What is self-care? Self-care is the practices, activities and habits we create to compensate for stress, unhappiness, illness and so on. It is giving ourselves relief when we feel overwhelmed by life and circumstances. It is a way of addressing problems in our life in a healthy and positive way.
Lalah Delia said, “self-care is how you take your power back.”
When flying in an airplane we are instructed in case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop down in front of you…If you are traveling with a child, please attend to yourself first.” The reason for this is simple. Until you are helped, you are likely to cause more problems or even become part of the problem rather than the solution.
Self-care is all about taking care of the little things that matter to help you renew and heal so that you can become part of the solution. There is no cookie-cutter formula for self-care. What works great for some may actually cause problems for another. To care for yourself you need to know what your needs are and address them individually.
Self-care can address different aspects of your life. There is mental, emotional, physical, social, pleasure and spiritual just to name a few. It is up to you to decide what you need at the moment. Many self-care activities address more than one area of your life. For some it may be a day at the spa, and for others it may be setting boundaries or having the courage to speak your truth.
To help give you some self-care ideas specific to your situation, here are a list of activities based on mental, emotional and physical needs:
Mental needs can vary from rest and relaxation to stimulation to prevent brain “mush”. Mental self-care activities help to give the mind a break, clear the mind from clutter or challenge the brain. Some ideas include limiting your time around toxic people that cause stress and anxiety, saying “no” without feeling selfish, taking a nap, reading a book, learning a new skill or hobby, or coloring in a coloring book.
Emotional needs can cover a wide range of feelings. Emotions dictate how we behave so it is important that we maintain our emotional health. It is important to remember that there are no good or bad emotions. To self-care emotionally, do something just because it makes you happy, listen to uplifting music, write statements that include “I love myself because …”, have a good, cathartic cry, join a meditation group, or create a list of self-love affirmations.
Our physical needs can be quite different. Your body is incredibly important for a full life and it wants to be active and healthy. Some physical self-care activities could include Pilates or yoga, dancing to your favorite songs, drinking plenty of water, getting a massage, getting out in nature, or spending ten minutes in the sun soaking up some vitamin D.
The important thing to remember about self-care is that it is all about taking care of yourself. Look inside yourself and discover what areas of your life need some TLC and find some activities or new habits that will meet your needs.
Remember self-care is not selfish, you deserve to be your best self.