Prioritizing Self-Care in Your Everyday Life

Self-care is an important part of health and well-being that’s often ignored. Although often promoted as self-indulgence, it’s not about spending in excess or overindulging in junk foods.

“Self-care is creating a life that you don’t feel like you have to escape from,” explains Jackie Van Zile, MA, LPCC, LCDC-III, a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC) with ProMedica Physicians Behavioral Health – Sylvania. “It’s rebalancing yourself when you feel out of balance and making time to take care of yourself because you’re important and you’re worth it.”

Take a moment to look at the different aspects of your life (occupational, financial, home life, physical health, emotional health, etc.) and determine if any of them feel a little out of balance. If you do find that one feels a little off, prioritize the time to work on that part of your life. The good news is that when we work on one aspect, the others tend to improve right alongside it.

How To Practice Self-Care

Self-care doesn’t have to be something big or extravagant. It can be something as simple as going for a walk to get some fresh air, picking up your living room to feel more organized or wearing clothes that fit well so you feel more comfortable and confident.

Van Zile recommends practical self-care practices such as yoga, meditation, diaphragmatic (deep) breathing, striking a superhero pose or keeping a schedule. “Acknowledging your efforts and congratulating yourself for things that you’ve done can also be a great way to practice self-care, even if it’s something as simple as patting yourself on the back,” Van Zile shares.

Remember that it’s not selfish to take care of yourself. “You are just as important as whatever is on your list of priorities,” Van Zile emphasizes. “Take care of yourself because your life is worth living rather than just surviving.”

Lastly, seeing a behavioral health specialist can be a great way to practice self-care. They can be a sounding board to bounce ideas off of and help you navigate where to start on your self-care journey.

Learn more about self-care from Van Zile in this podcast episode of Happily Ever After 40.