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I came from a culture where women are expected to take care of everyone but themselves. The more you sacrifice, the better of a mother you are. A culture that guilt-trips you for being away from your children and family, for having alone time for self-care. It’s simply ridiculous.

I now see why my mother sometimes crumbled and took it out on my brother and I. I also now know that self-care isn’t selfish – It’s essential for a long and happy life.

Let’s clear the misconception about self-care from the get-go. It’s not about self-indulgence, or bubble baths and expensive facials. Self-care is anything you do to take care of yourself so you can stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. It can cost nothing and be something as simple as a morning ritual watching the sunrise.

Some Types of Self-Care Include

Emotional self-care
Saying positive affirmations, saying “no” to things that cause unnecessary stress, giving yourself permission to take a pause or walking your dog.

Physical self-care
Prioritising sleep, working out, choosing healthy wholesome foods over highly processed ones or taking care of your skin.

Spiritual self-care
Participating in meditation, keeping a gratitude journal or visiting spiritual spaces that you identify with.

Self-care is different for everyone. However, whatever it means for you, the act of self-care should promote inner and outer wellness.

Practicing Regular Self-Care has a Multitude of Benefits

1. Self-care can improve your physical health and immune system
Can self-care help prevent disease? Hell yes! The more you engage in activities that promote good health, nutrition, and an active lifestyle, the more likely you are to keep illness at bay and strengthen your immune system.

2. Self-care can reduce stress
Stress can be destructive on your mental, gut, and heart health. Set up a self-care plan for you to apply whenever you feel overwhelmed.

3. Self-care can increase productivity
It seems counterintuitive – how can spending time away from work help increase productivity? Slowing down means you’ll focus more on what’s truly important and be more resourceful with your time. It increases efficiency and allows you to get more done.

4. Self-care can boost self-esteem
Taking time to relax and look after yourself can have a positive impact on the way you see yourself. Taking care of and treating yourself with compassion is an essential step in your journey to complete self-love.

5. Self-care can enhance personal relationships
When your cup is empty, how can you be pleasant and helpful to others? When you repeatedly place others’ wellbeing before your own, it’s natural to develop some resentment. It can be subtle at first, but sooner or later those feelings will start to rear their ugly head.

The happier and more content you are with yourself, the more you have to offer others.

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Lien Pham, Founder and CEO of SelfAmour

Lien Pham is the founder of SelfAmour - an Aussie self-care brand. She is on mission to facilitate women on their journeys to a destination of complete self-love through the power of self-care. Lien is a former accountant, turned entrepreneur who spent her life working in corporate before taking the leap to follow her heart and get on her own journey. Born and raised in Vietnam, she now calls Australia her home.