Self-Care is generally defined as any action or activity an individual deliberately carries out in order to develop, protect, maintain, and / or improve their mental, emotional, and physical health – but it has a different meaning for everyone.
Whatever your personal definition of self-care is, it is key to know just how important self-care is to your overall well-being.
“Self-Care is very important, and I’ve only realised that recently. You may feel like there’s pressure to meet a deadline or get super organised straight away, but there’s no point in burning yourself out trying to reach it. You need time to yourself and a break to just relax and not have anything to worry about. It’s not being lazy or not being bothered to work, it’s time to yourself to recuperate, which will hopefully only help you in the long run.” – Imogen Chloe
In my opinion, there are two main types of self-care.
The first type is the “aesthetic” type of self-care, promoted mostly by Tumblr and Pinterest, with suggestions such as painting, taking long bubble baths, spending hours reading books in a coffee shop, etc.
As aesthetically pleasing and nice to think about as they are, and though those methods are at times beneficial, they aren’t always the most practical.
The second type of self-care is, what I’m going to refer to as, “genuine” self-care. Now, that’s not to invalidate those simpler forms of self-care at all, I’m just using that as I found it to be the most fitting word to differentiate the two types.
For me, genuine self-care is carried out by getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, keeping on top of personal hygiene, exercising, etc. These methods of self-care have a much more obvious and physical impact on us, which in turn has a positive mental impact too.
With all of that said, no one form of self-care is better than another, as self-care is definitely subjective. What works for one individual would often not be as effective for another.
“Self-Care is important because we very often forget to treat ourselves as kindly as we would treat a friend. You have to set your own precedent for how you want to be treated and valued, and it starts with you. My methods are setting boundaries, and home spa nights with a cup of tea.” – We Earthbound Stars
Self-Care can be crucial to our well-being.
The less we practice methods of self-care, the more overwhelmed, unhealthy, and burnt out we can become.
For those struggling with their mental health, those who find themselves particularly stressed for extended periods of time, or those who are generally going through a hard time in their life, self-care can be incredibly uplifting and can really help them on the road to recovery.
Self-Care enables us to take a step back from whatever it is in life that is getting us down, and just pause for a moment to spend some time picking ourselves back up.
Whether it’s showering for the first time in three days, or opening the windows to let the fresh air in, or finally eating a piece of fruit after god knows how long spent using chocolate as comfort food, or any other method of self-care. Actively taking that step back and recognising we are struggling, and then taking the necessary steps forward to improve the way we feel is so important to keep ourselves going.
If we can take care of ourselves physically, our bodies will assist in taking care of ourselves mentally.
“It’s so easy to forget about self-care, but it really is so important. I have different ways of self-care depending on the time of year. In Autumn time, I find crocheting and watching YouTube is how I best switch off and look after myself.” – Blogging By Soph
A huge thank you to those of you who replied to my tweet and offered your thoughts on self-care!
Please leave your thoughts on self-care in the comments!