Self-care has become something of a buzzword recently. It’s bandied about offices and peppered into conversations everywhere. Everyone seems to think that it’s all about taking long baths, reading a good book, meditating, doing yoga or pilates, or any number of other things.
Which in some ways, is true. It’s all of these things.
It’s not just any single activity, and it cannot simply be scheduled regularly in a diary (which can, admittedly, help). It’s not just the Monday yoga session which you 100% cannot ever miss. Self-care is about listening to yourself – what you need, what you want, what will help to keep your mind and body healthy.
So, it can be about having a regular yoga session, but if you’re not feeling up to it, or if keeping to a regular schedule is driving you potty, then don’t feel like you have to do it.
Equally, what works for others might not work for you. For instance, I find writing is a form of self-care for me. It allows me to think through certain aspects of my life (challenges, problems etc.) as I write about them. Half the stuff I write doesn’t even see the light of day. However, for others, the idea of sitting down one afternoon to write for hours must be hell.
It’s partly about what makes you tick. What stuff makes you happy? Self-care is about connecting with yourself, understanding what makes you so unique and what can fulfil you. That might be a good book, it might be a bath, or it might be bouldering at the weekends. There’s no set formula.
I’d also add that it can change, day-on-day and week-on-week. One week I might get bit by the writing bug, the next I’ll want to explore the city, and the week after that I might just want to chill out in a bath.
So, next time you find yourself itching to do something, it might just be the type of self-care that you need. Don’t define yourself by the self-care routines of others – make your own. Your self will thank you for it!