DISCLAIMER: My blog WILL have typos. Once I write about an experience, I leave it where it is. I don’t want to look back at them or relive them. So once I write, I don’t proofread. Sorry, not sorry. Either way, take what you need and leave what you don’t.
Recently I have been asked two questions a lot: “How do you explain self care to people that don’t understand?” and “What does self care mean to you?”.
The answer to number one is…You don’t! And the answer to number two is…it doesn’t matter!
See, this is the great thing about taking care of yourself: it’s subjective. It’s whatever you need to do for YOURSELF. If you want to pamper yourself and get your nails done, hair done, everything DID, then do that. If you feel like you need to put off doing work or cancel plans and just lay in bed binge watching Power or This Is Us, then do that. If you want to do both of those things too, THAT’S ALSO FINE! Do Boffum!
It is not surprise that we all need different things at different times. Or maybe it is a surprise to some of you readers, but now you know the facts. And sometimes, the things we need don’t always make sense to us or we don’t even realize them at the time. Many of us try to push through our feelings, and if you are like me, you occupy yourself constantly to distract yourself from how you really feel. So what you need may look differently to you than it looks to the person next to you. Self care might look different to you on one day than it looks to you a week later. So to try to explain self care to someone else, IS NOT A MUST. [Has someone ever asked you why you canceled plans or why you cried, and your response, either out loud or in your head, was “I just felt like it” or “I needed to”?] There are so many varieties of self care, needed on different days, at different times. It is also exhausting to feel like you have to explain to anyone why you are doing something for yourself or what you need at a certain time when you feel like all you need is YOU TIME.
Self care is personal. Self care changes all the time. Self care is what you need when you need it, whatever it looks like. Self care to me, these days, has looked like taking breaks when I need them. Self care looks like me being more in tune with my emotions and what I need, so that I do not burn out. Self care looks like limiting my contact and conversation with people that drain my energy (I have started to pay attention to how I feel after hanging out with or talking to certain people).
I truly don’t care what self care looks like to you (wait, keep reading!). People who love you won’t care what genuine self care looks like. As long as you are in tune with what you need, you are taking care of yourself and you are happy with yourself at the time and with what you are doing, then I am happy for you. The people that love you will be happy for you and support you. This meannnnnnnnns that self care, genuine self care, can look how you need it to look, and you do not have to offer an explanation!
If you’d like some ideas for self care, here you go!:
- Crying. Its necessary sometimes, especially when you feel like you are holding a lot in or carrying a lot on your shoulders.
- Working out. Working out , as you have read in previous posts, is great for the body AND the mind.
- SAYING NO! I put this in all caps because saying no, canceling plans, not taking on extra work, or whatever the case may be, is so beneficial and helpful. I know that some of us feel bad for saying no to things because we don’t want to let people down. But people who love and care about us will not be upset when we say no to put our needs first.
- Laughing! Watching a funny movie, being around someone that makes you laugh, or positively reminiscing are great ways to get and keep a smile on your face.
- Expressing gratitude. When you take the time to acknowledge who and what you have, it literally lifts your mood. It also puts things into perspective and lets you know that nothing bad lasts forever, that you have greatness in your life in all forms.
- Sleeping. Listen, lack of sleep is a huge factor in increased stress levels and anxiety. Also, often times we miss out on sleep because we are worrying about things we cannot change, or at least not in the moment, or because we have too much on our plate and are always on the go. Either way, GET SOME SLEEP.
There are many more ways of expressing gratitude, but feel free to use or start with these.
Positivity, growth, and all the things,