The world is a bit of a garbage fire, that much is true. But you can’t log on to the Internet right now, without some publication telling you about the latest and greatest ways to take care of yourselves. Because if we don’t, we will self-destruct.
We’ve all read articles that tell us how this clay face mask will cure your depression or this bath bomb will stop you from feeling angry about everything.
If you feel like you’re going to scream, you’re not alone.
Now I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love a good face mask. Realistically, who doesn’t? But let’s face it: once you’ve applied that face mask or drawn yourself that bubble bath, while it is helpful for relieving stress or anxiety short term, it doesn’t help one out long-term.
It’s important to recognize that self-care is the most beneficial when we really start to really turn our focus inwards. When we’re giving ourselves the time and space to recognize where we’re at and where we want to be.
Even taking that step can be scary and hard for people because it’s a step towards living up to your full potential and focusing on ways to help yourself, inside and out.
People everywhere are obsessed with sharing just how or what self-care means to them, but it’s an individual journey. My self-care journey could and should look completely different than yours, and not all self-care needs to cost money.
Over on Psychology Today, it has been pointed out that one of the most crucial aspects of self-care is taking time to silently debrief after a long day. What exactly does that mean? It could mean lots of different things: meditating, making a nice meal for yourself or it could be going for a run or walk around your neighbourhood.
Whatever it is for you, it is important to understand and realize how these mini-breaks can help refresh your mind and body.
Staying positive is an aspect of self-care that may be obvious, but it is often overlooked. So often, we tend to put ourselves at the bottom of whatever mental checklist we’ve created in our minds. When we do, it can be like self-induced mind games and cause a negative impact on the way we eat, our energy levels, and how we interact with others.
It’s important for us to navigate our own self-care journey to figure out what our limits are and learn how to set personal and professional boundaries with others.
But also, self-care means we need to take time to evaluate our own lives and check-in with ourselves. By doing this, you are putting yourself first. That matters! Create a schedule for yourself and make time to exercise, cut out toxic relationships from your life, and maybe take time away from social media.
While a lot of these might activities may seem hard, Duke Integrative Medicine believes that by changing your approach and committing to carving out the necessary time, you’ll see a vast improvement in your
health and happiness. So if you want to keep buying face masks or taking bubble baths, that’s totally cool.
In one piece I read on Medium via writer Lowen Puckley, they compared it to applying a band aid and begs the question, why don’t we approach self-care gradually? “In education, they call it scaffolding?—?where one piece of learning creates a step, or scaffold, to the next.”
There is no right or wrong way to approach self-care but it is important to take steps to tackle big life choices, responsibilities, and open yourself up to becoming the person you see yourself being.
Create a self-care plan found via Reach Out and include things that will support your wellbeing. Remember that self-care is about helping you out in the long-term, and doing what works best for you. Maybe a face mask can be integrated into there somewhere.
Featured Image: Instagram/@katie_benn_
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