It’s a phrase prominent in recent ads, whether for ice cream, golf clubs, or even soap – “self-care” is everywhere, convincing you that you could make yourself happy with a new exfoliant or take a much-earned break with a glass of wine. While there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself now and then, that’s not actually what self-care is – it’s far more important.
Self-care, simply put, means setting aside time to do things that bolster both your physical and mental health. While this could certainly involve a special snack or a bubble bath, there are multiple, daily acts of self-care you can take that will help you take care of your emotional and physical health.
Take care of your body. This could be as simple as taking twenty minutes to walk up and down the block. It might mean making sure you drink enough water. It could look like making sure you get enough sleep, getting enough protein in your diet, or taking up yoga.
Take care of your mind. Self-care in this arena can look like eliminating sources of unnecessary stress from your life. Cutting back on social media time might be a good self-care practice. Making sure you see friends and family who help you be your best self, doing a relaxing, creative hobby, or even meditation are just a few examples of mental and social self-care practices.
Not every practice works for every person. Set some time aside to experiment with different practices. Maybe yoga isn’t for you, but you want to pick up tennis instead. Meditation is not everyone’s cup of tea, but walking in nature might be just as effective in helping you move your body and relax your mind (see HERE and HERE for more suggestions.) It might take some time to find your best individual self-care practices, but they’ll be invaluable to your overall health and happiness.
What is Self-Care? – ISF (isfglobal.org)
Self-Care: 12 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself | Psychology Today
NIMH » Caring for Your Mental Health (nih.gov)