When someone says to me self care, I imagine steaming hot drinks, rose petal baths and cuddling up in fresh bedsheets. Lovely as that is, self care actually encompasses a whole lot more than that.
So what is self care, exactly? I thought I should google an actual definition and this is what I found:
the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress
This really stood out to me because it shows self care isn’t just indulgence – it is a necessity in maintaining your own basic needs as a human, which includes your right to good physical and mental health.
Don’t get me wrong: self care can be face masks, movies and chocolates. This may be just what you need, especially after a long week of hard work – I definitely love treating myself to a lazy evening on a Friday!
However, self care is often urging yourself to work through your to do list so you can chill out knowing you have no more jobs to do, or getting yourself out of bed on a day where you just can’t pick your mood up.
It’s important to recognise when you need to have a little self care because you risk burning out if you don’t! This will set you back much further than the effort it would take to find out how to really relax. For students, this can mean giving yourself time off, whether that is a day off school or an evening away from homework.
Self care differs from person to person, and so does the level of care they require. Personally, I can tell if I haven’t been looking after myself properly because my tolerance for stressful situations plummets, so I always try to make myself conscious of my own cues that I need to give myself some time to recuperate.
Simply, self care is the balance between being kind and being firm with yourself. It may take some time to find that balance, to know when to allow yourself a break and when you need to push on, but these are a few tips in beginning to care for you and your body:
- Consciously put some time aside each week for self care
- Get enough sleep
- Eat a balanced diet
- Keep on top of your work
- Write a list of your favourite self care activities
I’ll follow this post up soon with “Self Care Acts For A Healthy Mind” so keep an eye out!
See you soon,