Self care is a foundational part of our lives. If we neglect self care while attempting our daily lives not only are we putting a roadblock in our path, but we are actively setting ourselves up for failure.
Self care, however, is often difficult and time consuming to keep up with. How could I set aside time to take care of myself, you ask, when I barely have time to sleep? The answer is both simple and quite difficult to swallow. You make time.
As much as you need to do that project right in this absolute moment, you have also only slept three hours in the past forty-eight. A large part of self care is recognizing when enough is enough. The time spent agonizing over whether or not you should take the time off could be dedicated to actually taking the time to take care of yourself. Nothing is more important than your mental and physical health because, without it, your body and workflow break down. As much as we would like to pretend that our bodies and mental health have no impact on completing our work, there is a major correlation between work efficiency and self care.
Another important part of self care is recognizing what self care is to you. Everyone has different needs, and their needs impact them in different ways. Cooking may be soothing and an important stress reliever for some, while for others cooking is nigh impossible and they truly find comfort in ordering out for something healthy instead of having yet more ramen. It is important to find ways to prevent being static, no matter who you are. You may hate the outdoors, you may think that you don’t need to leave the studio or apartment or your room. The simple act of moving rooms or going to another location for work is self care in and of itself.
Self care can also take form in overcoming some of one’s more destructive habits. If someone only sleeps for three hours a day at most, self care could involve ensuring that they go to bed at an earlier time and attempt to relax for a while instead of working long into the night. Moderation of unhealthy foods is a large part of self care. To indulge yourself once in a while is important, but reigning in overindulgence is an important part of making your life run smoothly and helps improve quality of life overall.
Self care is so important because without it, our lives slowly fall apart and we become less functional. Being kind to yourself is also such a fragile concept, it falls apart when the slightest imbalance comes into our lives. Self care can mean anything from taking a bath instead of a shower one night, to treating yourself to an episode of your favorite TV show during a break from work. If done right, it can positively impact your life, improving symptoms of depression and anxiety or making you a more productive person in the long-term.