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  • Writer's pictureAlayna Dorfman

The Health Benefits of Self-Care

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

Self-Care: Defining and Explaining Its Importance

In the fast-paced world we live in, it’s easy to become consumed by our responsibilities, commitments, and the needs of others. In this constant whirlwind, we often forget to prioritize one essential aspect of our lives: ourselves. Self-care, a concept that has gained significant recognition in recent times, is not just a trendy buzzword, but a crucial practice that holds the key to our overall well-being.

At its core, self-care encompasses a range of intentional actions and practices that are signed to promote physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s not a one-size-fits all approach but rather a deeply personal journey that requires self-awareness and the willingness to invest time and effort into taking care of oneself. From practicing mindfulness and engaging in hobbies to maintaining a balanced diet and setting healthy boundaries, self-care is a holistic endeavor that touches upon various aspects of our lives.

As we navigate the complexities of existence, understanding and embracing self-care can empower us to lead more fulfilling lives, fostering resilience, reducing stress, and enabling us to be more present and engaged in both our personal and professional spheres. So, let’s embark on this journey of self-discovery and learn how to prioritize our well-being amidst the whirlwind of life’s demands.

Finding Time for Self-Care Amidst a Busy Life

Living a busy life can often make self-care seem like an unattainable luxury. However, making time for self-care is not only possible but also essential for maintaining your overall well-being. Here are some strategies to help you incorporate self-care into your busy schedule:

Ways to Infuse Self-Care Activities into your Busy Schedule

  • Prioritize and Schedule. Treat self-care like any other important commitment. Schedule specific blocks of time for self-care activities on your calendar. Whether it’s 5 15 minutes of meditation, a 10-minute stretch or workout session, or even just taking a few minutes to reading a book, allocating time on your calendar ensures that self-care becomes a non-negotiable part of your routine.

  • Start Small. You don’t need hours of free time for self-care. Begin with small, manageable activities that can easily fit into your day or even just a few times per week. It could be as simple as taking a short walk during your lunch break or practicing deep breathing exercises before bed.

  • Identify Time Wasters. Evaluate your daily activities and identify any time-wasting habits that could be eliminated or reduced. Whether it is excessive social media scrolling or spending too much time on less important tasks, reclaiming these moments can provide openings for self-care.

  • Combining Activities. Incorporate self-care into activities you already do. Listen to soothing music or an inspiring podcast during your commute, practice mindfulness while doing household chores, or engage in stretching exercises while watching TV.

  • Wake Up Earlier. Consider waking up a bit earlier to create a quiet morning routine that sets a positive tone for the day. Use this time for meditation, journaling, or any other activity that nurtures your wellbeing.

  • Self-Care Snacks. Just as you might have a healthy snack on hand, keep “self-care snacks” ready. These are quick, enjoyable activities that you can indulge in whenever you have a brief window of time.

  • Reflect and Adjust. Regularly assess your schedule and self-care practices. If something isn’t working, adjust your approach. Flexibility is key to maintaining self-care in a busy life.

An important thing to remember is that self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. It’s about making intentional choices to prioritize your well-being, even in the midst of a hectic schedule. By carving out these moments for yourself, you’ll likely find that you become more focused, energized, and better equipped to handle the demands of your on-the-go life.

The Positive Impacts of Self-Care on Your Health

The practice of self-care offers a multitude of health benefits that contribute to overall well-being, both physically and mentally. By investing time and effort into self-care activities, individuals can experience positive effects on various aspects of their health.

Here are some specific health benefits of self-care, along with attached examples:

  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety. Engaging in self-care activities like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga can activate the relaxation response, reducing the production of stress hormones and promoting a sense of tranquility.

  • Improved Mental Health. Regular self-care practices such as journaling, practicing gratitude, and engaging in hobbies can help manage symptoms of depression, boost your mood, and enhance emotional resilience.

Enhanced Physical Health. Adequate sleep, regular exercise, and a balanced diet are key components that contribute to improved cardiovascular health, weight management, and a stronger immune system.

  • Better Sleep Quality. Establishing a bedtime routine that includes winding down, avoiding screens, and practicing relaxation techniques can lead to improved sleep quality and duration This ultimately can help give you a longer stamina of energy throughout the day and better memory.

