Taking Care of You: How Much Time Does Self-Care Take?

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Time off, health, and taking care of you
Pushing yourself too hard? Maybe it's time for a day off. Photo from Pexels.

It’s a busy time, and you’ve got a lot to worry about. It’s no wonder so many women are struggling to find a few moments each day to address their own well-being. Children, partners, pets, parents, friends, and careers all seem to come first. But even if you have an hour or so in the evening, doesn’t taking care of you feel a bit selfish? It shouldn’t do, but for some reason, many women feel a little guilty prioritizing ourselves.

Why Taking Care of You is Important

Why self-indulge? Your health and well-being are essential to others as much as it is for yourself. If you’re unwell, you can’t focus your strength and energy on family or work. You have to take time out to rest and get well again. But if you’re regularly taking the time to focus on your health, you’re actively reducing your risk of becoming ill in the first place.

What is the alternative? If you keep working and working instead of addressing any health issues, you could be making matters worse. Stress and anxiety can lead to depression. You might be tempted to self-medicate so you can keep pushing on. But when you’re dealing with things like depression issues, there can be serious consequences. It’s always best to stop and take stock of what’s happening, rather than push yourself too hard. Speak to your doctor and take that step back.

When a Day Off Work is What You Need

Taking a day off for your health is really important sometimes. This is true for physical, mental, and emotional health issues. Many employers would prefer that you give yourself a chance to address things rather than risk making them worse. Then, hopefully, you come back to the workplace well-rested, more focused, and back to your usual productivity levels. But, is all of that achievable in only one day?

When You Need More Time for Self-Care

Ideally, you should be spending time taking care of you and your health every day to avoid needing a day off.

What activity you choose to do is up to you. Great examples are:

  • An exercise class
  • A swim
  • An afternoon at the spa

Social engagements are good for your health too, like a coffee with friends or a long lunch with family. Perhaps you get a massage on a Thursday afternoon and go to a yoga session Monday mornings. All of these things count. Try to fit them into your regular schedule.

Other Consideration for Your Well-being

Don’t forget – your diet counts too. Something as simple as indulging in a healthy salad is time spent taking care of you. Little things can add up to quite a lot of time, but there is no need to specify or block out a specific number of hours or minutes. Of course, it’s also important to get more sleep and count your steps too. 

Perhaps the answer to the question of how much time to spend on your well-being is “enough.”

Spend as long as it takes to feel that you are well all the time. Adjustments to your lifestyle may mean that every hour of the day focuses on your well-being. Walking your kids to school is beneficial to you both in several ways. Choosing a healthy meal spent with friends is good for you too. Can you find more time for you?

59 COMMENTS

  1. Love this!…. The best way to shake off stress for me is working out on a regular basis (daily)… I´d say that it makes me tired in a good positive way… Spa day sounds amazing (I tried it a few times with coupons) and yet I´ll still be needing to do physical activity. On a side note/anecdote: when I felt very anxious about an exam, years ago as a student I never missed my long walks: like 40 blocks total… I still don´t know how I made it through. But my grades were quite ramarkable, humbly speaking. When I look back at those times I think I was definitely crazy so as not to save some energy. Some people work better under pressure. LOL… have a lovely evening, Chris. <3

  2. Excellent points, Christy… how does an afternoon nap sound? Of course, when you’re old and retired you can afford to take afternoon naps! Seriously, your advice is sound. As a teacher, I took a ‘mental health day’ a couple of times a year – just to recharge the batteries. If you don’t look after you, nobody else will…

  3. Self care is important and something I am learning to do. I spend a lot of time at least I think I do of pleasing others that I forget about me. Also depression is something you don’t mess around with you gotta get treated for it.

  4. Definitely in sync, my friend!! We can give and give of ourselves but we have to make sure we are giving to ourselves too. You Rock!!!

  5. Great post Christy,

    with small steps we can make big changes in life. If you just change the way of cooking, or if we start using dietary products like law fat milk, fish, white meat, our life can be changed for good.

    Thank you

  6. everyone and I mean EVERYONE requires what I would refer to as ‘me’ time. Could also be referred to as ‘re-charge’ time, ‘cleansing’ time, ‘clearing’ one’s head time, ‘sorting’ one’s head time, ‘catch up’ time, ‘break’ time, ‘rest’ time, ‘do something else’ time, by any ‘time’ you, as a person in your own right, want to refer to it as, do as you want! 🙂 Great post by the way (tongue in cheek, not BTW). 🙂

  7. Summer is the best time to make proactive changes, since
    we get more sunlight & have more hours, this is the perfect
    time to start light exercise, bike riding, walking etc. Also
    eating more fruits & vegetables. Once the fall & holiday
    season start up (Thanksgiving – December) People usually
    stop exercising, attending holiday parties, & over indulging.
    By January it is “New Years Resolutions” mostly from guilt,
    when instead one should be proactive NOW, & start taking
    steps, it doesn’t have to be all at once. Once winter arrives
    being conscious to not fall back into comfortable patterns.

    This prevents the annual yo-yo that most people feel, which
    can bring on depression, guilt, & all sorts of other side effects.
    Being proactive now, helps achieve & maintain long term goals.

  8. “If you’re unwell, you can’t focus your strength and energy on family or work.” Exactly. I always hear this paired with, “That’s why flight attendants tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first in the event of an emergency.”

  9. This article again is so motivating, I want to go for a swim, start with a healthy diet and love myself more, i have to fight with this depression phase
    Thanks Christy youre a star xoxo

  10. love your blog. this is something i must do as a man also. having depression i must take care of myself first everyday.

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