The importance of self-care in achieving your goals
If you are active on social media or Pinterest, you are probably already familiar with the concept of “self-care” since it has literally been all over the place lately.
But self-care is so much more than the latest trend.
If you want to achieve long-term success and turn your life around fast, self-care is not a step you can skip.
This post will help you understand the importance of self-care to achieve life goals and give you tips to implement life-changing self-care routines.
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What is self-care?
The term “self-care” was used for the first time in the 1950s in the medical community.
At that time, the notion of self-care was used to express the fact that patients could improve their condition by performing acts of self-care to cultivate self-confidence and improve recovery.
The notion of self-care spread to the larger society in the 1960’s thanks to activists, in particular the black panthers. The black panthers focused on the revolutionary fight for racial justice and on supporting marginalized communities.
Self-care, mainly through meditation and yoga rapidly became, for some activists such as Angela Davis, a way to cope with life in prison.
The definition of self-care didn’t change much since the 1950s and is described, by Oxford languages as:
“the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.“
This definition being pretty broad, self-care includes a large range of activities from meditation to skincare routines.
Any activity that is meant to improve your general well-being and protect your physical and mental health can be considered self-care.
And this is why self-care is much more than the latest Pinterest trend!
11 reasons why self-care is important to achieve your goals
Self-care reduces stress, anxiety, and depression
Practicing self-care regularly is the best way to reduce stress and anxiety and limit the risks of depression.
You might feel like you do not have time for self-care when your life gets busy, but it is actually when you need it the most.
It can also be hard to take the time to take care of ourselves when we are feeling stressed. Yet, self-care is what helps us keep our sanity and balance when under pressure.
Effective self-care habits to fight stress, anxiety and depression are:
- Practicing gratitude
- Eating healthy
Many other habits can help you relieve stress. Anxiety and stress are calls to action and should never be ignored.
Should you feel regularly stressed, take the time to figure out what is causing you to feel this way and seek relaxing ways to calm your mind.
Meditation is part of what helped me to cure my generalized anxiety disorder. A few minutes of meditation daily will have a huge impact on your life.
Hence, meditation is definitely a great place to start when implementing a new self-care routine! If you are not familiar with the practice of meditation, I definitely recommend the guided meditations available on the Headspace app. They have been life-changing to me!
It improves sleep quality
Sleep quality has a huge impact on our overall health and productivity. If you want to improve your life, lose weight, be more productive, achieve career goals, or simply create a life you love to wake up to, you need to make good sleep one of your priorities.
Sleeping too much or too little will inevitably have an impact on your level of energy and daily life.
Poor sleep quality is one of the many consequences of anxiety and one of the symptoms of depression. In the long run, it leads to a decrease in motivation which can have terrible effects on life satisfaction.
A good night of sleep, on the contrary, will have many benefits on your physical and mental health. It will help you feel physically and mentally strong, better cope with stress, and be more optimistic.
Any habits that help you soothe your mind will also help you improve sleep quality. Here is a quick list of daily habits that can positively impact sleep:
- Listening to a sleepcast
- Taking a warm bath/shower
It positively impacts physical health as well
Yoga and meditation are the perfect examples of how self-care activities can positively impact your health.
Yoga can for instance release tension and relieve back pain.
Meditation also has a lot of positive impacts on your physical health reducing blood pressure. Meditation and breathing exercises have also been proven to help better cope with physical pain.
A few self-care habits to improve physical health are:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Eating healthy foods
- Drinking at least 2 liters of water per day
It boosts self-confidence
Self-care also has another underrated impact: it boosts self-esteem.
Reading and taking care of your appearance will have significant impacts on your self-confidence.
Cultivating self-confidence will help you stay mentally strong when life on Earth gets hard and will help you put yourself first when needed.
An increase in self-confidence will help you set healthy boundaries. Sometimes the best self-care act you can do is say “no” when you don’t feel like doing something.
Increasing your self-esteem and confidence as a result of self-care will help you put your personal growth and life goals first. Which is exactly what you need to prioritize when life gets busy.
Here are some self-care habits that boost self-confidence:
- Practicing gratitude
- Reading a personal growth book
- Listening to an inspiring podcast
- Taking care of your physical appearance
It improves balance in life
Taking care of yourself on a regular basis will help you cope with a hectic schedule and stay strong when the pressure increases.
