Easily one of the biggest buzz word phrases of the times, self-care has become not just a trend but an essential element of our daily lives. One of the best things about the self-care culture is that it has such a broad definition. There are no guidebooks, rules, or best practices. Rather a sentiment of encouragement to find those activities that make you feel your best and adding them into your lifestyle to improve your overall quality of life. One of the misconceptions of self-care however is that the self is the only one to benefit off these efforts. While it is true that the self is at the center of these actions and choices, there is a significant domino effect that takes place as a result that will reap positive rewards in other areas of your life outside of your personal being.
Productivity is an essential piece of being a responsible adult however it is not uncommon to have days where you are simply lagging. Maybe you did not get enough rest or perhaps an outside influence has soured your mood to the point of disengagement. Either way, this is a great example of a time to reach in your self-care bag of tricks and recognize how an action of your choice can help improve and maintain the productivity that your daily life demands.
College students are one demographic that may find this scenario very relatable. Finding the will to write a ten-page paper can be difficult when there is also the option to take a nap or hang out with friends at 2pm on a Tuesday. Self-care supports, like telehealth are wonderful because there is a combination of feeling productive without feeling burdened. These programs offer self care activities for college students so that they have options available at their disposal when the need to check in with their self-care routine arises.
More Healthful Relationships
The relationships that you have in your life are a combination of ones that you elect and ones that you inherit. Your spouse or partner for example is someone that you have elected to have in your life, while your boss or neighbor is someone that you have simply inherited. Since even the best relationships are layered, having a good self-care routine as an individual is going to help you better navigate the less than desirable layers that you experience.
Having tips and tricks in your back pocket to handle certain scenarios is a classic element of self-care. Maybe you have learned to take five deep breaths before responding to a tense work email, or perhaps you know that when your difficult neighbor is outside that is your time to prioritize your indoor tasks. Either way, self-care can help you to create and assert boundaries that will protect your mental health and emotions from unhealthy scenarios that are out of your control.
Better Communication Skills
People that practice self-care are generally people who have an overall interest in improving themselves and being the best version of themselves possible. Learning how to speak to yourself might sound made up, but it is a real idea, and can be quite difficult for some people. As a result, their communication with others suffers. Whether we know it or not, we are communicating all day long. Verbal, non-verbal, in person, and virtually. This can lead to over-stimulation and inevitably our communication suffers. People that recognize this and know when to take some space and unplug in whatever way possible are typically better communicators overall because when they are engaging their efforts are dialed in and intentional.
People who prioritize their own mental health and emotional wellness are typically more capable of in turn dialing in to the feelings and emotions of others. When you are in the practice of paying attention to what your mind and body are telling you, and placing a priority on that information, you are going to subconsciously encourage that in others. Touching back on the communication benefits of a self-care commitment, your level of compassion and empathy for others is going to be noticeably higher as well.
Being able to be a support for others is evidence of being a strong support for yourself. If you find that you are experiencing a decrease in your ability to maintain the level of support and empathy for others that you otherwise typically do not find challenging, it might be a signal to switch up your own routine. Another huge perk of the broad self-care definition is that it is not stagnant. Identifying that you can redefine your routine as frequently as you prefer is proof that you recognize the practice is working but the specifics are fluid.