We are approaching the time of year when it is easy for us to become overwhelmed. Work gets busier, there’s so much to organise leading into Christmas, and most of us haven’t had a decent break since the last holiday season. It is this time of year – when everything is hectic – that we need to take a moment to stop, slow down, and make sure we are looking after ourselves.

Self Care is the buzz term of the moment, and there is a very good reason for it. Recently, we shared an article about a worker who told her employer she was taking a mental health day as she felt she was not coping and needed to regroup. It trended and made headlines online, as the story and others like it, are now breaking through the stigma of Mental Health and highlighting just how important it is to look after yourself, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.

We are all living such fast paced lives now, with Australia being dubbed a country that ‘Lives to work, not works to live’. And although it is true that hard work pays off, the saying becomes redundant when we have worked ourselves to the point of being counter productive, which is exactly what happens when we do not look after ourselves. This is simply all self care is – doing what you need to do for yourself so that your mind and body are balanced and healthy.

I do understand that it’s easy to preach about taking time to look after yourself, when in reality it seems like a luxury. But this is the point – you are worth it, you are important and should not be neglected. In order to look after yourself, you do need to let go of the guilt and make sure you understand that setting aside time for you and doing something that will make you happy, whether it be reading a book, exercising, meditating, a pamper session etc, is not selfish.

The benefits you will see once you take time out to look after yourself are worth it –

You will be more productive

If we are burnt out, we become tired and foggy which obviously results in us taking longer to complete tasks. If our minds are sharper and focused, we are able to work more efficiently but also plan our days so that we can get the most out of them without over burdening ourselves.

Your relationships see the benefits

When we look after the relationship with ourselves, we can then be more present for our relationships with others. Being stressed, tired and under pressure is a recipe for fighting – even over the tiniest thing which maybe wouldn’t have even upset us if we were not so drained. Self Care means you will not let stress rule your relationships.

Self Care Promotes Self Love & Gratitude

When you invest time and care into yourself, you can develop a strong feeling of love, gratitude and appreciation for your health and mind. This can help confidence levels and boost your esteem as you are declaring that you as a person are important.

Your Physical Health will Improve

Obviously when you are not run down, your overall health improves. Part of your Self Care may be making time to exercise, which has so many great benefits, but also you reduce your stress which is the cause of many health conditions such as high blood pressure, headaches etc.

It is important to not look at Self Care as a selfish term, but a practice that will improve your wellbeing and help you be the best version of yourself.