Taking care of yourself is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. Take for instance a new car, it’s all shiny and smooth when new, but if not serviced, it can turn out to be the worst nightmare.
“We need to replace your vicious stress cycle with a vicious cycle of self-care.”– Dr. Sara Gottfried
If there’s one cliché that you should erase from your mind, it is that taking care of yourself is selfish. Being humble and selfless does not mean neglecting oneself.
Similarly, not taking care of yourself keeps you from unleashing your full potential.
Here are a few reasons that are sure to convince you to take better care of yourself.
1. You Only Have One Body
Well, this is the most apparent reason, and yet people live like there is a spare body in case what they have wears out.
When you eat unhealthy calories and skip on exercising, you overload your cardiovascular system, and on a worst-case scenario, it could stop cold.
Sleep deprivation causes impaired memory and poor coordination. It has shown to lead to chronic conditions, immune system deficiency, and psychiatric disorders such as hallucinations and paranoia.
Service yourself daily. Ask yourself what your body needs, and give it. Self-care is necessary to have a healthy body.
2. It Reduces Stress
According to WHO, over 300 million people globally suffer from depression. This number would decrease if people took better care of themselves.
When you take care of yourself, you put your well-being first. It means saying no to manipulative relationships, long hours in the office, and financial commitments that strain you. By doing this, you eliminate all the stress-triggers in your life.
Exercising as a way of taking care of your body also helps release endorphins, a chemical produced by the brain that lifts your spirits.
Getting enough sleep and eating healthy food also reduces your stress levels.
3. You Build Better Relationships
Neglecting yourself puts you at the risk of developing burnout which in turn makes you grumpy. When you don’t give yourself the time to rest, exercise, eat well and do the things you love, you become irritable and bitter.
It gets people walking on hot coals around you because any little thing can get you breathing fire. To be honest no one wants to be around such a person, so in the end, you lose friends, get lonely, and more miserable.
Failing to take care of yourself could also be the primary cause of a divorce. When your spouse comes home to an angry monster every other day, what would keep them from seeking solace elsewhere?
4. It Increases Your Confidence
One thing that stands out about confident people like Steve Jobs who own every room they walk into is their appearance. They may not be the most handsome or beautiful people, but they know how to take care of their bodies and are the best version of themselves that there could be.
When you take care of yourself, your inner glow shines, and your confidence shoots up. Workout and adopt a clean diet to lose the extra pounds.
Meditate to keep your head clear. Stay clean, wear clothes that accentuate your best features, and do the things that make you happy. It reflects in your confidence.
5. You Perform Better
When you practice self-care, you can produce in three hours what a self-neglecting person would produce in eight hours.
It is because you are more efficient when you well-rested. Your brain functions better when your body is receiving the best care.
Depriving yourself of sleep does not make you a hardworking person. You end up making careless mistakes, and your memory is at its worst. You could end up making poor decisions or worse, lose your job.
6. It Makes You a Better Caregiver
One of the safety advice given on a flight is in the event of a sudden drop in pressure you should put on your oxygen first before helping others. The same rule applies in everyday life.
You cannot help take care of others if you are drained and unhealthy. When you take care of yourself, you gain the strength and motivation to take care of others. When you can give yourself love, you can provide others with love as well.
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.”
7. You Understand Yourself Better
Self-care involves journaling, self-reflection, meditation, and plenty of alone time. These all are essential in getting to know the real you better.
You get to see what you enjoy doing best and do more of it as opposed to putting the needs of others first.
Besides getting a deeper understanding of your true nature, you can reflect on your growth and practice personal development. Taking better care of yourself enables you to live to your fullest potential.
8. It Keeps You Focused
Practicing self-care means doing what is right for your wellbeing. It means saying no to some activities and some friends.
When you practice self-care, you cannot agree to stay out all night drinking while you would rather sleep.
Before saying yes, ask yourself “Does this work for me or against me.” By so doing, you can focus on the most important things and the things that bring you closer to whom you want to be.
People who do not practice self-care are pushed and push themselves to a break-point. They give up, having not achieved much.
9. It Makes You Self-disciplined
Self-care requires making decisions that may not be attractive, but are the best for your welfare. It requires following through with these decisions even when you crave something different.
Cooking a healthy meal from scratch when you have the option of ordering takeout requires a lot of self-discipline. Going for a run when you could watch Netflix with a bag of chips requires a strong will.
Taking better care of yourself builds your self-discipline, a skill that is necessary to be successful in life and achieve any goal you set.
Learn to give your body what it needs instead of what it wants, and you are well equipped to achieve all you set your mind to.
10. Better Satisfaction in Life
Optimal life satisfaction is a situation where you feel that your life has meaning and is headed in the right direction, with great options for the future.
Practicing self-care puts you in the best state of mind to achieve your goals, perform better at work, have healthy relationships, improve your health and your self-esteem.
In the end, you hold a better perception of yourself and believe in your ability to cope with challenges. Your attitude towards life improves, and you become a happier person.
The only person inhabiting your body is you. Any harm that comes to you out of self-neglect such as depression and poor health can only affect you.
Taking care of yourself improves your self-confidence, performance, focus, and satisfaction in life. It improves your relationships and makes you a better caregiver.
As a plus, developing a habit of taking care of yourself equips you with self-discipline, a skill that all successful people have.
This is a guest article contributed by Janil Jean:
Janil Jean is founder and editor of MotivationMatter.com, a blog about tips to motivate teams, partners, children, teachers and students for a better and positive outlook in life. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.