Is it that important to practice intentional self-care?

If you are like most people, you struggle with the idea of self-care. On an intellectual level, you may understand that it is important to take care of yourself, but taking time out to go to the gym, meditate, or get a massage can leave you feeling guilty, especially if you are used to taking care of everyone else. It can feel like a noble act to always put others first, but this can be a destructive pattern that leaves you without a whole lot left to give.

Fortunately, you can grant yourself permission to practice self-care and treat yourself with the same levels of kindness and compassion that you show to others around you. If you need some help taking that step, here are 5 reasons why you deserve to—and should—practice self-care.

1. You will be more productive.

Self-care is all about achieving a work-life balance and making sure that your mental, emotional and physical health are all being taken care of in a conscious and deliberate way. While we tend to value hard work and long hours, constantly pushing to the extreme can leave you feeling tired and drained. That makes it even harder to be productive throughout the day.

Now imagine if you had to tackle the same daily tasks when you were feeling well-rested, nourished, hydrated and energized. Chances are that you could produce better results in less time. When you are healthy and balanced, you are able to get more out of each moment and lead a more present and productive life.

2. It helps you manage stress.

Stress is a natural and unavoidable part of life. It can even be a strong motivator, but if you aren’t taking steps to reduce and control stress there can be major consequences when it comes to your health and well-being. Stress can be a contributing factor to chronic diseases and affect your ability to think clearly and make good decisions. Uncontrolled stress can also affect your relationships and make it difficult to enjoy life.

Managing stress can improve your life on a daily basis and help you to live longer. While there are a variety of different ways to manage stress, perhaps the easiest to implement is to start moving your body on a regular basis.

Exercise releases endorphins and forces you to focus on something else besides your stressors. Keep in mind that you don’t have to start running marathons. Taking your dog for a walk or putting on some music to dance to can be just as effective. Find something that works for you.

3. You can set a good example.

If your friend, child, spouse, or family member were experiencing a stressful time in their life, you would probably tell them to do something nice for themselves or to take some time off and regroup. When you practice self-care in your own life, you can lead by example and empower and inspire people around you to do the same.

This is especially important when it comes to your kids. The earlier they can establish healthy habits, the more likely it is that those habits will continue to carry them through adulthood, and help them manage stress in the long-term. Model the behavior you would like them to practice.

4. You only have so much to give.

You may feel invincible, but you only have so much energy to give to others. Once your tank is empty, you won’t be able to take care of others and nurture relationships the way you would like.

Practicing self-care is the best way to recharge so that you can be your best and continue to offer your best to all those around you. Otherwise, you will end up worn out, scrambling to keep up with everything, and failing to live your best life.

5. It will boost your confidence and your self-esteem.

If you are feeling stressed out and run down, you probably aren’t feeling all that good about your appearance. This can eat away at your self-esteem and your sense of self-worth. Taking care of yourself will help you feel better when you look in the mirror, which in turn leads to increased confidence. It doesn’t take a lot to boost your mood and help you feel a little more confident about facing the world.

Many people are self-conscious about their smile, which tends to make them shy away from social situations and lack confidence when it comes to interacting with other people. Getting veneers or investing in teeth whitening can improve your smile. Not only does the act of smiling make you happier, it also makes you seem more warm and inviting. People will be drawn to you and all of this will have a trickle-down effect that opens new doors and opportunities. While you might not think of a trip to the dentist as a way to practice self-care, it can be the perfect way to prioritize your health, take time for yourself, and give a boost to your confidence.

It is important to remember that incorporating self-care into your daily life doesn’t mean that you are being selfish. Once you realize the importance of making time to nurture your mental, physical, and emotional well-being, and all the positive impacts it can have on your life, you can begin to change your mindset and improve your life.

You can start small by going to bed earlier, drinking an extra glass of water, or meditating for five minutes. Take that first step and keep building on your good habits to experience results that will impact all areas of your life.

If you would like to start your self-care journey by improving your smile, contact the team at Acorn Dental. We can help you improve your oral health and enjoy a more beautiful smile that will boost your confidence.