In a lot of ways, self-care has become a trendy topic. It is a term that seems to be thrown around a lot, but is it truly practiced for what it actually is? What does self-care mean? We have to ask ourselves why everyone is talking about it but no one is really practicing it. Is it because it is hard to define? Is it possible the term has become twisted for why it’s okay to have that extra drink, or procrastinate on an important task?
Self-care is what you do to take care of yourself, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This may look like putting up boundaries with unhealthy people in your life. It may mean taking a few minutes out of your day to center yourself through prayer or meditation. It could be finding a way to incorporate exercise and healthy coping skills. What are some other examples of self-care?
Saying “no” to staying late at the office for the 5th time this week
Getting enough sleep
Disconnecting from your phone for a while
Taking a break from social media
Reaching out for help and support when you need it
Going to the doctor when you are sick
Self-care can vary from person to person. What is helpful for one may not be for the other. The important thing is making sure you are practicing true self-care and not using it out of context.
Let’s take a closer look at self-care out of context.
“You are stressed, it’s okay to have one more. It will help you relax.” “Self-care night! Let’s go out for drinks after work.” “I’ve had a long day. I deserve to relax. I’ll turn the assignment in late.” “I deserve some self-care. I’m going on that vacation no matter what the cost.” “My self-care is: add to cart.”
You see, while self-care can be a very good thing, we have to be careful as a society and a people to not twist or misuse what self-care actually is. Self-care is not something that will get you into financial debt or encourage substance abuse or addiction. It is also not going to solve all your problems. It is always good to take care of yourself, but it is also important to know when you need to reach out for additional help. We are humans, and it is human nature to connect with people. Don’t feel like you have to have all the answers. It’s okay to ask for help.
- Ali Cooper