Self-care has transitioned from an obscure concept to a commonly used buzzword.
In the booming era of self-care buzz, pampering ourselves is seen as a requirement. We rush to the nearest spa, order takeout, and book appointments for massages.
In truth, though, that’s not all it’s about—even though pampering ourselves is essential too.
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
When looking at literal definitions of self-care, you’ll find something similar to the World Health Organization’s: “ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
But then we also run into social media posts or magazine articles saying practicing self-care is to take a full hour out of your day to luxuriate in the bathtub. While that may be wonderful whenever possible, the reality is that we do not all have the luxury of free time.
In a few words, self-care is the key to unlocking a balanced life.
Self-care that moves beyond the mainstream thoughts of bubble baths and candlelight can get downright messy. But as the famous saying goes, “Sometimes you’ve got to make a mess before you can clean it up.”
Working on enhancing self-care practices can often be one of the most challenging things we do: saving money, ending toxic relationships, or straight up staring our most overwhelming life stressors in the face and saying, “I’ve had enough of you,” and then acting to make a change.
Since we already know taking time to pamper ourselves or indulge in a pleasurable moment can be an act of self-care, let’s look at a few strategies that don’t involve pampering.
- Reflecting & Reframing: What makes you feel good? What gives your soul that tingling sensation? What makes you feel like you? Spend time digging deep to reflect on your inner world and turn the results into goals for personal development.
- Setting Boundaries: Boundaries are important in all aspects of our lives: work, money, relationships, the list goes on. Want to work on finances? Create a budget. Wish to strive for an improved work/life balance? Create a definitive, nonnegotiable end time. And then share these boundaries with someone, whether a trusted friend or your therapist. Accountability and partnership are magical when setting goals.
- Reorganizing Time: Sort of sounds like a self-care sci-fi movie, doesn’t it? But in all seriousness, it’s not always more time that we need in life, but rather self-awareness in how we spend our time. Shift gears and flip your schedule on its head: schedule time for yourself and decrease time spent on distractions that negatively impact you. Easier said than done, I know.
Self-care can be hard work at times. However, you don’t have to jump to the most challenging thing right away. If you want to take your first venture into self-care via bubble bath, do it! But if that sounds daunting, know there are other options available. Everyone is different.
ASKING FOR HELP
If you’re unsure of where to start or feel overwhelmed, reach out today, and we can partner in setting goals tailored to you. Asking for help can often be the greatest self-care act of all.
At the end of the day, self-care must be about curating strategies that help you lead a fulfilled life that you don’t want to flee. When you put yourself first, you make space for everything else to fall into place.