Why care about self-care?
Credit: Opinion: "Self-care" is more than a buzz word.
We have heard and continue to hear variations of this sentiment throughout our life; words meant to guide us through our trials and tribulations. Typically, it’s followed by the importance of self-care and taking time for ourselves.
Great words to live by in theory, but what is self-care and how do we actualize it in our own life?
In its essence, self-care is simply taking care of yourself.
Fortunately and unfortunately, it was thrust into our everyday vernacular through social media. The widespread use of the term helped de-stigmatize the selfishness associated with taking care of yourself. However, slowly morphing into a buzz word, self-care became one dimensional in its definition through the popularized experiences of others.
Self-care isn’t a spa day, a shopping spree or eating your favourite dessert. It is a tool meant to nurture your mind, body and spirit. It’s time you take and a space you create to regroup, relax and re-energize.
What that looks like will be different for everyone, emphasized by the self in the selfcare. That isn’t to say you can’t be inspired by the experiences of others but, it’s far more impactful to deconstruct your own experiences when sharpening this tool.
To begin, schedule time for yourself, be it 10 minutes or an hour.
Our minds are constantly active throughout the day and now with our many devices, we’re never really alone. That constant engagement can weigh heavy on us all so, it’s important to forcibly make quiet time.
In that quiet space, sit with yourself and your thoughts and learn from your past experiences.
Analyze activities that catalyze happiness, joy and laughter and begin scheduling time to experience them again. Regardless of the activity, understand why it makes you feel better; this will help when searching for new approaches to self-care.
Self-care isn’t always the act of doing something, sometimes it’s doing nothing.
Learn what you don’t like and limit the time you spend doing it. Understandably, most of us don’t have the luxury to stop everything and take an extended break when need be, but it is important to limit the time we spend unhappy.
The power in self-care lies in your ability to schedule. As tedious as it can be, it does help build the discipline and consistency required to maintain a balanced life.
There is no one-size-fits-all rule book to self-care, instead its mixture of trial and error requiring constant self-reflection and analysis.
Just like any other skill, it takes time to build so be patient.
In the meantime: take care of yourself, be kind to yourself and watch over yourself.