The term ‘self-care’ has been floating around the internet for quite some time, but maybe you’re not entirely sure as to what it actually is. Luckily, it’s fairly straightforward.
After all, the name is self-explanatory. It’s all about taking care of yourself, which includes making time to do things that make you happy. However, self-care is more than just that.
Self-care is not just about taking care of yourself when it is easy; it’s about taking care of yourself when it’s hard to. Sometimes, self-care can be getting together for a girls’ night with your favorite dessert, while other times, it is more about ensuring you put your needs first and take care of yourself.
It is understandable that some people feel that self-care is selfish. People, especially women, are bombarded with the idea that you need to take care of others first, but that’s not always true, and self-care definitely isn’t selfish.
The truth is, self-care can boost your confidence and help you to recognize your self-worth; it’s something that the majority of people don’t even realize they need. Self-care is not selfish; it is a way to keep yourself healthy, happy and balanced. The simplest acts of self-care can transform your life.
Self-care and depression
For people who suffer from depression or anxiety, self-care is even more important. Some days, it’s hard just to get out of bed or to even take proper care of yourself in the simplest ways. However, having a self-care ritual to fall back on during the bad days can help you in many ways.
If you make self-care a habit, it will be easier to take care of yourself on the bad days. Self-care comes in different forms and largely depends on the person and situation. What works for one person may not work for another.
There are three main categories under the self-care umbrella: physical, mental/emotional and spiritual. To take care of yourself fully, you need to be aware that you need to take care of each and every aspect of yourself.
Taking care of one area doesn’t help as much as it can if you take care of your entire self. The good thing, though, is that no matter what, one small change in one aspect of your life can and will inspire change in the others.
Physical self-care is about taking care of your body—getting exercise, eating healthy meals, going for walks and getting up and out in nature. Develop a routine for the simpler aspects of life; though they may be simple, they are important. Making the smallest change in your morning routine can change your entire day.
Mental and emotional health
To take care of your mental and emotional self three things are needed. You need to be able to challenge your mind, unleash your creativity, and most importantly you need to acknowledge your emotional self.
Challenge your mind!
Challenging your mind can come about in different ways. Taking classes at your local college or rec center is a great way to learn and challenge your mind.
Invest in hobbies—learn to paint or draw, travel or learn a new language when you can or spend some time doing a puzzle or crossword in your spare time as opposed to just watching TV.
My personal favorite is reading. It is one of the best ways to learn, grow and challenge your mind. Reading enables you to open up your mind as well as expand your knowledge base.
Hobbies such as painting, writing, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, photography, art or journaling are all ways you can get in touch with your creative side.
What it comes down to is what you feel more drawn to, writing or painting? If you like working with your hands you might enjoy pottery classes or beading.
Tune into your emotional self
To some, this may sound wishy-washy, but doing this is really important. It’s all about staying true to yourself, your emotions and your beliefs. It means allowing yourself to feel.
One great way to do this is to start journaling. It can not only help you to get in touch with your creativity but it can help you get in touch with your emotional self.
This is one thing that will not only be very different for everyone, but is also a deeply personal matter for each person. For some people, taking care of their spiritual self will always be about going to a place of worship, such as a church. It can be about prayer or meditation.
The important thing to remember is to do what feels right: no way is wrong, and your spiritual calling is going to be different from another’s. Some people may feel that being out in nature is more spiritual for them, while others may feel that church is the answer. Each path is different, but all lead to the same place.
The great thing about self-care is that many aspects of it overlap within the three main components of it. Journaling, for example, lets you be creative, but it’s also an active way to acknowledge your emotional self.
Walking in a forest can soothe physical, mental/emotional and spiritual needs. The trick is to realize that we are not solely creatures of a physical nature; we also have emotional and spiritual needs, and you need to take care of your entire self in order to live your best life.
Once again, self-care is not selfish. Recognizing that you need to take care of yourself is a sign of maturity. Loving yourself is what we all need to learn. Every day, we are bombarded with constant messages pertaining to the same idea—that we are not enough—so recognizing that you are is the greatest thing you will ever do.
Tell us what some of your favorite ways to take care of yourself below! Is it a bubble bath? A girls’ night out with your best friends? Maybe it’s your favorite dessert?