What Does Self-Care Really Mean?
If you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralised and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. - Dalai Lama
The term ‘self-care’ gets thrown about a lot these days. It has mostly become a trend, a buzzword, a fluffy term for the wellness industry to convince us that spa days, wine in the bath tub and a little bit of retail therapy is the epitome of self-caring. While these things are all delightful in their own right, true, genuine self-care needs to go somewhat deeper than this.
Read on to explore a little more about what truly taking care of your self really means and how you can incorporate this into your daily practices...
KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO TRULY TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Do You Take Care of You?
Self-care is about deliberately doing, or refraining from doing something, that puts your own wellbeing at the forefront of your priority. It means giving yourself the same grace, compassion and care that you also give to others. It means caring for yourself.
Some of us have a difficult time in considering the concept of self-care. The idea that your own self is more valuable; some of us find this hard to grasp; that we are worthy of our own loving. It is almost foreign to some.
How Can I Practice Better Self-Care?
We all have needs. Emotional ones, mental, physical and spiritual ones too. No one is exempt from having these needs. We are also no good to others if we do not tend to these needs. We become resentful, irritable, tired and burnt out.
Self-care requires work that looks a little different to each one of us. It might mean coming to the realisation that you cannot heal alone and that perhaps it is time that you accepted some help. It might also mean that you are now going to set some boundaries, learning that it is ok to say no to requests that you are no longer comfortable with. It could also mean saying yes to new experiences and stepping outside of your comfort zone. It might also mean replacing toxic habits with healthier coping mechanisms, like meditation or exercise. It could also mean letting yourself eat an entire tub of ice-cream without feeling bad about it or watching that whole other episode on Netflix over getting eight hours of sleep - or not.
Self-care practice is different for everyone and there is no one size fits all approach. What matters is focusing in on your needs and understanding with the utmost conviction that what feels right for you is of the upmost importance.
You may think that it is something to skip over, however truly taking care of yourself is fundamental if you would like to live a more integral, healthier and balanced lifestyle. It requires the commitment to finding out what a life is like that is authentic to you. True self-care is making the conscious choice to build a life you don't need or wish to regularly escape from. It is establishing simple, habitual actions that create balance and making hard choices to establish boundaries.
Living your life in this way may take some getting used to but once you experience what it feels like to live a lifestyle that is more authentic and in honour of your own needs, your experiences and daily well-being will be much improved and far more valid, valued and enjoyable.
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Feature Image by Daphne Blunt
Author: Charmaine Beneyto
About: Charmaine is the founder of biddie. Originally trained as a performance artist and director she became inquisitive about mind-spirit-body health through her preparation and training for the stage. She created biddie to assist womxn on their journey to improved health and internal wellbeing. You can find Charmaine @charmainebeneyto