What is self-care?
Self-care is any activity or mindset that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety.
What isn’t self-care?
Knowing what self-care is not might be even more important. It is not something that we force ourselves to do, or something we don’t enjoy doing. As Agnes Wainman explained, self-care is “something that refuels us, rather than takes from us.”
We were shocked to hear that the majority of you who answered our self care questions, did NOT practice self care! Some of the reasons why were because of time, didn’t know where to start, or money. We hope that after you read this, you will know some ways to include self care in your everyday routine, because it’s so important!
So, let’s talk about ways to practice self care.. we found this chart pictured below and thought it would be a quick visual helpful way to see some ideas! Self care does not have to cost money, it can be going on a walk, listening to a Spotify playlist, getting enough sleep, journaling, drinking enough water… There’s so many different ways for each of us to feel refreshed and renewed, you just have to figure out what works for you specifically.
Some of you let us know some amazing, helpful ways to include self care in your routine, here’s a few we like…
Yoga / meditation (or any form of exercise)
Taking a bath / facial mask
Eating well and drinking enough water
Ladies night out
Hallmark channel or your favorite movie / show
Lighting a candle and reading a book
Set aside your phone, ipad or computer and unplug
Marie Kondo (purge unwanted items in your home and donate them)
Here’s 3 helpful tips we found that is worth a share!
Tips by Jessica Michaelson, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist and certified coach for adults and couples who want to find more joy and meaning in their busy lives.
The first step to prioritizing self-care is to revise your views on it—to realize how powerful and vital it is. Taking care of ourselves is a “basic human need, it’s not weakness,” Michaelson said.
It’s also not selfish. To the contrary, self-care makes us more available and open to others, she said. We have more to give when we’re not exhausted, sleep-deprived or overwhelmed. Plus, “self-care is an ongoing, daily practice, not an every-once-in-a-while splurge.”
Learn to pay attention to your needs.
This is a skill you can sharpen. Because, again, many of us weren’t taught to identify, acknowledge and respect our needs. Rather, unfortunately, we’re often taught to dismiss or judge them.
Michaelson suggested setting a timer to go off every hour to check in on how you’re feeling physically and emotionally. “Are you hungry? Are you stressed? What does hunger and stress feel like in your body? How are they different?”
Take small action.
Michaelson noted that self-care is taking small actions that serve our well-being. For instance, if you’re hungry, eat. If you’re tired, take a break. If you’re upset, talk to someone you trust. Don’t be afraid of therapy if needed.
Self-care also is individual. It is “based on the specifics of what works for you to be well in your body and mind.” How do you know what that is? You experiment, she said.
Again, self-care isn’t some empty, meaningless term. It isn’t defined as spoiling yourself. “Self-care means paying attention to yourself, understanding how you work and taking action that serves your personal needs,” Michaelson said. It “means not living only to please others or fit into assumptions about what you’re supposed to think, feel and do.” Self-care is vital for each of us, and it is something we can learn to do.