The Truth Behind Self-Care
Updated: May 24
There has been a lot of buzz around the term self-care lately.
And while I think self-care is very important in promoting a healthy lifestyle, I think there is an important distinction needed to be made between self-indulgence and self-care. Often times I hear people say, “I’ll just treat myself to something as my self-care” or “I decided to binge watch a show all last night, it was my self-care”, and as much as these momentary actions might make us feel better, there is more to self-care than masking it by things we enjoy doing.
So what is self-care? Self-care are self-initiated behaviours and actions that people use in their life to promote good health, and one’s general well-being. This includes learning to be more self-aware, promote self-regulation, and find balance in one’s daily life. Without this important practice, individuals are often faced with feeling overwhelmed, burnout or experiencing unmanageable amounts of stress that leads to mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. By integrating self-care practices into our everyday life, individuals will be able to develop resiliency, emotional stability, and enjoy life to its fullest!
Now when we talk about self-care, there are actually several realms of self-care that should be considered including, professional, physical, psychological, emotional, personal, and spiritual. Below I’ll be breaking down each of these aspects and providing suggestions of how you can practice self-care!
Whether it’s managing work-life balance, dealing with a difficult colleague, or meeting strict deadlines; work can have a large impact on how we function throughout our days. Some ways to help promote self-care at work could be:
Taking small breaks
Taking a lunch break
Stretching or tense & release muscles at your desk
Taking all of your vacation days
Listening to a podcast or music if you can
Disengaging at the end of the day, leave work at work
Oftentimes when I talk to individuals about physical self-care the first thought often goes to working out. And while maintaining exercise is extremely good for one’s physical, mental, and emotional state, there are also other aspects to consider and ways to care for our physical health including:
Quality & quantity of sleep
Safe physical contact with loved ones
Basic needs (food, housing)
Making your space comfortable
And moving your body
The demands of life can take quite a toll on our mental and psychological state. What are ways that help you to unwind, relax your mind, or help manage a stressful day? Some ways could be:
Asking for help if necessary
When balancing all that life has to offer, it can be challenging to find time to experience or even access emotions. It is important to take care of our emotional state so that we are able to regulate our emotions in a healthy way. Maybe care for your emotional state by:
Allowing yourself to cry
Taking time to laugh
Practicing self-forgiveness and forgiveness towards others
Being compassionate and patient with yourself
Allowing yourself to experience feelings, even when uncomfortable
As individuals we are wired for connectivity, but it is also healthy to find balance in our free time and to also make time to spend with ourselves. Perhaps personal care could look like:
Setting personal goals
Relaxing with loved ones
Engaging in self-discovery
Spending time alone
Whether you are religious, spiritual, or mindful, have you considered how you have been caring for this realm? It is important to strengthen our self-awareness and to find out what this means to us. Would you care for your spiritual/mindful self by:
Connecting to a higher power
Walking or connecting in nature
Having quiet time
Accessing your playful side
Let me know how you incorporate self-care into your life! And stay tuned for tips on creating a self-care plan.
Thanks for reading,