What is Self-Care?
The official definition of self-care is defined as, the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.
My Personal Definition of Self-Care?
Self-care is developing the practices through conscious effort and routine to create and maintain a better version of yourself. Self-care grows the love within through building self-esteem and pride. This is built through maintenance and self-development.
What is Not Self-Care?
Self-care is not anything that is subtracting from your health mentally.emotionally, and physically. Self-Care is insulting, self-deprecating, overextending, overindulging, or overspending. Most importantly, self-care is not punishing yourself.
Self-Care is Not Insulting yourself because you do not have the ideal imaginary body, a large bank account, the luxury car, or the dream mansion.
Self-Deprecation should not be apart of self-care, speaking about yourself in a devaluing or overly modest way takes away from your self-worth over time. When we are self-deprecating towards ourselves that's an open invitation for others to devalue us as well.
Self-care is Not Overextending yourself to others. As cliche as it might be, you can't help others until you help yourself. We have to first make sure our needs are met before we help others. After making sure all of our needs are met physically, emotionally, and mentally are met then we are in a position to be able to help others.
Overindulging is not self-care, eating, drinking, partying too much are examples of overindulging because even though at the moment it's pleasurable will it benefit you the next day, week, month, year, and so on? If not, then those activities need to be limited. Maybe have that extra dessert on a special occasion. The lack of discipline is not self-care.
Overspending is not part of self-care, spending within your budget and not overspending to accumulate more debt to get an immediate pay-off is not self-care because overtime overspending turns into debt which turns in to long-term stress. Why is Self-Care Important? Self-care is important because you learn how to love yourself. When you are prioritizing taking care of your wants and needs, It helps to build yourself identity overtime. Building a good sense of identity helps build strong self-esteem and self-respect. When you have self-esteem and self-respect helps create healthy boundaries with others. You build healthy boundaries with others because you built them within yourself. Healthy boundaries with others help create stronger more fulfilling relationships overtime because instead of feeling drained spending time with friends and family you will feel recharged.
What Does Self-Care Look Like in Real-life? For example, your friend Judy is having a dinner party Saturday. Being the good friend you are you go to the dinner party you bring a nice bottle of wine. The dinner is delicious, everyone is having fun with great chats, food, and wine. Before you know it is 8:30 pm and you know if you don't get to bed before 10 pm you will not be your best for the next day. You let your friend Judy know that you have greatly enjoyed yourself and you need to get home. Judy, ask you to stay just a bit longer! You let Judy know you would love to stay and spend more time with her today but you need a good night's rest and invite her for a morning walk tomorrow if she's available. Judy perks up and says she would really like that, you say your goodbyes and leave so you can be in bed by 9:30 pm. That was a healthy example of self-care helping to create boundaries. You are listening to your body's needs, in this case, is getting a good night's sleep. You are also creating healthy boundaries with Judy that does not leave her alienated. How to Get Started with Self-Care? Getting started with self-care should be pretty easy. Do not feel like you have to overhaul your entire life overnight. Self-care is a journey which means gradual changes over time that will improve your quality of life. Here are some easy to incorporate self-care examples... 1. Get a Good Night Sleep This can mean setting a consistent bedtime to make sure you are getting a good 7-8 hours of sleep every night. 2. Adding Exercise Most of us understand that exercise is important to our overall health physically, mentally, and even emotionally. It can be as simple as going for a walk. Exercise helps produce endorphins which are good for mood. 3. Adding More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Meals Adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals increases the fiber and nutrient intake can increase the feeling of satiation which means feeling fuller and eating fewer calories. Increasing the number of fruits and vegetables in your diet can help maintain or obtain a healthy weight. 4. Take Relaxing Baths I find this is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to take care of myself and relax at the same time. I love filling my tube with a couple of cups of Epsom salt, oils, and Himalayan salts and etc. It's so nice just to soak in all the minerals and just relax my body in a warm tub of goodness. And I love coming up with different bath recipes! 5. Sheet Masks Korea's gift to the world, sheet masks! I love sheet masks they are usually inexpensive and effective for the skin. I love picking up a sheet mask from my local Dollar Tree, Hmart, Walmart, or Target. But sheet masks are also available for a great price on Amazon! 6. Drink Water I am mindful of my water intake, since increasing my water intake I notice for my skin it's been helping to reduce breakouts it's also helped me feel more full and eat less and reduce water weight. 7. Drink Tea I have a true love affair with tea, I drink at least a couple of cups of tea daily, be it matcha, herbal, or otherwise. Tea has tons of benefits such as helping regulate mood and great antioxidants. 8. Saving Money I use to be a shopping addict. I have spent thousands of dollars or various clothes, makeup, electronics, kitchen gadgets, and various other products that I never have touches I just wanted that satisfaction of buying something. I have moved from being a mindless consumer to saving and investing my money for the future. It has helped me become more grounded as I have worked to repair my credit. I am a fan of Robert Kiyosaki who teaches to pay yourself first when you get paid. It is important to move from being mindless consumers to really investing financially in ourselves so that we are not forever wage slaves. 9. Hobbies and Interests I truly feel encouraging people to take hobbies is a neglected area of our society. People with interests make interesting people. As a child, I had a ton of hobbies. I drew, painted, played instruments, I loved going to museums I loved learning about different cultures and studying other languages. Sadly, due to having a family and working a corporate job, I neglected my hobbies. Hobbies and interests enrich us as people. Hobbies and interests build creativity and learning which is important to keep us mentally sharp.
Reading is something that is unique to humans. Since starting my journey of self-care I find that reading has helped me increase my vocabulary and made me a better conversationalist. It goes without saying that reading helps increase knowledge and makes you smarter. Reading also is entertaining it gives you a way to connect to a narrative through reading that no other medium can. If you can not find time to sit and read a book listen to audiobooks which are just as enriching as reading. The purpose of self-care is to deliberately take action in the act of developing and nurturing our mind, body, and soul to make use better and happier over time. Self-care does not have to be expensive, time-consuming, or difficult. It is the actions we take to love ourselves.
Note: This article will be updated as needed.