When you hear the term “self-care,” what comes to mind? A bubble bath? A facial? It’s easy to get drawn into things that make you feel good in the name of self-care. Everyone loves a good massage, or indulging in their favorite dessert. While taking care of your physical body is very necessary, there are other forms of self-care that are just as important. It’s important to understand that looking at self-care holistically is the key to having a better quality of life. Take care of yourself will reduce stress and improve your mood.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, most countries (especially the United States) set things up for poor people to stay poor. While it should not be a privilege to be able to have your basic needs met, the reality is that a great deal of people cannot even afford self-care in hardly any form.
Money: Most everyone, even the wealthy, have fears around money. Without getting to deep into money trauma, it is important to understand your actual monetary needs and wants. Budgeting your money so that you pay your bills on time and in full is a boring form of self-care. However, without taking care of our finances we eventually run into bigger troubles down the road.
Health: Running your body into the ground with stress, poor diet, little sleep, a sedentary lifestyle, and overstimulation are things that we’ve all done over the course of our lives. Having annual check-ups at the doctor, going to the dentist twice a year, eating for your body type, and exercise/movement are all ways to take care of your physical health. Going to therapy is mental self-care. If you are sexually active, getting tested for STIs is also self-care.
Wellness: More and more people are looking toward other modalities of healing such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, and meditation. Cupping massages are gaining in popularity amongst non-athletes. There are free high-quality yoga videos on YouTube, and gyms popping up with low monthly fees. This is the fun part of self-care. This is the stuff you put on Instagram to let the world know that you love yourself. Self-care has many different faces. Simply unplugging from social media or the internet altogether can improve your productivity and boost your mood.
Understanding the importance of slowing down and tuning into ourselves is an imperative part of self-care. We glorify being busy and refuse to take the time to make sure our star player is well rested. This is nothing to be ashamed of, but acknowledging areas in your life that you neglect is a great first step. This is quite possibly the most difficult part of one’s self-care journey. I encourage you to be very gentle with yourself as you make changes to your daily routines.