This is the time of year when almost everyone pledges to become a become a better version of themselves. We pack exercise classes, put away cigarettes and sugary treats and proclaim the words “new year, new me.”
However, one of most efficient ways to become the best version of ourselves in 2020 is to make self-care a priority.
Many people envision expensive girls’ trips from reality shows or mud masks at a day spa when they hear the words “self-care. Self-care is actually defined as an activity that we do deliberately in order to preserve or improve our mental, emotional and physical health. Misconceptions about self-care and our culture’s demand to constantly be on our grind leaves so many people neglecting this area of their lives.
As a licensed esthetician and entrepreneur, I see the impact self-care has on my fellow Floridians, especially those who don’t make it a priority. Trust me when I say if you feel good, you look good, and vice-versa. You can’t give your personal and professional best if you don’t look or feel your best physically and mentally. All of this is why I’m adding self-care to the top of my list of New Year’s resolutions. Here are a few reasons why you should join me:
Self-care is necessary.
Our society often demands that we give of ourselves by placing the needs and wants of others before our own. While having a giving heart is great, you can’t give to others in a way that’s beneficial if you’re depleted physically, mentally and financially. So, how do you recognize when you’re depleted? Take a look in the mirror.
People who don’t make self-care a priority often suffer from after-effects of the three D’s: deprivation of sleep, dehydration, and depression. Problems like dark eye circles and dull skin can be helped cosmetically, but any professional in this industry should tell you that beauty masks and make-up are no substitute for a good night’s sleep. Prioritizing self-care isn’t only important for your physical appearance, it’s critical to your overall health.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that burnout can have significant consequences, including alcohol or substance misuse, heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes.
I’m willing to bet no one would rather spend time in the hospital than enjoying a restful vacation.
Self-care is the ultimate attitude booster
One of my favorite clients was incredibly shy and self-conscious about her appearance when she arrived at my studio for her first skincare treatment. Learning how to take care of her skin and making investments in her self-care sparked a transformation in this young professional. Today, she’s more confident and thriving. My client’s story is just one example of how self-care can change our moods. Research from the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology suggests we’re more confident, creative, and productive when we practice self-care.
On a personal note, self-care helps to keep me focused. Going to the gym is one of my favorite activities. Working out not only keeps me in shape, it provides me mental clarity. I have some of my “brightest ideas” in the gym after a stressful day.
A gym membership may not be in your 2020 plans, but any self-care activity that can ignite your personal growth is worthwhile.
Self-care is a way to give back to ourselves and others in 2020. It requires more time than money.
There is a huge misconception that becoming the best version of ourselves requires a lot of money. That’s not necessarily true. Self-care doesn’t have to require money, but it does require time. That’s why one of my favorite gifts to give a busy girlfriend, who’s a single mom, is a couple hours of free babysitting and a bottle of wine. Giving parents a break from their children allows them to get rest, run errands and just breathe.
Don’t get discouraged from giving single loved ones without children the gift of free time. Get creative! Perhaps your overworked aunt needs someone to help her run errands, or maybe your best friend needs help with a home project. A helping hand is always appreciated.
Each year presents an opportunity for personal growth and prosperity. Imagine how wonderful the next 12 months of your life could be if you start 2020 by making taking care of yourself a priority.
Ashleigh Samuel Bryant is the owner of Ash-slayed My Brows and self-care enthusiast.