The Importance of Self-Care

By Heather Matzkowitz, LMSW

Self-care involves treating yourself as kindly as you treat others, and it is essential to a happy and healthy life. Often, it is when we feel we don't have enough time to focus on ourselves that we need self-care the most. I have been guilty of neglecting my own self-care in the past, but once I came to the realization of how essential my own needs were, I was able to fully give myself to others.

I don't have enough time for self-care. This is a statement that is made far too often, especially by women. It's important to remember that it is vital to your well-being to make the time to fit self-care into your week. Below are four easy steps that you can take to incorporate self-care into your lifestyle:

1. Begin with your needs
What is it that you need in your schedule to help relax your mind and de-stress your body? Maybe it's spending quality time with a loved one, exercising, taking a hot bath, sleeping in on the weekend, watching a movie, or playing with your dog. Self-care is your own personal escape and is there to revitalize you and make you feel nourished. 

2. Recognize that self-care is not selfish
Self-care is anything but selfish. For many of us, if we do not take care of ourselves then no one else will.  It’s important for women to make self-care a priority in their lives so that they can live happy and fulfilled lives. 

3. Incorporate small amounts of it
Many of us have the notion that in order to effectively practice self-care we must engage in it for an hour or more. This is not always feasible and if this is our expectation, then we are likely setting ourselves up for failure. Even a 10-15 minute self-care activity on a daily basis can show enormous health benefits. 

4. Schedule it
Writing down “self-care” or a specific self-care activity into your calendar can help you to remember to engage in it. Often times our schedules are so busy throughout the that we forget to take time for ourselves. Even something as simple as a sticky note on your mirror can help to remind you to take time for yourself. 

Prioritizing self-care into your daily routine is tremendously beneficial for your mind, body, and soul. Once you start incorporating self-care into your lifestyle you will begin to see that you’re able to give even more attention to the things in your life that are important to you. 

Heather Matzkowitz, LMSW is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you are looking for support in finding solutions to enhance your overall wellness, contact Cobb Psychotherapy by calling 718-260-6042 or emailing, and see how therapy can help.

Elizabeth Cobb