Self-care has now become an overused and confusing buzzword. The consumer wellness industry capitalised on the term to market goods to people wanting to improve their lives in some way.
Something meant for personal growth became the universal word for all types of ineffective coping mechanisms. Self-care should be an individual’s responsibility to find useful resources to thrive in life.
If you find you regularly need to indulge in consumer self-care, you may be disengaged from real self-care, which has little to do with pampering yourself and a lot to do with guiding yourself to make decisions for your long-term wellness.
So, what is real self-care? The answer is entirely up to you, because truly effective self-care begins with meeting your real needs in the moment.
At its core, self-care is the practice of safeguarding your own well-being and peace of mind — particularly during times of stress. Additionally, it’s about identifying the things that bring you happiness and help you to unwind. But really, self-care can be any and every thing that adds comfort and removes stress from your life — if even for a little while.
Taking time to cater to yourself is a necessity and enables you to be your most productive, energetic, and all-around happiest self — which in turn helps you be more present for others. It helps you be kinder to yourself and others, enables you to respond better in situations, and boosts patience and efficiency. Overall, it improves your mental, physical, and emotional well-being — who doesn’t want that?
In this modern world of striving, excelling, delivering, and juggling it all – it’s important to take a break, assess what is taking up unnecessary time in our schedules and lives, and make a whole lot more room for taking care of our minds and bodies.
The following considerations can help you determine what is an effective self-care activity for you. Maybe you keep coming back to the same ones, or they may be different each time – remember, you’re just giving yourself what you need to regain your energy and ability in that moment.
Recognising your feelings and what you need to restore your capacity is important for effective self-care.
Check-in with yourself using the questions above daily. Setting aside a little time each day to meet your needs can be beneficial toward maintaining your mental health and well-being.
So go ahead and plan out your self-care for this week.
10 Ways to practise self-care:
- How do I feel?
- Why do I feel this way?
- How is my body?
- What do I need?
- How do I want to feel?
- Prioritise your rest, try to get 7-9 hours of sleep.
- Eat balanced meals.
- Think kind thoughts to yourself.
- Learn to say “no” to outings and people that drain your energy.
- Clean your living space.
- Make time for family and friends.
- Get to know yourself more.
- Take in nature, go for a walk.
- Unplug. Take a break from the digital world.