What Does Self-Care Actually Mean?

Admittedly, I have never really been interested in self care until this year. This could be due to society’s approach to mental health becoming much more open. Or the fact that the internet is now full of relatable quotes about cancelled plans and taking days off to yourself.

I have always been someone who likes to take time for myself. Taking time to myself is something I need to recharge and feel “fresh”. This year, I’m trying to more things that I know make my happy. Admittedly, lifestyle pages and endless relatable memes have made this easier. It’s true, self-care seems to have become a trendy topic. This is not an issue, it’s a good thing that we are encouraging people to take care of their health and well-being. However, it does become an issue when we paint the same picture of self-care to everyone. What matters is that less girly girls are not put off by the pictures of manicures and “self care” hashtags.

I for one adore face masks and live for a Friday night in where I can do nothing but run a bubble bath and put a face mask on. I personally would count this as a practice of self-care for me. However, this is not all that self-care is. What about girls who prefer playing sport to going shopping for “me” time? What about people who would rather do anything else than sit down with a candle and read a book?

Self-care means taking action to preserve or improve your own health. 

This can be anything from getting out there and talking to people you trust, or taking the day off to de-clutter and paint your nails. Not everyone wants to spend hours on beauty, and that’s okay. People have different interests, different hobbies. Self-care can mean simply taking a break, or making time for yourself to do something you enjoy. There is so much going on the world, people are constantly rushing. One thing I’m guilty of is spending too much time on my phone in my free time, without actually relaxing. It often leaves me feeling underwhelmed and opens a door of negativity. Staying active, getting more sleep, pampering yourself..these are all things we often forget about.

One thing I try to let go of when looking after myself is this need for perfection, and the worry about what everyone else is doing. It is okay to not be at the same level as another person, as everything happens in our own time. This is something I’m still learning to remember.

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Photo by Fabian Møller on Unsplash

Looking after yourself and working on yourself in 2019 is more important than it has ever been.

“and now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good” – John Steinback


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