Why self-care isn’t just a marketing gimmick

You’ve probably heard of self-care, but what exactly is it, and does it really have all the benefits marketing says it does?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that ‘self-care; is a new-fangled, 21st century thing. It’s a hot topic at the moment and used in all sorts of marketing campaigns, but there’s nothing new about taking the time to look after yourself.  

What does self-care involve? 

Self-care means taking the time to look after numero uno – you! This can look different for everyone. It’s all about proactively doing things that help improve your mental or physical wellbeing, and it doesn’t have to include the stereotypical things like having a bath or lighting a candle…but it most certainly can if that’s what you enjoy!  

It might involve having a nap, making the time to prepare a nutritious meal for you and your family, reading a book, doing a spot of mindfulness or meditation, calling a friend, listening to your favourite music, drinking a nice cup of tea…whatever makes you feel good is a valid form of self-care. 

The benefits of self-care 

It may just sound like an excuse to do something you like, but self-care is based on science. Research has found regularly practicing self-care reduces anxiety and depression, can help you deal with stress better and can even make you a nicer person to be around. If you have a chronic illness, practicing self-care is even thought to help you manage it better. 

Working self-care into your life 

If taking care of yourself doesn’t come naturally, you may feel like it’s a bit selfish. Neglecting your needs can lead to burnout, poor mental health and increased levels of stress, so don’t wait until you’re at breaking point before you start to look after yourself. 

If you feel like you’re too busy, try and schedule small pockets of time out to rest, relax or get some fresh air. It might feel weird making time for yourself if you’re used to focusing on the needs of others, but it’ll soon pay off if it makes you feel a little less strung out. 

Figure out what makes you feel good and make the time to do it, whether that’s something social, environmental or physical. Self-care is a necessary part of modern life and can make mundane tasks feel more bearable if you know you’ve got something nice to look forward to.  

Looking after yourself allows you to perform at your best, both at work and in your personal life.