The Importance of Self-Care
by Raquel Torres

Self-care looks different for everyone, and it is important to find what you need and enjoy. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. In addition, although self-care is not a cure for mental illnesses, understanding what causes or triggers your mild symptoms and what coping techniques work for you can help manage your mental health.

Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.

Here are some tips to help you get started with self-care:

● Get regular exercise. Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your mood and improve your health. Small amounts of exercise add up, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do 30 minutes at one time.
● Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated. A balanced diet and plenty of water can improve your energy and focus throughout the day. Also, limit caffeinated beverages such as soft drinks or coffee.
● Make sleep a priority. Stick to a schedule, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
● Try a relaxing activity. Explore relaxation or wellness programs or apps, which may incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises. Schedule regular times for these and other healthy activities you enjoy such as journaling.
● Set goals and priorities. Decide what must get done now and what can wait. Learn to say “no” to new tasks if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much. Try to be mindful of what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.

● Practice gratitude. Remind yourself daily of things you are grateful for. Be specific. Write them down at night, or replay them in your mind.
● Focus on positivity. Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
● Socialize a little. Stay connected. Reach out to your mentors, friends or family members who can provide emotional support and practical help.

Self-care often doesn’t just happen, it’s a deliberate activity you do in order to take care of yourself. It is an active choice and this means, like any area of health, requires planning.

You may need to:
• Set alarms for doing or stopping certain activities
• Put it on the calendar/planner
• Share your plans with others for accountability
• Look for opportunities to practice your self-care
• Check-in with yourself often

Try to keep in mind that self-care is not selfish.

REMEMBER: If you are best at caring for yourself, you are better able to care for others. Your health and happiness reflect into every area of your life.

Raquel Torres, MBA is a USAT Elite Certified Coach, Professional Triathlon Coach and Professional Triathlete. Raquel also writes blogs for several magazines and her team Athletic Mentors. Since May 2021 she contributes as a columnist with CNY Latino Newspaper. She shares true life stories with her experiences, also tips and tactics that helps anyone to be their best version. To read about her, head over to and search for her by her name. You can also send questions or comments about her column to the following email: and go to her website at

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