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Do you find that you’re so busy taking care of other people’s needs that you rarely have time to think about your own? Do you end up feeling guilty if you carve out a few quiet moments for yourself?

If so, you’re not alone. Most of us recognize the importance of self-care — in fact, Google searches for the term have quadrupled since 2004.

We all know how vital it is to take care of ourselves, so why can it be so difficult to do? Keep reading as we explore this fascinating topic!

What Is Self-Care?

First, let’s be clear on what self-care isn’t. Many people struggle with the concept because they believe it’s selfish, self-indulgent, or even narcissistic.

Proper self-care is none of those things. Its focus is anything that helps you take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. When you do everything possible to manage your stress, you stay well enough to take care of other important responsibilities.

Why Can Self-Care Be a Challenge?

Sadly, society has taught us to believe that we must be productive 100% of the time. We’re taught to study hard, work long hours, and even bypass vacation days. Add in the incessant demands of our jobs and family responsibilities and you have the perfect recipe for burnout.

As a result, our personal needs often get placed on the backburner. Over time, this can lead to unhappiness, resentment, and low self-esteem.

On the other hand, proper self-care benefits us physically, emotionally, and mentally. It gives us healthy, natural ways to relieve stress and recharge our batteries. In turn, we become better parents, better spouses, better employees, and overall better (and happier) people.

What Does Self-Care Include?

Although everyone’s needs are unique, an ideal self-care routine encompasses all eight dimensions of wellness. These include:

  • Physical (i.e., exercising regularly, getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet)
  • Emotional (i.e., working on artistic projects, listening to music, writing in a journal)
  • Spiritual (i.e., practicing mindfulness, cultivating gratitude, helping others in need)
  • Environmental (i.e., spending more time outdoors, adopting a greener lifestyle)
  • Intellectual (i.e., learning a new skill, starting a new hobby, taking classes)
  • Occupational (i.e., learning a trade, finishing a degree, starting your own business)
  • Social (i.e., spending time with family, volunteering for a cause, catching up with old friends)
  • Financial (i.e., cutting back on unneccesary expenses, starting a savings plan)

We don’t have time to dive into each of these dimensions, but this list should give you plenty of things to think about. Where do you feel like your self-care routine is falling short?

For example, do you need to take better care of your physical and emotional health? Why not schedule a massage to recharge your batteries?

Have you held back on pursuing a dream because of fear of failure? Set small goals, take baby steps, and see where you end up!

Remember that your self-care routine and long-term goals may be different than your friend’s. But as long as you’re focusing on your unique needs, that’s what counts.

The Importance of Self-Care: Make Time for You

As we’ve discussed, self-care is neither selfish nor self-indulgent. Rather, it’s taking care of your own health and well-being so you can continue to do everything you need (and want) to do each day.

If you don’t already have a good self-care routine, make that a priority in 2022. Use some of the ideas listed above to create healthy habits that will carry you through the new year!

Now that you understand the importance of self-care, are you ready to get started? Tick one item off your checklist by booking a massage at Apres Massage in West Vail. Use our convenient online booking form or give us a call at 970-445-2114.