Why Self Care Matters
You’ve booked your family’s dental appointments, paid the bills, loaded the dishwasher, started laundry, prepared for tomorrow’s meeting, walked the dog, and packed your tiny tot’s school lunch -- all before noon. Okay, now exhale, because we’re about to spit some facts at you. If you’re expending all of your emotional and physical energy taking care of other people, you’re probably not investing enough in taking care of yourself. And while you may feel like a rockstar today, in the long run, you’re doing everyone -- including yourself -- a disservice.
Despite what many people may think, taking care of yourself is not selfish or self-indulgent. In fact, if you’re not taking care of yourself and letting stress get the best of you, you’re putting yourself at risk for serious -- even life-threatening -- illnesses, including heart disease. Plus, you’re just going to feel crappy all the time, and who wants that.
Self-care comes in a variety of forms. It doesn’t require an elaborate plan as it can be as simple as taking a deep breath when you notice you’re becoming overwhelmed. But what exactly is #self-care, and why does it matter?
We’ll tell you everything you need to know.
What Is Self-Care?
In a nutshell, self-care refers to activities we do in order to take care of our emotional, physical, and mental health. Sounds pretty simple, right? Yes? Okay, so why are so many of us so bad at doing it?!
Repeat after us: “Self-care is not selfish” -- say it loud and say it proud! Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you consider yourself to be better or more important than others. It simply means you recognize your own needs and tend to them -- which means you’ll actually be a better friend/parent/partner/employee in the long run anyway! Go you!!
Benefits of Self-Care
Ever heard the popular phrase, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” and felt it was fitting? That’s because self-care is important, and if you’re already depleted by emotional and physical exhaustion, you are less able to handle the stresses that may come your way.
When you’re at your very best from practicing self-care, you become more resilient and able to appropriately manage stress -- and let’s be honest, we could all benefit from a little better stress management these days!
Aside from the obvious one -- simply feeling better -- here are a few other reasons why self-care is important and how it can benefit you:
Self-care helps you to perform at your very best
Fundamentally, self-care is a way to maintain proper balance so you can attend to all of your different parts to keep yourself going. In other words, always choosing a deadline over making time for a quick workout or a nourishing meal could ultimately slow you down.
According to a study, medical students who practiced self-care reported less stress and a much higher quality of life. But it’s not just one study -- there are tons of studies that support the positive effects of self-care. So you need self care because you are a #girlboss (or guy boss - either is great!).
Slowing down makes you more productive.
Slowing down can take many forms. Maybe it’s saying no to commitments that don’t serve you, or perhaps it’s carving time out of your crazy schedule for yoga or coffee with a friend. It can also be simply taking a few breaths before a work meeting. All of these tiny actions bring us back to the present moment and help us to re-focus on what’s truly important. And if slowing down for you means listening to your fave hype-up song on repeat, get to dancing!
It can improve your physical health.
While exercise and a healthy diet form the backbone of good physical health, self-care and pampering can trigger the relaxation response. Relaxation, in turn, can boost our energy levels and prevent chronic stress from further damaging our health.
Basically, self-care is stress’s worst nightmare and can help kick it to the curb to improve your overall physical health. But it’s not just your physical health…
It can improve your emotional health.
Your emotional needs are just as essential as your physical health! Having a solid mind-body connection can help to make you feel good about your life and yourself, which contributes to long-term feelings of well-being. Valuing yourself is, undoubtedly, one of the best things you can do through self-care — and once you start doing it, you’ll notice what an absolute mood treating yourself this way is.
You get much-appreciated alone time.
Most people need some degree of me-time for appropriate functioning. Whether you’re an extrovert or introvert, when you’re kicking back and relaxing by yourself, it’s much easier to enjoy self-reflection, quiet meditation, or work through problems.
Self-care can lead to better relationships.
It makes a whole lot of sense when you really think about it: the happier and healthier you are, the more you can give to a relationship -- ‘nuff said, tbh.
