Not Just A Buzzword: How Self-Care Affects Our Physical Health

If the term “self-care” triggers an eye roll from you, we blame the internet. For a while there, images of idyllic bubble baths, serene spa days, and even expensive getaways permeated social media, telling us that truly taking care of ourselves means indulging in one of these practices. In reality, self-care is simple: it’s about carving out time to do things that make you happy, which in turn benefits your mental and physical health.

Read that again: self-care is crucial for maintaining good mental and physical health. That means that even if you’re too busy with work, tied up with family responsibilities, or just find the concept of self-care too woo-woo for you, you’re not off the hook.

Not making time to do things you love doesn’t only lead to a pretty unfulfilling and unhappy life but also makes you more susceptible to illness. Stress can cause high blood pressure, while anxiety and depression can contribute to heart rhythm disorders. Our founder Clare Matschullat often stresses how the right mindset can help patients fight cancer and other diseases.

The mind-body connection is very real, whether we like it or not. Thus, self-care isn’t lazy or frivolous – it’s essential for maintaining a healthy life. If you’re into the bubble bath thing, that’s great; go nuts. If not, here are some other ideas for your self-care routine (most of them are free, too).

  • Join your community walking or running group
  • Try a new workout class (many studios and gyms offer free trials!)
  • Hang out at your local dog park (you don’t need to bring a dog)
  • Mark your calendar for the next street festival or farmer’s market
  • Join a book club
  • Volunteer, whether it’s a beach or mountain trail cleanup, animal shelter, planting a garden, etc.
  • Find local live music spots
  • Try therapy
  • Indulge in that item that brings you joy (a great candle, cozy blanket, a new bike)

Most importantly, remember that self-care is exactly that: the thing or activity that brings you joy and peace of mind. Even a few minutes a day can be beneficial, so why not start today?