Improving balance in life is vital to ensure your professional life doesn’t get in the way of your personal growth and life goals.
An increase in professional responsibilities can easily lead to burnout if you are not attentive to your feelings and anxiety.
Saying that you need to focus on self-care when your schedule gets hectic might seem like a paradox since an increase in the workload leads to less free time.
Yet, it is precisely when you feel like life’s getting “too” busy that you need to find ways to take better care of yourself.
Here are a few self-care habits to improve balance in life:
- Taking breaks throughout the day
- Implementing a morning and night routine
- Defining a clear working schedule
- Setting healthy boundaries (not checking emails outside of working hours, not working on Saturdays, taking one day off per month, etc.)
Related reads: How to find balance in life with time blocking
It improves relationships
People who don’t take care of themselves and their needs cannot take care of others either.
Self-care and increasing self-esteem will help you love yourself first and be more compassionate towards your family and friends.
It will also help you be more authentic and enjoy heartfelt moments.
Having low self-esteem will negatively impact your relationship with others and your independence.
Having high self-esteem will help you put yourself before others when needed and stay independent even when in a relationship.
Being independent and able to enjoy time spent alone is key to living healthy relationships.
It helps us be more positive
Self-care also has the ability to help us feel more present and grounded, which helps increase gratitude and positive feelings.
Have you ever been so sad/tired/depressed that all you want to do is take a hot bath, drink a cup of hot chocolate and watch a movie?
If so, you have already experienced one of the greatest impacts of self-care: it helps us improve our mood and get back on track when feeling down.
Increasing our ability to be fully present and live life to the fullest has life-changing impacts.
Very often, being more mindful is all it takes to improve our mood and put our problems into a better perspective.
Related reads: 15 tips to start living life to the fullest
It makes us more resilient to illnesses
Self-care is an integral part of healthcare. Since it helps us improve our emotional health, it also has a significant impact on our ability to cope with illnesses.
Our mental health and mood can control a lot of things in our lives.
It has been proven that long-term stress worsens many serious health issues such as:
- Depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
- Heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes
- Eating disorders
- Menstrual problems
- Skin and hair problems such as acne and hair loss
- Gastrointestinal problems such as ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon
With the current pandemic, taking care of ourselves to ensure a better resilience to illnesses is key to staying healthy.
It increases self-awareness
Self-care, through an increase in self-esteem, has the power of freeing our minds from limiting beliefs.
Limiting beliefs are usually the result of poor self-awareness and low self-esteem.
Because we are unaware of our full potential, we tend to underestimate our capacities and listen to the little voices that sometimes express themselves in our heads.
The most powerful tip anyone can give you to start radically changing your life is to mute your limiting beliefs.
Limiting beliefs are usually developed during childhood and intend to keep us safe. So if you think about it, the little voice you hear in your head telling you that you can’t do this or that is just your inner child trying to keep you safe in your comfort zone.
Thank this little version of you for trying to protect you and promise her that no matter what happens, you will put yourself first and protect her.
Think about the innocent kid you used to be. Doesn’t she deserve the best life? You know she does. So step out of your comfort zone and start creating the life she deserves, because you deserve it too.
It appeases the mind
As discussed earlier, taking care of yourself will have a significant impact on your general well-being.
It will help you be more resilient to stress but will also ease anger management and help you live a more fulfilling life.
Self-care is your best asset to protect yourself from the world around you. Your mind is what will help you achieve amazing things and design a life you will love.
If you want to live at peace with yourself, listen to your inner inspiration and act upon it.
Doing so will help you keep your mind clear and driven to achieve your goals.
It helps us stay motivated in the long run
To stay motivated in the long run, you need to achieve balance in life.
To do so, being mindful of your time and being able to prioritize your goals will be key. Life can be exhausting. Hence focusing your energy on things that matter will make all the difference in the things you can or cannot achieve.
Self-care is key to maintaining life balance and a constant level of motivation. These 2 elements cannot be dissociated to achieve long-term success.
Self-care will help you slow down when things become overwhelming. This will help you stay motivated to achieve long-term goals.
Self-care has a major impact on our overall health and lives.
Implementing healthy routines and productive habits are the best ways to ensure you make time for self-care on a daily basis.
Incorporating self-care into your daily routines is a great way to ensure you stay focused and motivated to achieve your goals.
If you need help to achieve your goals and design your dream life, the free 62-page guide below will help you get clear on your goals and ambitions.