There are a ton of benefits to practicing self-care. Embracing this concept, however, can be really tough, especially for those who have always placed emphasis on the welfare of others (we’re looking at you, mama bears). However, giving all your valuable energy to those around you without filling your own back up leaves you depleted and empty -- and that’s definitely no way to live. Instead, spending effort and time on yourself energizes and rejuvenates you, because you’re #worth it.
Taking time to indulge in your own interests demonstrates your worth, leading to improved self-esteem and a more positive outlook on this crazy world we live in. It teaches you a lot about yourself and provides you with insight into what you need to be the best version of yourself.
How to Practice Self-Care
So, what does caring for yourself look like in the real world? Is it really all bubble baths, wine, and reading a good book? Well, not exactly -- there’s more to it than just good vibes.
You see, the thing about self-care is how personal it is. For one individual, it might mean setting their alarm to get up an hour earlier to journal or meditate, while for another, it might mean setting a weekly walk-and-talk date with a girlfriend to spill all the latest tea or even taking up a new hobby such as photography. There are no rules to self-care beyond listening to your own needs and finding a little bit of time for them. With that being said, here are a few ways you can start practicing self-care today:
- Do something fun. Seriously! Not because it’s productive or will earn you money. Just do something for fun's sake and bring back a little of that childlike charm into your life. This could be marathoning your fave show (hey, Friends) or trying a new recipe -- whatever you like.
- Prioritize sleep. We really can’t stress enough how critical it is to get enough good-quality sleep each night. A good night’s rest is the very foundation of everything else, and studies show that we tend to make better choices throughout the day if we’ve had enough rest. So put your phone down and get your booty in bed!
If you’re not getting the sleep you need to function at your best, it could be that you’re catching Zzz’s on a poor mattress. Consider getting a Big Fig -- the first mattress built for a bigger figure. Whether you’re big and tall, thick and curvy, or any size in between, the Big Fig Mattress can help you to get your best snooze yet. And if you ask us, nothing says #self-care more than investing in your sleep.
- Eat for a healthy body and mind. Do you ever find yourself so unbelievably busy that you just eat the first thing you find in your fridge? Well, it’s time to check yourself because what you consume has a direct impact on your overall feelings of mental and physical well-being.
Sometimes, the simplest and smallest changes can have the biggest impact -- such as tossing some overnight oats in a mason jar with fresh berries and nut milk before hopping in your Big Fig or switching out your fav soda pop for good ol’ H2O. And it can be delicious as heck, too.
- Get outside. Time in nature is -- without a doubt -- one of the best mental resets. But if we wait for that big weekend away off-grid, we might never get to take in all the benefits that fresh air has to offer. Ideally, we should take some time out daily to connect with nature, and that might just look like changing up our walk routine around the block with the pup for a quick drive to the nearest nature reserve instead. The key thing to recognize here is that a little nature is good for the soul. So it’s time to release your inner Cottage Core persona.
- Change your morning habits. Do you tend to reach for your cellphone the moment you wake up to catch up on the latest gossip, check the news, or read emails? Show yourself some self-care and try taking that time instead to journal your thoughts, goals for the day, to-do lists, or gratitude affirmations.
Self-care is essential for your emotional, mental, and physical well-being -- but it doesn’t just happen overnight. Developing self-care to nurture your body, mind, and soul takes time and effort. Aren’t you worth it? We think so -- that’s why we created the Big Fig Mattress with YOU in mind.
Built from the ground up to provide a mattress that fits all the needs of a bigger figure, The Big Fig is truly one of a kind. Designed with ThermoGel treated fabric that helps lower body temperature for an actively cool sleeping experience and three layers of high-density polyfoam, and hundreds of pocketed steel coils for no-sag cushioning, it’s no wonder why there are so many Figgy Fans all around the world!
Show yourself some love, and check out Big Fig today. Why? Because you’re worth it!