The least selfish thing you can do today

health self-care well-being

Happy Self-Care Day! 

You read that right - July 24 is Self-Care Day. Why July 24? Because self-care is important 24/7 (or 7/24). 

What is self-care, and why is it so important for your health? “Self-care is not synonymous with self-indulgence or being selfish. Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, you can be well, you can do your job, you can help and care for others, and you can do all the things you need to and want to accomplish in a day.” (Read more in this article.) 

Many times self-care gets a bad rap. I know, I know. If you say “self-care” in your workplace, you might get an eye roll. Even worse, someone might think that you are too “soft” or that you don’t have what it takes to do your job well.

But the opposite is true!

“Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, increase happiness, and more. It can help you adapt to changes, build strong relationships, and recover from setbacks. In a national survey, Americans cited benefits of self-care as: enhanced self-confidence (64%), increased productivity (67%), happiness (71%). From a physical health perspective, self-care also reduces heart disease, stroke and cancer.” Read more here.

Those who show up at their best take time for themselves. They take time to unwind, to tune out, and to rest their mind and body.

Just as an athlete wouldn’t train their body 24/7, you can’t work your mind all day, every day. Your brain and your body need a rest. 

You need time to refresh and repair yourself after the intensity of your days.

Self-care looks very different for everyone. For some people, it's a long walk. For others, it’s time spent with family or friends. It could be gardening, running, cooking, reading, or anything else that “fills your cup.”

And those “self-care naysayers?” They are probably engaging in self-care, too - they just don’t call it that. What do they do to get away, relax, or blow off steam? They do it, too. They just call it by a different name.

If you don’t take care of yourself, what’s at risk?

  • Your physical health

  • Your mental health

  • Your relationships

  • Your work quality

  • Your interactions with colleagues

  • Your ability to serve your clients

  • Your attention to detail and mistakes

If you won’t do it for yourself, practice self-care for those around you who need you to be at your best. Your loved ones. Your clients. Your community. Your colleagues. Those you manage. Those who need you to be sharp and reliable.

Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s the least selfish thing you can do. When you practice self-care, not only do you feel better; you show up as the best version of yourself, and you inspire others to do the same. That doesn’t sound selfish at all.

So remember, self-care isn’t selfish. If you want to be at your best, find ways to “sharpen the saw” and take care of your mind and body.

Not just on International Self-Care Day, but 24/7/365!