The buzzword of the Millenium: Self-Care
Taking into account the wear and tear that comes with being a human being these days, self-care should be a top priority. It is important to incorporate self-care into your daily life. Self-care anchors you in kindness and love, even amidst a whirlwind of stress or trauma.
Self-care is about engaging or withdrawing from activities while being aware of a wide range of your own needs and deliberately taking action to support your own well-being.
Many of us want to practice kindness toward ourselves, but we don’t know how or where to start. I included, guilty as charged.
Oftentimes, I see posts with advice and tips on mental health and self-care and in the comment section a lot of the comments are like “if only I could keep going” or “I tried it once and liked it but couldn’t do it every day so I gave up” and everything along those lines. A very “all or nothing” mindset to have when considering the concept of “self-care”.
From a personal point of view, I feel like there is this unspoken rule, a proverbial instruction guide on how to engage in self-care “perfectly” or “correctly” and that if you don’t do it that way then you might as well give up and not do it at all. Self-care is a continuous task, a personal errand that you should cultivate as a way of life instead of viewing it as a chore or an obligation that has to be done. There are so many things you can do to practice self-care and it doesn’t have to be the same thing every day.
So, it is okay if you don’t do the same thing every day! To illustrate, I love journaling, and I’ll journal every day for a week and then I won’t pick up my journal for weeks until I feel like I want to. Now, the fact that I don’t journal for weeks on end doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy journaling or that it has not been helpful in my pursuit of self-care, it just simply means that I don’t want to do it again until I feel like I can or I want to.
As a substitute, the weeks that I don’t journal I engage in whatever activity I feel like doing at the time. It could be reading, baking, coloring, or even writing short stories.
Another thing I like to do to not overwhelm myself is to make daily “to-do lists” – (full disclosure, I seldom ever actually complete a full one). I’ll usually get the first two, maybe three items done, and then call it a day. However, it is so nice to have my tasks planned out and not cluttering up in my head! This helps me prioritize my tasks based on their urgency, so even if I don’t accomplish all of my tasks, I’m still way less stressed because I’ve completed what needs to be done for the time being.
The way I see it, self-care shouldn’t be an all or nothing activity. Engage in it at your own pace in a way that works for YOU. There is no hard and fast rule or one right way to self-care. Just as long as it serves the purpose of diverting your energy and lifting your mood in a positive way, it is self-care. There is only YOUR right way, hence, SELF-care. I know, quite a mind-blowing revelation isn’t it?
#mentalhealth #reflection #self-care