Self-care is not just a trendy buzzword. Self-care is a way of life that’s been practiced for centuries by people all over the world. Why is self-care important? What is self-care? And how can we take care of ourselves?
This post is sponsored by iHerb and contains affiliate links.
Self-care is a buzzword in the wellness world, but it’s important. Yet it’s one of the first things to go when we’re stressed. Or maybe you ever felt guilty for taking time to spend on yourself? I think self-care should be more talked about. It should be a normal thing, just like brushing our teeth.
A big thank you to iHerb for sponsoring this post. The topic of self-care is so important and I’m grateful to be able to work with such an amazing brand as iHerb. I get most of my products at iHerb. Including the self-care products!
For years I have been a loyal iHerb fan. The reason I keep coming back to iHerb is the wide variety of products they offer (it’s insane), the service, and the fast shipping. Shopping online with iHerb is like entering a super organized store. They have deals, trending now products, best-sellers, new arrivals and as a vegan I can easily filter my search results.
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What is self-care?
Self-care is a broad term that encompasses a lot of things. It can be very personal or something that’s lacking in your life.
In a nutshell, self-care is a way to mentally and physically take care of yourself. This can be rest or any other way to preserve your mental or physical health.
However, there is no official definition of what self-care is and it can be quite personal too.
For some, this is an integral part of life and for others, it plays a role during stressful periods.
It can be anything from taking a break from work every day to working out, reading, having a cup of coffee, cooking, a walk, staying in, taking a bath, drinking enough water, or following a study.
Anything we do to take steps towards improving our physical and/or mental health is self-care.
Why is self-care important?
It’s so easy to think that self-care is a luxury. Or that it’s not important or that not everyone can afford it amid busy schedules. And sometimes we are told that self-care is selfish or that we need to toughen up. But self-care is quite essential to our long-term well-being and it allows us to live life to the fullest.
I don’t believe that the more we sacrifice, the bigger the reward. It’s easy to push it too far with a hustle mindset and it can become counterproductive. Self-care makes me work more efficiently and that’s a big plus for me.
Self-care is more than just slowing down when life gets hectic. It’s taking care of yourself now, both for you and the future of you.
By taking care of your mental and physical health, you will be better able to handle the stressors in life.
Self-care can sound very selfish to some, but it’s quite the opposite. By practicing self-care, you are not choosing yourself over your family/friends/work/child/partner. All it means is that you are being mindful of your own life and needs. As a result, you can be a better person to the ones around you and the ones you love.
You probably know about the old saying ‘’you can’t pour from an empty cup’’. That’s why self-care is important. Because you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first.
The good thing is that it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Sometimes 10 minutes of ‘’me-time’’ can help to be a meaningful reminder of what you like and who you are.
Other reasons why self-care is important
A little bit of stress is good, but a continuous high amount of stress is unhealthy and it will break you physically and mentally. With self-care, you are protecting yourself from stress taking over.
It helps you stay focused and work more efficiently. While writing this article, I take breaks and walk away from my work. With a fresh mind, I see things more clearly. I do the same when I edit photos. It improves my work to take breaks.
And lastly, self-care helps to prevent feeling overwhelmed or burned out.
How to practice self-care?
Self-care can be super hard. Did you ever had the flu and felt guilty for needing the time to recover?
Since self-care can be super personal, I thought it would be a good idea to share what self-care means to me and what feels like self-care, but is something more like a distraction.
Self-care for me is not:
- Watching television or the news
- Taking the time off to scroll through social media
- Eating unhealthy processed food
How do I practice self-care?
First, let me emphasize that I’m no expert on this topic. All I know is that it wasn’t always easy for me or a priority and that I got better at it over the years.
It comes naturally to me now and it’s something I do every day. Here are a few examples.
Sleep is a big one for me. We all need sleep, but for me the hours before I sleep is my self-care time.
I start with dimmed lights about 2 hours before I sleep. And I will read a book until I fall asleep with those weird orange glasses to reduce the amount of blue light keeping me awake. I use this beautiful oil diffuser with this essential oil with orange and lavender. This is such a great combination. The oil diffuser is a perfect size and this essential oil makes me so relaxed.
Recently I also have been using this Sleep Mist and it makes my bed sheets and pillow smell so luxurious.
I find taking care of my hair and my skin very relaxing. I’m always looking for a good, natural, vegan, cruelty-free exfoliator and I’m currently using this one by Mad Hippie Skin Care Products. This micro-dermabrasion facial cream exfoliates, brightens, and smooths my skin. My skin feels so soft and clean after this. It contains probiotics and a fruit acid complex so it’s like at-home microdermabrasion. A little bit goes a long way so use just a little bit at a time.
Applying oil to my hair is another way of taking care of myself. I do this every single day. It takes just a minute, but it makes me feel put together. It’s also very healthy for my hair. I have very long hair and since I started using hair oil I got hooked. This botanical hair oil with argan oil, jojoba oil, and baobab oil is my current favorite. It nourishes the hair without making it heavy. I use it every day on dry hair on the ends and also on the roots when I need to wash my hair.
A healthy diet and movement is a form of self-care, but I always feel just that little bit of extra fancy when I boost my immunity. I buy these three products every few months. I don’t even look at other brands. They are just that good!
I need a good probiotic and I always come back to LactoBif Probiotics by California Gold Nutrition. You can choose between 5 billion or 30 billion CFU and there’s a report available where you can check the potency tested by a third party.
Another way to boost immunity is with liposomal vitamin C. I like the SunLipid Liposomal Vitamin C flavored with monk fruit because it’s very potent. Liposomes help and accelerate absorption.
Black elderberry is a super potent immunity booster with medicinal effects. It has been used for centuries and it helps as immune support.
California Gold Nutrition Sambucus European Black Elderberry Syrup contains Sambucus nigra juice from 12,000 mg of European Black Elderberries concentrated to 2,500 mg per serving. It contains no artificial sweeteners or artificial preservatives. It’s the best one I have found so far!
Books and a cup of comfort
Books play a big part in my self-care routine. I journal and read almost every single day and it’s the best way to disconnect from the world and at the same time also cope with the world. I also try to read during the day during a break (instead of being on my phone), and I NEED a good cup of comfort with it. The simple act of making a drink for myself, means I’m choosing myself. I love Dandy Blend and matcha.
But I also like to change things up a bit. Currently I’m enjoying the Matcha Road, matcha + vitamin C, Superfood drink with citrus and ginger.
This organic Japanese matcha blend also contains camu camu, turmeric, and refreshing coconut water powder. No sugar is added (I add a bit of coconut sugar). It’s a refreshing drink full of health benefits.
I eat breakfast very late in the morning (sometimes even after noon). My focus is sharp before breakfast and I’m simply not hungry when I wake up. So, my breakfast is also a break from work. I always make time to sit down and read a bit. My breakfast is quite often this runny raspberry oat recipe but then with a little bit of extra. I will add ground flax seeds and cacao nibs as a topping. My current favorite topping is this sweetened coconut chips, by California Gold (an exclusive iHerb brand). So delicious! You have to try this!
This is not a limited list of my self-care examples. I’m sure you have a few personal things to add to my list. I would love to read those in the comment section below.
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I hope that if you don’t have a self-care routine that you squeeze in some time and schedule it for yourself. You are worthy and deserve it. And maybe start with some serious self-care shopping at iHerb?