  • Increased Energy Levels. Staying hydrated, eating nourishing foods, and taking short breaks during the day can help maintain steady energy levels and prevent physical and mental burnout.

  • Boosted Immune Function. Managing stress through self-care practices impacts immune function, reducing the risk of illnesses and infections.

  • Enhanced Cognitive Function. Adequate rest, regular exercise, and brain-stimulating activities such as puzzles, reading, and learning new skills contribute to better cognitive function and reduced cognitive decline.

  • Enhanced Creativity and Problem-Solving. Engaging in creative hobbies, spending time in nature, and exploring new experiences can stimulate creativity and improve your ability to approach challenges with innovative solutions.

  • Reduced Burnout. Regular self-care prevents the accumulation of chronic stress, reducing the risk of burnout in personal and professional life.

  • Increased Self-Esteem and Confidence. Taking time for self-care can boost self-esteem and self-worth, as it sends a message to yourself that you value your own needs and well-being.

  • Improved Digestion. Engaging in relaxation techniques and mindful eating practices can lead to better digestion and reduced gastrointestinal discomfort.

  • Improved Pain Management. Gentle stretching, meditation, and relaxation can contribute to improved pain management, especially for chronic conditions.

  • Heart Health Benefits. Physical activity, stress reduction, and maintaining a healthy diet through self-care can positively impact your heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Self-care is not a one-size-only approach; the specific activities that provide benefits may vary from person to person. The key is to identify what works best for you and to consistently integrate these practices into your daily routine. By doing so, you can reap the numerous health rewards that self-care has to offer.

Since self-care provides many health benefits, we wanted to provide an additional list of some more unique, mind-healing self-care activities that may sound new and refreshing to you!

Unique Self-Care Activities that will help you Relax and Rejuvenate:

  • Forest Bathing. Spend time in nature, immersing yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest.

  • Art Therapy. Express your emotions and creativity through painting, drawing, or any form of expression.

  • Digital Detox Day. Unplug from all devices and immerse yourself in online activities.

Read more from our past blog, The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health.

  • Dream Journaling. Record your dreams upon waking to explore your subconscious mind.

  • Pranic Healing. Explore energy healing techniques for physical and emotional well-being.

  • Moonlight Beach Walk. Enjoy the beach under the moonlight, listening to the gentle waves.

  • Labyrinth Walking. Walk a labyrinth path for meditation and self-reflection.

  • Astronomy Night. Stargaze and learn about the cosmos using a telescope or attending an astronomy event.

  • Letter Writing. Send heartfelt handwritten letters/notes to friends or family members that express your gratitude.

  • Mindful Coloring. Engage in adult coloring books with intricate designs to focus your mind and relax.

  • Laughter Yoga. Join a laughter yoga class to release stress and improve your mood through laughter.

Read Laughing Yoga: What is it and Does it Work? (Spoiler alert: it does!)

  • Hiking to a Remote Location. Disconnect from technology and explore a remote and serene natural spot.

  • Ayurvedic Self-Massage (Abhyanga). Treat yourself to a soothing self-massage using warm oils tailored to your hands.

Read more about it: What is an Ayurvedic Massage?

  • Stone Balancing. This is a calming activity that you can practice in your backyard/home ONLY.

Disclaimer: This is not encouraged in natural settings!

  • Outdoor Meditation Retreat. Join a meditation retreat in a serene natural location to deepen your practice.

  • Tai Chi. Practice this ancient martial art for balance, flexibility, and relaxation.

  • Ecstatic Dance. Join a group or dance freely in your home to music, allowing your body to move without inhibition.

  • Journal Prompts. Use journaling prompts to explore your thoughts, feelings, and aspirations in a structured way.

  • DIY Spa Day. Create your own spa experience at home with homemade face masks, baths, and soothing music.

  • Indoor Plant Care. Caring for indoor plants can be therapeutic and provide a sense of accomplishment as they thrive.

  • DIY Aromatherapy. Create your own essential oil blends for aromatherapy to relax or invigorate your senses.

Self-care is personal, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s essential to explore different activities and find those that resonate with you and help you maintain a healthy balance in your life.

