Why a Daily Self-Care Routine Is Important for Your Health & Wellness

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As you read the term self-care, what do you immediately think of? Maybe you think of washing your face every morning and night. Maybe you think of consuming the right diet and exercising regularly. Or maybe you simply think about doing the things that make you happy. Truth be told, self-care can mean any of these examples. How you choose to take care of yourself and the routine that you prioritize is completely up to you. Whatever it might be, creating a self-care routine and sticking to it every single day can do wonderous things for your mental and physical health and wellness.

What Does Self-Care Mean?

The Global Self-Care Federation defines self-care as, “The practice of individuals looking after their own health using the knowledge and information available to them. It is a decision-making process that empowers individuals to look after their own health efficiently and conveniently, in collaboration with health and social care professionals as needed.”

Self-care includes all aspects related to staying physically and mentally health—hygiene, nutrition, fitness, and seeking care when needed. It is the steps we take to better manage our own health and well-being.

In all reality, self-care can mean whatever you want it to mean. It means taking action to improve your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. It means taking the time to do the things that help you live well and improve your health. It means prioritizing yourself and whatever your health needs might be. It means doing what you can to take care of yourself and your happiness.

What Is a Good Self-Care Routine?

When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, eliminate anxiety and depression, improve your concentration, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. A good self-care routine can help you in each of these aspects, and more.

So, what does a “good” self-care routine look like? The answer may vary depending on the type of person you are—whether you prioritize your physical hygiene, mental stability, or your happiness overall. No matter your situation, a good self-care routine should include:

Eating nutritious foods

It is vital for your mental and physical health to stick to a balance, healthy diet. When you consume more nutritious foods, your mind and body feel more awake and energized, ready to take on the day. Try adding in more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and healthy fats and oils to your diet.

Exercising regularly

It is important for you to get your body moving to stay fit and healthy, even in a moderate way. Creating daily exercise habits will allow you to not only look your best but feel your best. Start out by taking a simple morning walk.

Focusing on your hygiene

Good personal hygiene, like taking daily showers and washing your face every night, can benefit both your physical and mental health. Taking care of your hygiene allows you to stay healthy, avoid illnesses, spend less on health care, and maintain your close relationships with others.

Challenging your mind by reading

Reading a new book can be a fun and entertaining way to challenge your mind and work on improving your mental health. Reading can help to strengthen brain activity, stimulate your imagination, and improve your overall wellness. Check out these self-care books from Penguin Random House as a good first step.

Drinking lots of water

Getting enough water every day is so important for your health. Good hydration can improve your sleep, mood, and energy. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggest that women should consume an average of 2.7 liters of water daily, while men should consume 3.7 liters to stay hydrated and healthy.

Getting at least 8+ hours of sleep

Sleep is one of the most essentials parts of our health. Our sleep patterns affect our physical and mental functioning abilities, including fighting diseases and developing immunity. Getting 8+ hours of sleep every night will lower the risk for serious health problems, reduce stress, and allow you to think more clearly in your everyday life.

Having a nighttime routine

Our bodies set a “biological clock” each night when we go to bed. Staying on schedule by going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day will help you naturally feel more rested at night and stay alert during the day. Check out the Sleep Foundation’s guide on How to Build a Better Bedtime Routine.

Taking a walk

Something as simple as a short, daily walk can help you live a healthier life. Regular walks can help you maintain a healthy weight, prevent various medical conditions, and clear your mind with a well-deserved break from the stressors of life.

Calling a friend

Staying in touch with close friends and family is very important for your mental health. Feeling connected to the ones you love through meaningful relationships improves your mood and gives you a sense of purpose. Make sure to give those friends who you haven’t talked to in a while a phone call.

Putting down your phone

Turning your attention away from your phone and staying offline for a few hours each day will help to improve and maintain your overall health. This will allow your brain a chance to rest, bettering your mental wellbeing. Try picking up a book instead.

How a Self-Care Routine Can Benefit You

There are many ways how engaging in your self-care routine can benefit you. Not only does self-care help you make better choices, but it allows you to take better care of your mind and body every single day. By prioritizing your health and your needs, you allow yourself to be happy and become a better version of yourself. A few benefits of making your self-care a priority include:

Boosting your physical health

When you look good, you feel good. Pay attention to your body and what it needs. Keeping up with physical activities will increase your dopamine levels and adrenaline, helping you feel confident and capable.

Improving your emotional health

Working towards your mental health and prioritizing what your brain needs does great things for your emotional wellbeing. When you feel content mentally, you are better able to be present and accomplish everyday life tasks.

Bettering your ability to care for others

You must take care of yourself first before you are able to take care of others. Focusing on your own health and wellness will make it easier to love and appreciate the relationships around you.

Providing a break away from stress

Taking control of your health and wellness by prioritizing your self-care gives you a much-needed break from stressful feelings. If you are feeling overwhelmed, agitated, or frustrated, give your self-care routine more time and attention and you will start to see a difference.

Generating positive feelings

Feeling good about yourself and experiencing positive feelings can come from taking care of both your mental and physical wellness. Having a set self-care routine can help you feel more determined and accomplished.

Offering you more time for yourself

Spending the time to indulge in your self-care routine gives you more time for yourself and your happiness. When you can focus on yourself, overall wellness is easier to achieve.

Helping you feel more relaxed

Focusing on your self-care routine can also help you loosen up and feel more at ease. Setting a nice, quiet environment for yourself can impact your mental health in a tremendous way. I recommend a warm, candle lit bubble bath paired with a nice book to read.

Women's legs in a tub as well as one hand holding a book

So, how much are you willing to prioritize your self-care?

Overall, it is vital to maintain both the physical and mental components of self-care to achieve an all-inclusive state of wellness. Depending on how much you make your self-care routine a priority will determine the levels of success you see. You won’t experience any positive results without putting in the work first. Whether you are taking a short walk outside, cooking with more nutritious ingredients, or simply surrounding yourself with things that make you happy, taking the time to manage your self-care needs will allow you to enhance your physical, mental, and emotional quality of life.

If you struggle with staying on track with your health and wellness needs and feel like you need help to do so, take a look at this Ready, Set, Wellness blog post that includes our favorite wellness apps that will aid in your self-care journey.