Posted in: self-care

What Is Self-Care?

February 1, 2019

Self-care simply means being kind to yourself, compassionately giving attention to your well-being as needed in the moment.

When you think of self-care, what comes to mind?

For many of us, the first thing we think of is candlelit bubblebaths and it ends there. While bubblebaths can be decadent and soothing for sure, that’s definitely not all there is to it.

So, then, what is self-care? It simply means being kind to yourself, compassionately giving attention to your well-being as needed in the moment.

  • Compassionately  – Not doing things because you feel obligated or pressured, but because you genuinely recognize that you are in need of care and comfort in the same way you would a friend or small child.
  • Giving attention to your well-being – The act of intentionally doing good things for yourself toward wellness.
  • As needed in the moment – There’s a big difference between want and need. Self-care is based on making sure your needs are met, not so much on having your desires satisfied. (Though that can sometimes be self-care, too.) Also, needs can change from moment to moment, so what was good at another time may not be best now.

Redefining self-care

I believe we need to be in balance personally before we can offer balance outward into the world. (And, boy, does this world need balance.)

On this site and when I teach self-care workshops, I encourage you to see it in a different light. Not only defining what it means, but how to – and how not to – apply it in your daily life.

  • Self-care isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.
  • Caring for yourself isn’t necessarily the same as feeling good.
  • It can be easy to confuse escape or avoidance with self-care.
  • Needs can change in an instant. What was good for me five minutes ago may not be good for me anymore.
  • The idea that it always includes bubblebaths and candlelight isn’t true. There are a zillion ways to care for yourself. It’s a deeply personal thing.
  • There is such a thing as self-care hell. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid it.

How does it work with mindfulness?

Being mindful is simply noticing without judgement. It’s a tool to be fully present in any moment, without the distraction of thoughts or feelings. Observing dispassionately, assessing the situation.

Being mindful slows us down so we have the space to look inward and reflect.

It brings clarity so we can see what we truly need for self-care.

It clears away the heaviness of self-judgement so we have energy and compassion to care for ourselves.

Ways to care for yourself

 

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