Let’s dispel a frequent misunderstanding right away: self-care does not equate to selfishness or self-indulgence. A good self-care routine is essential for staying healthy, productive, helping others, and completing all the daily tasks you need to do.
And yet, so many people misunderstand it. That’s why we’re here to break down the million dollar question: what is self-care? Discover the true meaning of this vital well-being practice below.
Self-care is something that has always existed, but its prevalence has been on the rise more recently. Searches for the term “self-care” have more than doubled since 2015, per Google Trends.
According to Kelsey Patel, a Los Angeles-based wellness expert and author of the book Burning Bright: Rituals, Reiki, and Self-Care to Heal Burnout, Anxiety, and Stress, self-care is a key component of the solution to how we may all better manage daily challenges. Workplace stress, the strain that comes from attempting to maintain the speed of daily living, which technology has accelerated more than before (just think how many emails come flooding into your inbox each day), the stress and overwhelm people feel over even the smallest tasks are a result of feeling isolated and less able to relax, according to Patel.
What Self-Care Looks Like
Self-care can take on many forms, but here is what it typically looks like:
- Taking good care of your physical, mental, and emotional health by making sure you have time to relax and enjoy your life
- Creating a healthy balance of personal and professional obligations
- Carving out time for yourself, be it for hobbies, physical care, or simple relaxation
- Guarding your happiness and well-being, particularly during times of stress
How to Practice Self-Care
Now that you know the core principles of self-care, here are some ways you can actually engage in it.
Have a meaningful conversation with someone you love, start a journal, read, listen to music, watch something that speaks to your emotions, or let yourself cry.
Go for a walk in a beautiful area, breathe in clean air, bathe in the sun and the moon, pick up litter, cut down on waste, use reusable items, clean your home, or redecorate a room.
Create a workable financial plan, outline a savings plan, invest, limit unnecessary expenditures, and manage your debts.
Read, listen to audiobooks, watch documentaries, do puzzles, be aware of your surroundings, develop a sense of curiosity, try new activities, explore your creative or artistic side, or take a course.
Enhance your existing skill set or learn a new skill, establish firm professional boundaries, try a new hobby, or start a side hustle.
Exercise regularly, go for walks, eat healthily, stay on top of your health appointments and check-ups, abstain from drugs and alcohol when possible, create a nourishing skincare routine, and prioritize sleep.
Let yourself have fun whenever possible, volunteer, meet up with friends and family that fill your cup, use social media responsibly, project positivity, and laugh a lot.
Think about your higher purpose and significance, go to your higher power for support, practice yoga, meditate, pray, contemplate, do right by others, practice mindfulness, love one another, and assist those in need.
It’s crucial to take care of yourself everyday. You don’t have to practice every aspect of self-care daily. Just try to pick a few that you know are doable. Don’t be afraid to carve out specific time slots to ensure you’re making time for yourself. This will help you achieve a better balance in the different areas of your life while improving your general health and well-being. Life is valuable and should be cherished, and it all starts within!