Self-care isn’t so self-focused anymore. Self-care is what we do to take care of ourselves, for our own sake and well-being. It is giving back to ourselves. But it also benefits others.
I learned about self-care by spending time with my aunt, who says that self-care is self-love. She has shared with me that, if I want to enjoy my life and feel good, it starts on the inside. Like reading my favorite book or eating my favorite food, doing something that brings satisfaction within is an important part of life. When we spend time with ourselves, we learn to enjoy our own company, and then we can enjoy the company of others.
Studies show that 64 percent of people who practice self-care feel more self-confident, Seventy-one percent are happier and 67 percent experience increased productivity. Also, many clinical studies have shown self-care to be an effective way to reduce heart disease, stroke, and cancer. So, your self-care benefits you, your family, friends, and employer!
Self-care is especially important for older adults who are experiencing pain, mobility issues, or chronic illness. In recent years, due to COVID-19, many people have experienced social isolation. A regular exercise routine can improve both physical and mental health, which are vitally important. Socializing, like spending time with friends and family, helps maintain emotional health as well. Starting a hobby, to have a sense of accomplishment and build self-confidence, is important for aging happily.
Self-care is very significant for racial justice too. African Americans experience many different levels of trauma every day, including institutional racism in the workplace and seeing violence against Black people on the news and on social media. It is a struggle for many Black Americans to receive proper care from mental health professionals due to lack of Black therapists, fear of treatment, and discrimination. For African Americans, practicing self-care can help heal the wounds caused by the traumatic events we face daily.
Self-care is the key to truly enjoying our lives. Whenever I take time for myself, I feel refreshed in a way that I can’t get from doing anything else. I like to go outside, turn off my phone, and read a book to relax my mind. As a result, I am less stressed, a better decision maker, and a happier person altogether
When we take for ourselves, we empower ourselves physically and mentally. As we age, we become more delicate, making self-care even more necessary for our health. African Americans can benefit from self-care activities to help deal with the injustices we face every day. The more time we spend catering to our well-being the better off we and the people around us will be.
Contributor Jeliyah (juh-lee-yuh) Sherman is a rising senior at Roosevelt High School in Seattle. She looks forward to studying communications, business, law, and policy. Jeliyah says she chose to do this internship because she wanted to learn something of value that she could use for the rest of my life—a life lesson, one that you don’t forget because it’s relevant and important.