I had an interesting conversation the other day with a person interested in starting her self-care practice.
I was tabling as a vendor at a wellness event and got a chance to speak with her one-on-one. She was so excited about learning what self-care was and was eager to learn more.
“Tell me more about your blog!” she exclaimed. “I’m always looking for new ways to relax!”
She shared with me that her idea of self-care was getting a manicure, buying herself treats and taking naps. I would agree, these are definitely different ways of practicing self-care right? Right.
My conversation with her led me to writing this here blog post — Self-care is most definitely, not always about relaxing.
As we address the myths and trends with self-care that come up in our media messages, there’s an idea floating around that taking breaks, getting enough sleep and resting is self-care in its entirety. And for some folks, this is truly an essential part of their self-care journey (raises hand).
But, I want to gently clarify that self-care includes more than finding the space and time to relax. And this is so important for us to recognize because, for us to show up as our best selves every day, there’s more to caring for ourselves.
Honestly? Sometimes, self-care is a part of adulting. Caring for ourselves and meeting our needs on a regular basis isn’t always fun, comfortable or easy. Self-care includes doing, planning, organizing and maintaining several parts of our lives.
When practicing self-care, it helps to be mindful of what your needs are on a regular basis. And some of these needs include:
- Learning your nutrition needs
- Scheduling your medical care visits
- Receiving mental health care
- Creating boundaries with your coworkers
- Holding yourself accountable
- Managing your time
When reflecting on your self-care plan, try thinking about what your current needs are and if your self-care practice includes ways to meet those needs. Sometimes you may need to update your self-care plan or start from scratch and create a new plan.
Be mindful that our self-care includes taking a look at our whole selves and taking care of our individual and relational needs as much as we can. While relaxing is certainly part of self-care, so is maintaining your hygiene and making sure you’re managing your stress.
I’m so glad I had this conversation with the young lady I met. Because the more we discuss self-care, the more accessible it can be for all of us.
Do you think self-care isn’t always about relaxing?