Self-care is an essential aspect of overall wellbeing that involves intentionally engaging in activities that promote physical, mental, and emotional health. Despite its importance, self-care is often viewed as a luxury or something that can only be done when there is free time. However, research studies have shown that incorporating self-care practices into daily routines has several positive impacts on individual health and wellbeing.
One of the most significant benefits of self-care is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety levels. A study conducted by Pascoe and Bauer (2015) revealed that practicing yoga and deep breathing can significantly decrease cortisol levels, which is a hormone associated with stress. Another study conducted by Tang et al. (2015) found that mindfulness meditation can effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Self-care practices can also enhance mental health by promoting self-awareness, boosting self-esteem, and aiding in emotional regulation. A study by Bluth et al. (2016) found that adolescents who engage in self-compassion practices report higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of anxiety and depression.
In addition to improving mental health, self-care activities like getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly can boost physical health and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. A study by Li et al. (2019) showed that engaging in regular exercise and adopting healthy eating habits can significantly reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
Moreover, taking care of oneself can increase productivity and improve relationships with others. A study by Kim et al. (2016) found that employees who engage in self-care practices, such as regular exercise and stress-reduction techniques, have higher job satisfaction and better work performance. Furthermore, self-care practices can enhance one's ability to connect with others and improve relationship quality (Günter & Deniz, 2019).
Self-care is not a luxury but a necessary component of overall wellbeing. Incorporating self-care practices into daily routines, no matter how small, can have a significant positive impact on physical, mental, and emotional health. Thus, prioritising self-care is crucial to taking responsibility for one's wellbeing and leading a healthy and fulfilling life.
Bluth, K., Roberson, P. N., Gaylord, S. A., Faurot, K. R., Grewen, K. M., Arzon, M. P., ... & Mahan, B. (2016). Does self-compassion protect adolescents from stress? Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(4), 1098-1109.
Günter, Ü., & Deniz, M. E. (2019). The relationship between self-care and perceived social support: A study of Turkish nursing students. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 25(6), e12759.
Kim, J., Lee, E., & Lee, H. (2016). Effects of self-care programs on sleep, self-esteem, and self-efficacy in nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 6(7), 75-80.
Li, Y., Li, X., He, J., Li, Y., Li, X., & Li, X. (2019). Healthy lifestyle and the risk of chronic diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. European Journal of Epidemiology, 34(10), 883-891.