Self-care: Are you doing it right?
Updated: Aug 29
Self-care. It gets talked about quite a lot these days. Is there a right way to do it? Is there a wrong way to do it? What does it look like? What doesn't it look like?
I'll be honest, I'm writing this right now and realizing I don't know everything I think I know about practicing self-care. Let's get a definition, shall we? Here's what I found: self-care is anything you do to be good to yourself; knowing when your resources are running low and stepping back to replenish them rather than letting them all drain away. Write that down if you need to!
Let's face it, life isn't what it used to be when we were little kids running around with the only pressing questions being: What time does the new episode of That's So Raven come on?!(my apologies if you aren't a millennial and you're reading this, feel free to insert whatever show you used to watch as a youngin').
We all have priorities, responsibilities, and adult duties to tend to and these things take up a large majority of our time. We get so consumed by the everyday hustle and bustle of life that we forget to take care of ourselves. Or we even put so much emphasis on making sure everyone else is taken care of that we stretch ourselves way too thin. I know you've heard the phrase "you can't pour from an empty cup". Are you an empty cup?
I think that oftentimes we may think that choosing ourselves over others (specifically, our loved ones) or consciously making the decision to take time for ourselves will be perceived as selfish. I think it's about time we let go of that belief. I mean, if you don't take the time to fill yourself back up then how can you expect to be able to function at your best and thus pour into others?
"The point is not what you do or how often you do it, but that you're taking the time to care for yourself."- NAMI
Do you know how I told you I didn't know everything I thought I knew about self-care at the beginning of the post? Well, here's some more of what I didn't know and maybe you didn't either! (I did some research, but I promise I'm not about to bore you)
There are about five different types of self-care: sensory, emotional, spiritual, physical, and social. Peep the graphic I made! What comes from these five types of self-care are some of the top five benefits: better productivity, improved resistance to disease, enhanced self-esteem, increased self-knowledge and you just have more to give!
Now let's revisit this question: Is there a wrong way to do it? Yes. Listen, not everything that feels good is self-care! Self-destructive mechanisms are only going to temporarily make you feel good. What doesn't it look like? It doesn't look like abusing alcohol and drugs or taking risks that could cost you your life or isolating yourself from everyone and everything 24/7 and calling it "me time". I'll say it again for the people in the back: not everything that makes you feel good is self-care!
When you practice self-care, I think you begin to learn more about yourself, you're able to know your specific personal needs and what you can do to work towards fulfilling those needs so that you can properly support your wellbeing! You get the chance to figure out what makes you feel refreshed and new.
We have to realize when we're running on E and takes those moments to truly take care of ourselves.
Maybe you're wondering, hey do I have to spend my coins in order to practice self-care? Absolutely not! It can be something as simple as taking five minutes during your day to just sit by yourself, breathe, and be present. But if you are trying to spend a pretty penny, it can be something as grand as taking a trip by yourself to somewhere tropical- where you can get massages and feel the sand between your toes!
Self-care is so important. We have to realize when we're running on E and take those moments to truly take care of ourselves. Taking a moment to pause amidst all of the craziness that life presents us and asking ourselves: Hey, you good? You shouldn't be the last person on your list of people to tend to.
So, go light a candle.
Stop overextending yourself and starting saying "No."
Nourish your body by eating healthy foods.
Read a book.
Watch your favorite movie.
Go for a walk.
Do what you need to make sure that you're taking care of yourself. Then you'll be the best you can be for everyone else. Don't be an empty cup.
Thanks for reading, and don't forget... Be great! xoxo.