Stress is a Dangerous and Devious Little Devil
Whether you know it or not, stress is always there – it lurks around, following you, day in and day out. And each day it goes unnoticed, its power grows and its impact accumulates.
And know this: stress is patient.
Stress will happily bide its time, slowing wreaking havoc on your health and well-being, while staying quietly and stealthily out of sight.
That is why it is so dangerous.
Stress can cause serious mental and physical health issues – including depression, anxiety, cancer, heart disease, and chronic pain and inflammation. Little by little, stress builds up and make you sick. And once you are ill, it may be difficult to recover.
This is why you must take a strong stance against stress now… Today. You can prevent these illnesses by tackling the root problem.
Kick stress to the curb, once and for all.
The Most Potent Antidote to Stress is Self-Care
Self-care is the essential antidote to stress; It’s the simple secret to a healthy mind, body and soul. And this is why nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.
I’m not talking about an occasional massage or pedicure here….
I’m talking about working self-care into your daily routine. Nurturing yourself every day is a critical part of your stress-busting strategy.
If you don’t know why this important, please go back and re-read the first few paragraphs above, or read this page I wrote about stress.
But First, a Few Words about Guilt…
It’s common to feel guilty about taking time for yourself and leaving other responsibilities and “should dos” for later. But self-care needs to be included in that list of “should dos.” In fact, it’s a “must do.”
Daily self-care can seem like a radical idea if you’ve been told* your whole life that what it means to be a “good” woman, wife, mother, daughter, [fill in the blank], is to put others first. (*when I say “told” I’m really talking about the subliminal and cultural messages we are bombarded with every day.)
Putting yourself first means that you can take better care of others.
There is nothing indulgent or selfish about self-care. There is no place for guilt here. It is simply something that needs to have higher priority on your must-do list.
Your health and well-being depend on it.
7 Guilt-Free Reasons to Make Self-Care a Daily Practice
1. To Combat Stress
Every day, stress hormones build up in your body. Without daily action to reduce them, they accumulate and can become destructive to your health. By nurturing yourself daily, you help stimulate the relaxation response – the body’s natural healing system.
2. To Promote Long-term Health and Longevity
When you take the time to nurture yourself, you support those systems that will prevent you from getting sick. This promotes long-term health and longevity – of your mind and body. When you don’t take the time to eat and drink well, exercise, rest, sleep, have sex, spend time with friends, or have fun, your systems get stressed – and you’ll get sick.
3. To Benefit Others
We often put the wants and needs of others before our own (this is especially true if you have young children). But this approach is not sustainable in the long-term. When helping others, you need to give from a place of abundance – and you can’t give what you don’t have. When you have good mental and physical health, you are better able to take care of others. You’ll be calmer and happier. You’ll have more energy, focus, and a zest for life. Whether you have kids, elderly or sick parents, or a demanding job (or all the above), taking care of yourself first is a must in order to be able to care for others in the best possible way.
4. To Be a Healthy Role Model
I believe it’s important to teach self-love and respect to our children. But if they don’t see us taking time to care of ourselves, they’ll never learn that it’s important. If you want to set a good example, you’ve got to practice what you preach. When you start to take self-care seriously, your friends and family will notice too. Your actions will speak louder than words and you’ll be surprised how much of a positive impact you can have on those around you.
5. To Feel Strong and More Empowered
When you started taking responsibility for your own well-being, you will feel empowered and strong. You can’t sit back waiting for someone else to take the lead. Sometimes, no on else will be available. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who love you and want to help, but sometimes they just can’t. So it’s up to you. And you can do this!
6. To Boost Self-esteem and Create Healthy Mind Habits
It’s up to you to recognize your worth and to treat yourself accordingly. When you treat yourself with loving kindness, others will do the same. You’ll reinforce the belief that you deserve to be treated this way, which will boost your self-esteem and confidence. You have a beautiful heart, mind, body and soul, and you deserve to be treated like the goddess you are.
7. To Break the Cycle of Co-Dependence
When you nurture yourself, you are demonstrating self-sufficiency. By taking responsibility for your own health and well-being, you free others from being responsible for your happiness. This frees you from feelings of resentment you fosters healthier, more balanced relationships. You are stronger than you think. Everything you need is already inside you.
Only You Know the Secret Stress-Busting Self-Care Formula
Self-care needs to be uniquely personal to you. It doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. It just needs to work for you. It can be anything that makes you feel good, rested, relaxed and recharged. What feels calming and relaxing to you, might not work for me or someone else.
Spend some time thinking about what those things are that you’d like to incorporate into your daily routine. Start small and just choose one thing to start with. It can be the tiniest thing, but make sure you do it every day.
When you feel guilty about taking the time for self-care, keep reminding yourself that self-care is the essential antidote to stress; It’s the secret to a healthy mind, body and soul.
And this is why nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. In time, those guilty feelings will no longer hold so much power over you and you will be able to luxuriate in the guilt-free joy of self-love.