Self-care is a very popular topic nowadays (for good reason) and I’ve mentioned it a lot here on The Inspiration Lady. But I realized I have yet to write a post about what it actually means.
I’ve heard some people speak in such a nasty way about self-care. About how it’s selfish, it’s lazy, or it’s an unnecessary luxury. These people just don’t fully understand what self-care is, full stop. There are SO many misconceptions out there about self-care and it can be hard to get the gist of what it really means.
Self-care can mean different things to different people, but the basic idea of it is right in the term. It’s the act of caring for yourself.
To some people, self-care is taking a day off every now and then and giving yourself a break. To some people, self-care is dedicating time to pamper yourself. To others, it’s making sure you’re meeting your basic needs – such as exercise, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, etc.
To me, it can mean all of the above. It’s listening to yourself, noticing when you’re in need of something, and making sure you’re meeting those needs. Whether those needs are taking a break, pampering yourself, getting exercise, spending time with a loved one, or anything else.
Only you know what you need and sometimes, only you can make sure you’re getting what you need.Only you know what you need and sometimes, only you can make sure you're getting what you need. #selfcare Click To Tweet
So many things can happen when you neglect self-care. I can definitely tell when I’ve been putting myself on the backburner, especially because I have anxiety (and occasional depression) and my mental health really suffers. I start having more anxiety attacks, I feel sluggish, and I can’t focus.
When you aren’t caring for mind, body, or soul properly, you can definitely notice. You’ll probably be more on edge and you’ll probably end up feeling completely burned out.#Selfcare is the biggest step toward learning to love ourselves fully! Click To Tweet
Self-care is also a major step toward learning to love ourselves fully. For so much of my life, I struggled with even liking myself most of the time, to be honest. But self-care has taught me so much about myself and it actually helped me see that I’m worthy of showing myself love, no matter what.
If you feel overwhelmed by life, unorganized, frazzled, anxious, depressed, insecure, or just plain unhappy, self-care can help you so much. I can’t say enough about how important self-care is for our health and happiness.
I hope that this helped you get a better idea of what self-care is if you weren’t totally sure. Now I’d like to talk about some of the basic forms of self-care that you should definitely focus on!
We’ve been told how important sleep is since we were young but still, so many of us don’t get enough quality sleep. Your body literally repairs and refreshes itself while you’re asleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can’t function properly. You’ll have a lowered immune system, you won’t be able to think clearly, and your emotions can get all out of whack. If you think this is a problem for you, you should try to go to bed earlier, wake up later, and/or take a nap if and when you need to.
Yes, exercise is a basic need that you need to make sure you’re taking care of. You know about all of the happy chemicals that are released when we exercise, and all of the health benefits that it gives us so I won’t lecture you here. But you really should make sure that you’re getting at least thirty minutes of exercise three times a week. You don’t need to do anything crazy, just get your body moving and you’ll definitely notice a difference in your mental health and physical health, I pinky-promise.
Eating well is a big part of self-care. Some of the things we put in our body are just horrible. Processed foods, hormone-ridden foods, and tons of sugar. Doing this is definitely not a good way to care for your body. I always say that junk food is okay once in a while, but it definitely shouldn’t be a regular eating habit. Try to feed your body healthy foods and drink enough water.
I think having a solid support group (or tribe) is essential for good self-care. If you have toxic people around you all the time, they’re going to bring you down. So make sure you’re spending your time with people who support you, encourage you, have fun with you, and just make you happy. You should have at least one person you can talk to about anything that’s bringing you down. A small, supportive tribe is better than a bunch of people who aren’t really there for you.
We all need things that make us happy – the more, the better! I have several things that I like to do when I’m feeling down, like reading, playing video games, crocheting, and playing with my dog. You need things you can turn to when you need an escape. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed, it’s good to have a healthy way to cope. I call these things happy distractions. You could draw, bake, watch funny videos, or start a hobby you’ve always wanted to try.
A big part of my self-care practice is my religion. I’m a Christian and prayer, reading the Bible, and going to church does so much to lift my spirits and help me feel recharged. If you have a different religion, then do something to focus on your spiritual beliefs regularly. If you’re not religious then things like meditation, visualization, yoga, or spending time in nature can do wonders to help you recharge and clear your mind.
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How do you prioritize self-care? Let me know in the comments!