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What is Self-Care and Why Is It Important?

By: Kimberly Rattray, MS, NCC, RMHCI, Primary Therapist at The Renfrew Center of West Palm Beach

What comes to mind when you think of self-care? Do you think of shopping sprees, applying face masks, fine dining, or extravagant vacations? To many people, self-care translates to “Treat yo’ self!” But in actuality, self-care is much more meaningful and essential to a balanced, high quality life. 

So what is self-care, and why is it important? Self-care includes any activity you do deliberately in order to take care of you; they promote personal wellbeing. Self-care is not selfishness nor self-indulgence. 

In today’s society where capitalism and consumerism reign, material items are often marketed as self-care, though they hold very little value in promoting actual health and wellness. Though the specific activities vary from person to person, self-care should bring peace, clarity, energy, and inspiration. Examples may include getting adequate rest, eating well, maintaining balanced work/life routine, getting enough physical activity, meditating, setting healthy boundaries, grounding/breathing techniques, cleaning/organizing, following up with medical care, engaging in hobbies and spending time with loved ones.

Self-care requires honest reflection, self-compassion, and adjustment to present circumstances. Self-care helps to prevent burnout or compassion fatigue, and promotes stress-management and resiliency to life’s stressors; essentially, self-care is self-preservation. 


Kimberly Rattray, MS, NCC, RMHCI is a Primary Therapist at The Renfrew Center of West Palm Beach, FL. She earned her Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL, during which she interned at Renfrew’s Coconut Creek location in FL as a practicum student. Kimberly earned a BA in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University and completed courses to receive a certificate in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She enjoys learning about multiculturalism, empowerment for marginalized populations, and multidimensional approaches to health and wellness.


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