Self-care is not selfish – it’s necessary

A woman drinks coffee or tea in her home while enjoying a moment of self-care. Self-care is an important way to support mental, physical and spiritual health.

When you empty a glass of water, there’s nothing left to drink. The same is true of your time and energy. Self-care helps you “refill your cup” so you don’t run dry.

What is self-care?

The Harvard Health Blog shared this anecdote to explain self-care. During pre-flight safety talks, a flight attendant says to secure your oxygen mask before helping someone else. The idea is simple – you can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself.

Self-care is about making time for your physical and mental health. As anxiety rises across the country, self-care is more necessary. It’s no wonder stress balls, fidget spinners and squishy toys are popular among people of all ages  as an outlet for nervous energy.

So, what should I do?

Self-care means giving yourself permission to relax mentally, physically and spiritually. Here are a few self-care tips from our own wellness professionals:

  • Say “no.” Ignore the pressure to overpromise and allow yourself to turn things down. Stick with tasks that are meaningful to you. You can’t do everything for everyone — and that’s okay!
  • Get moving. Running, dancing or walking can help boost your energy and recharge.  
  • Take a minute for yourself. Practice mindfulness, create a gratitude list or focus on a few deep breathes to help reduce stress.
  • Embrace a hobby. Get your creative juices flowing or find a distraction from every day stress. Some ideas include drawing, crafting, playing an instrument or gardening.
  • Be kind. Say three nice things to yourself in a mirror. Give yourself a pep talk. Treat yourself to your favorite snack. Whatever you decide to do, you deserve it!

Keep in mind that what works for someone else may not work for you. Find your own self-care routine and make it a priority.

If you feel overwhelmed…

You’re not alone. Reach out to a friend of family member and share how you feel. Ask for help with tasks to trim your to-do list.

ConnectiCare members may be able to get support using their behavioral health benefit, available through Optum. Call 1-888-946-4658 or visit liveandworkwell.com. The online access code is “connecticare.”

For added help with stress, anxiety or depression, here are some national hotlines:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline:1- 800-799-7233
  • Hopeline: 1-800-442-4673

More self-care ideas are available on our blog:

More resources: