Self-care is often misconstrued as self-indulgence—or treating yourself to things you don’t need—but caring for yourself now feels more vital than ever. “Self-care isn’t selfish,” says Dawn Smith, Los Angeles-based life coach. Instead, it’s “attending to your own needs in order to be better at attending to others’ needs,” she says.
Vanessa Handsel Roddenberry, Ph.D., a psychologist in Raleigh, NC, shares, “When we feel burned out and depleted, it’s usually because we’ve been denied the time or ability to do things that have deep meaning to us, leaving us feeling off-balance.”
The Benefits of Self-Care
In addition to helping you feel more balanced and allowing you to better care for others, our experts share the following benefits of self-care:
- Reduced stress
- Increased energy throughout the day
- Higher levels of productivity
- Enhanced intuition and emotional awareness
How to Practice Self-Care
Laurie-Anne King, a life coach in San Francisco, breaks down self-care activities into two categories: non-negotiables and luxuries. “Your ‘non-negotiables’ are activities that if you skip them, you’re going to be off your game,” she says. “You may feel scattered, tired or cranky. ‘Luxuries’ are those self-care actions that make you feel like a million bucks. It’s not stuff that you need to do every day, but when you do them they give you an extra boost.” To King, non-negotiables might include exercising; luxuries might include taking a bubble bath with rose petals.
Virtually anything can be made into a form of self-care or self-love with the right mindset. It’s all about bringing attention back to yourself and making an activity into “me time.”