What Does Self Care Mean To You?

You probably hear the words ‘self care’ banded around like nobody’s business. There’s a reason for that, though. People may only just be putting a big focus on it, but caring for oneself is crucial if you’re going to live a happy, low stress life. Perhaps, like most people, you spend a lot of your time worrying about and looking out for other people and your own self care falls by the wayside. Self care is not selfish, and it doesn’t mean you spend every waking hour only thinking of yourself. It does mean, however, that you put as much importance on yourself as you do other people, and you ensure that you’re not caring for others to your own detriment. You can’t pour from an empty cup, after all! 

Self care can mean different things to different people. So, what does self care mean to you?

Taking A Break From Technology

Technology consumes our lives these days. We work on computers, we carry mini computers in our pockets, it’s no wonder we all feel disconnected and unhappy. Take breaks from technology. Get rid of the apps that you don’t really need, and have set times for checking your phone. Try to fill the time with more fulfilling things instead. The time you scroll mindlessly really adds up. That time you spend focusing on the lives of people you don’t know anymore could be spent on a hobby of yours or learning a new skill - even just sleeping! 

Pampering Yourself 

Many people view this as the classic form of self care, and it is great if you need a little TLC. Take a hot bath and use fancy products. Wash your hair, paint your nails, apply a mask - do what it takes to make you feel good. Don’t feel bad because looking good makes you feel better. We all like to look good, and if it boosts your confidence, then do it. You are worth it.

Eating Nourishing Meals

Nourishing meals are a wonderful form of self care. Being busy often means we forget to eat and just grab snacks that aren't great for us, running off coffee and adrenaline. This will catch up with us eventually. Trying to eat nourishing, balanced meals will make a huge difference to your health, energy levels, and more. If you can prep in advance you should find this easier. If not, bear in mind that you don't need to eat 3-4 balanced meals a day. You can eat 2 healthy, balanced meals a day providing they are big enough and include important nutrients, alongside snacks. Some people even manage to eat one huge meal a day, but it may not be possible for you to get all of the calories and nutrients you need this way. 


Spending Time on Hobbies and Things You Enjoy 
Spend time on the hobbies you have lost along the way. Paint again, even if you feel out of touch. Write poetry, even if it’s terrible. Stop doing things with a goal in mind, or because you think you need to be ‘good’ to do it. You don’t need to write a prize winning novel or paint a picture somebody is going to want to display. Just do it for sheer enjoyment. If you do it often enough, you might just get better at it. Focusing on the result, rather than the process, however, is not a good idea. Do it because you like it and see if you can get into the ‘flow’ state. Studies have shown that we all need to spend more time in this state for overall well being and happiness. What is the flow state? That place where you’re so focused on what you’re doing, you lose track of time. Many people find this state when playing an instrument, knitting, or running. Find what gets you into the flow state and do it!

Setting Clear Boundaries 

Most people don’t set boundaries. This can happen for quite a few reasons. For one, we’re rarely told how to set them or why we should set them. We’re so worried about being viewed as nice and potentially upsetting other people, that we let them take advantage of us and betray ourselves. This doesn’t even need to be in clear, obvious ways. The other person may not know that that’s what they are doing. But it’s something you will carry with you for a long time. To set boundaries, we need to know what our own boundaries are. For example, if a friend constantly calls you in the middle of the day and drags you away from work because you work from home, it could be time to set a boundary and let them know that it’s not ok, and that you’re working. Tell them you’ll call them back later, or that they can call you back. You don’t need to be available for everybody all the time. Set boundaries with your partners, and insist your needs are met and that your well being is cared for. Failure to do this could mean you need to go for chlamydia treatment and end up feeling angry and resentful towards the other person. Worry less about being nice and worry more about upholding your own values and caring for yourself. 

Getting To Know Yourself

Becoming more comfortable spending time alone is key, and you can do this by getting to know yourself. Don’t try to fill up all of your time with the company of somebody else. Spend time reading, pampering, doing art, walking, and more. Get comfortable with your thoughts and who you are with nobody around. 

Learning Something New 

Spend time learning new things. Many of us stop learning once we leave school, but life is a lesson!

Reparenting Your Inner Child

We all have an inner child that needs reparenting. It’s rare we actually had parents who knew exactly what they were doing and reacted in the right way to every single situation. Take the time to figure out what your inner child needs and do more of it.

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