoyed is helpful in encouraging self care? There are various ways to incorporate self care reminders. So, remember that it’s okay to keep tabs on how often you’re caring for yourself because, with depression, you want to make sure that you are engaging in good hygiene, make sure that you check in with a therapist, and remember that millions of people struggle with depression. There’s nothing wrong with you if you have depressed thoughts; you need to get help. One way to do that is by speaking to a licensed therapist. But if you are having suicidal thoughts, it’s important to reach out for support, whether it’s engaging your therapist, or in an emergency dialing 911 or calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for dedicated professionals who are there for you. There are resources available so that you don’t have to go through this alone.
Self Care for Kids
Self care is not just for adults. People of all ages can practice self care. Whether you’re a young or older person, anyone can learn to take care of themselves. It’s especially important for children to care for themselves because it develops a life-long skill. Kids can engage in self care practices. Kids can engage in meditation or journaling, or other activities that show that they’re taking care of themselves. One way that kids can practice self care is to talk about their emotions in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Remember that as a parent, the more that you model self care, incorporate it into your everyday family life, and set self care reminders, you will show that self care is for everyone. You can actually use that as a mantra by saying it often: self care is for everyone! You can talk to your kids about therapy and how therapists help people. They can learn at a young age, why mental health care matters. Gardening with kids can be a great self care activity. Teach your children how to use a flower pot to plant some beautiful buds. It’s a wonderful experience to watch the plant grow. Your flower pot is has a precious seed that you both can nurture. What a great way to show your child how to care for something in nature. They can observe the flower pot and see what has changed from day to day. Another way to talk about self care with kids is to introduce them to the concept of counseling at a young age. It’s never too early to talk about how taking care of your mind can benefit your life. When you normalize therapy to children at a young age, it helps them feel more comfortable reaching out for help when they get older. You can demonstrate that therapy is cool. Children need to know that not only is it okay to take care of yourself, but it’s also crucial for your mental and physical health.
Self Care for Older People
Self care doesn’t stop as you age, and (in fact) it’s crucial to keep taking care of yourself as you get older. It’s something that helps us feel more connected to ourselves and others. Many people write off the elderly as unable to care for their needs. That’s not necessarily the case. Each person has the ability to care for themselves in unique ways. Not every older person has the same struggles, and some may be better at living independently than others. However, when you get older, you might neglect to take care of yourself. There are some instances where older adults don’t have the ability or access to take care of themselves in the way that they did when they were younger, or if other circumstances have changed. But that doesn’t mean that older adults can’t engage in self care. Self care is also about expressing what you need, and an older person who needs help, stating that to their support system is a form of self care via advocacy. It’s speaking up and putting your needs first. It’s showing that you need to be nurtured. You can get some ideas for what self care might look like to an older adult by talking to older adults in your community and asking what their needs are. You can even ask your own older relatives what they think some good self care ideas are? If they’re not sure, it’s okay to brainstorm with them if they are up for it. Tell them what you think are good self care ideas and get their feedback. Remember that each person will have their own understanding of what self care looks and feels like, and that’s okay. No matter how old or young you are, you can engage in self care.
Learning About How Self Care Is for Everyone in Therapy
No one is more well versed in mental health than mental health professionals. There’s no one better to remind us that self care is for everyone than a therapist. Mental health professionals know that self care is for everyone, and likely, they practice self care themselves. Therapy can help with a variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, and suicide prevention. As noted above, If you’re struggling with suicidal ideation, it’s crucial to talk to your mental health provider, and if necessary, call the National Lifeline 800-273-8255. If you’re in imminent danger, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room. Reaching out saves lives. In addition to crisis management, therapists can support people in many different ways, including helping people learn to care for themselves. They can help you come up with self care reminders and show you different ways in which you can nurture yourself. A therapist can provide you with healing resource reminders such as apps on your phone to practice self care. It’s crucial to keep track of your progress, so you know that you’re caring for yourself. You can hold yourself accountable for self care. You can find healing resources in many places, and one of them is with a counselor. If you’re struggling with self care, you can talk to a mental health professional and find different methods to help you take care of you. Online therapy makes healing experiences more accessible. You can connect with a mental health professional in a private place and start working through challenging emotional issues. The online therapists here at BetterHelp want to demonstrate healthy self care practices. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you are struggling with self care because you are not alone.
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