Self-care – we hear this phrase day in and day out from influencers, friends, teachers, in magazines, pretty much everywhere these days. This is, of course, for a good reason because self-care is critical to our health and well-being, but for many of us the bigger question is how to actually incorporate self-care into our lives.
What is self-care?
Self-care, as the name suggests, is quite literally any act of care you provide or partake in for yourself. This type of care comes in a variety of forms, but its purpose is to help take care of your physical and mental health in small ways throughout your daily life.
Where many people get confused is with the thought that self-care has to be this elaborate event where you take the day off and pamper yourself for hours. While yes, that would be fantastic, it’s not the most practical solution for everyone. Self-care does not have to be a big to-do in order to be effective. As long as you feel the benefits and come to realize its importance, then you’ve had a successful self-care moment!
Self-care is not all about the physical health aspect to our overall wellness. More often than not, it is about the mental and emotional aspects. This means the focus tends to be on doing the things that make you feel calm, happy, excited, etc. even if they are not always what’s best for you from a physical health perspective.
Why is self-care important?
When it comes to our health, we all tend to focus on the physical aspects that require a doctor’s visit (or even just an annual check-up with the dentist), but self-care is so much more than that. Self-care is all about the little things you do for yourself in-between doctor’s visits to keep your body and mind healthy as can be!
When you neglect to take care of yourself in the interim, you are more likely to end up ill, stressed, fatigued, and in physical or emotional pain. Self-care helps keep these symptoms at bay because when you take care of your mind and your emotions, you enable the domino effect and take care of the rest of your body, naturally!
How do I incorporate self-care?
Easier than you would guess — just don’t overthink it! As previously mentioned, you do not need to have an extravagant pampering day to feel the effects of self-care, although that would be lovely!
Self-care is simply doing something to take care of your mind, emotions, and your soul everyday such as:
- Treating yourself to your favorite cookie, ice cream, cupcake, etc.
- Purchasing that book that you’ve been wanting to read and setting aside time to read it
- Writing in a journal
- Visiting a local pet shelter to play with some cats and dogs
- Scheduling that dentist appointment (or any other doctor appointment) you’ve been avoiding
- Going out to dinner with a friend or by yourself for some you-time
- Making your favorite meal
- Taking a bubble bath with essential oils
- Scheduling a massage or a facial
- Getting your favorite coffee or tea before work
- Saying “no” to going out with friends sometimes because you’re tired
- Saying “yes” to going out with friends and enjoying a glass of wine
- Waking up a few minutes earlier than usual to stretch or meditate
There are so many ways to incorporate self-care into your life. As long as you are doing something that makes you feel good, that doesn’t harm you, you are taking care of yourself. Remember, self-care does not have to be a party-size event, it can be something as simple as giving a few dollars to the homeless man on the corner or rearranging the furniture in your room. It’s about you and what makes you feel happy, calm, and stress free!