I’ve been seeing this word a lot lately on billboard adverts, beauty product labels, and hashtags on social media. What does it mean exactly? Is it something that’s unique to each person? A certain product I could buy? A regimen that if I follow x,y,z, I’ll be guaranteed to be as fabulous looking as Jennifer Aniston at forty five?
To really figure out what self-care means I started doing some research. And by research, I mean I googled “self-care”. According to Psychcentral.com self-care is defined as the following; “…an activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health…Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.”
I thought I practiced a good amount of self-care. I exercise, have good hygiene, I have wine with the girls after a long day….self-care right? Yet when I started really thinking about the subject, I came to the realization that self-care is something that, for the most part, was something that I was doing when I felt I “needed” it. When I start feeling overworked, under slept, depressed, or lost. I’m a naturally happy, high energy person, so for me, waking up once or twice a week and not feeling 100%, no big deal right? It’s normal to have some off days. The thing that really got me though was the word “anxiety”. I think we’re all familiar with it. My anxiety has been through the roof lately. It feels like the older I get the worse it gets. Sometimes I know exactly what triggers it and others it hits me out of the blue like a bag of bricks. Is self-care the answer to my anxiety? Instead of feeling 100% five or six days, could I have seven? Fourteen? Is thirty possible? Can making a habit out of practicing self-care every single day guarantee feeling happier, healthier, and more connected?
I’m putting it to the test. I narrowed self-care down to five categories that I feel are important to me; Emotional/mental, spiritual, physical, social, and practical/professional. Starting April 15th (this week is my birthday and I plan to focus fully on celebrating), for thirty days I will practice a form of self-care in each of these categories daily and record my thoughts, feelings, and emotions throughout those days.
I haven’t narrowed down exactly what activities I’ll be adding in so feel free to comment with suggestions! Also, if this is sparking a fire in you, join me in the challenge! I would love to hear about your experiences with the subject and/or support you in your journey. Plus, not only is it easier to have a buddy during challenges, but it’s more fun too.
Until next time, be kind to all living beings.