It is extremely difficult to express the importance of taking care of one’s self, and as the old saying goes: You can’t pour from an empty cup. Self-care seems to be a trendy topic, especially among young those living in young adulthood. But what is self-care exactly? As humans, we all have physical, emotional, and mental health. It can be difficult to find a balance between the three of these without feeling like you are prioritizing one over the other or if you’re like me – without feeling “selfish.”
Unfortunately, self-care does not come with an instruction manual. There’s no one way to take care of your self because we are all unique individuals with different wants and needs. It’s okay if it takes time to figure out what works best for you. Here is a breakdown of the different areas of one’s health and a few ideas on how to take care of them:
eat well, hydrate, get some sleep, work out/exercise, allow yourself to take breaks, dance, wash your face, brush your teeth, eat your favorite snacks
give yourself affirmations, allow yourself to feel happy/sad/mad, laugh, spend time with people who bring you comfort, buy yourself small gifts
check in with yourself, track any thoughts/feelings/moods, take time away from electronics, self reflect, say “no” to taking on new projects if you need to, watch an old favorite movie or television show
Taking care of yourself deserves to be a *priority* for everyone; however, with great power comes great responsibility. Some days you might just need to set aside 20-30 minutes to practice some self-care and others you might need to take a whole day to yourself. Both are completely okay. Sometimes it can be easy to overindulge in certain behaviors and slap a “self-care” label on it.
We all deserve a day once in a while dedicated strictly to focusing on our own wellbeing. But skipping work/class/other priorities too frequently and claiming that you are doing it for self-care or mental health, and then not actually acknowledging your wellbeing is not practicing good self-care and is just a form of self-sabotage. Eventually all of the missed appointments, assignments, projects, work, etc.. will catch up and probably cause you more stress than you started with.
Remember to practice self-care frequently and selflessly.