BYBS: Self-Care Goals

Here at BYBS, we are staunch advocates for the importance of infusing self-care into your routine and love helping folks build a wellness toolbox that suits their individual needs. Our goal is to help you achieve that balance, that way you can keep being productive, while also paying attention to your mind, body, and soul’s needs.

Get to know four of our BYBS Clinicians, who are all highly skilled and understand the importance of embedding safe care into your routine.

ROCHELLE YOUNG Favorite Self-Care: Taking a bubble bath.

Areas of Expertise: stress management, anxiety, depression, trauma, grief/loss, family issues, life transitions, communication, women’s issues, family issues.

“My experience in teaching taught me that we are curious creatures, and that education can hold a lot of power in healing! Understanding what is happening in your brain and body can help you increase self-resilience and patience. I can help you develop a deeper understanding of your own thoughts and behaviors as well as how to use meditative techniques such as grounding, guided imagery, and deep breathing to release your stress and overwhelm and feel more grounded and calm. The therapy process with me is collaborative and will mean learning more about yourself, how some of your coping mechanisms may be keeping you stuck, how to be mindful and intentional with your life and create a new, healthier, happier version of you.”

Areas of expertise: trauma, mindfulness/meditation, anxiety, depression, codependency, life transitions, young adults, LGBTQIA, existential issues, men’s issues, stress managements, work-life balance

“I enjoy working with individuals who want to take a deeper dive into understanding the how and why of what they do. I believe you are the expert of your own life, and that I am here to help guide you to the answers you are seeking that are already within you. My unique skill is being able to hold space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings while also providing helpful direction and feedback when needed. I also teach specific mindfulness and meditation techniques that will help your de-stress, focus and learn how to thrive under pressure.”

NICOLE MALENE Favorite Self-Care: Yoga, acrobatics, and being outside in nature.

Areas of expertise: spiritual health and wellness, anxiety, depression, stress reduction/burnout, life transitions, chronic pain, relationship issues

“My approach to therapy is holistic, highly somatic and draws on eastern philosophies centered around awareness practices, breathing techniques, and acceptance and compassion training to help regulate both the body and mind and guide one’s energy towards a fuller and healthier expression of who they are. I believe that when one dedicates themselves to self-study and a more compassionate way of living, they can discover unhelpful habits and patterns of thought that perpetuate stress, trauma and discontent in daily life. When we learn how to be more mindful, we can find what it means to stay grounded, move energy that is stuck in the body, and ride the waves of this crazy thing called life.”

JORDAN JONES Favorite Self-Care: Taking long baths with her favorite bath bomb.

Areas of Expertise: anxiety, burnout, depression, self-esteem, relationship issues, post-relationship healing, women’s issues, college students, sensitives/empaths, young adults, teens, first generation college students

“As a sensitive, I enjoy working with young adults who are feeling overwhelmed with challenges or need clarity understanding the world around them. I am especially passionate about holding space for those struggling after breakups and are on their path of self-discovery and healing. I understand the pain and feeling like there is no end in sight. It can be so difficult after you have put all of your love and trust into someone, all for it to be stripped away. We often just need somewhere and someone to process these emotions with, to feel safe and supported, and learn how to feel okay again. Healing takes time and having support is so beneficial in the process. I also enjoy helping individuals navigate stress management, imposter syndrome, depression, and burnout. You may see some overlap in these areas too, maybe one is causing the other. This is very common, so in our work together we will explore these concerns, identify root causes and learn tools for handling the challenges that life may throw at you.”

If you need help finding ways to embed self-care into your busy life, are interested in discovering new self-care activities that can help ease your mind, or anything else, schedule a free 15-minute consultation with Rochelle Young, Hall Birdsong, Nicole Malene, or Jordan Jones on our website: Get Started Now.

A Self-Care Conclusion

Self-care is a deeply personal journey that requires self-awareness, self-compassion, and dedication. As we navigate the challenges of our busy lives, let us remember that by nurturing ourselves, we not only benefit personally but also become better equipped to fulfill our roles as partners, parents, colleagues, and friends. So, in the midst of our hectic schedules, let self-care be the guiding light that keeps us grounded, resilient, and ready to embrace the beauty of life in its complexity.

Alayna Dorfman

Favorite Self Care: Rollerblading in DTSP.

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