The term 'self-care' has been thrown around a lot in the last few years, but what does it mean? Is it soaking in a bubble bath with a Korean face mask on sipping on a cup of wine while learning to classical music or is it indulging in those sweets you had sworn off for your diet, staying in PJs all day while only watching Disney movies. No, self-care really is defined as simply taking care of yourself. There is no right or wrong way to do that, but maybe we should go further than defaulting to nice showers and eating sweets.

We offer self-care to our friends almost every time we speak to them. In our actions, conversations, day-to-day activities, we express care for their well-being. For close friends, it's easy to tell when one of them is down and if they're down, you and your group are always ready to meet up and make their day brighter.

So, why is it so hard for us to do the same thing for ourselves? It's even easier to notice when we're in a bad mood, but most of the time we ignore it because we have told ourselves that it's easier to ignore your bad feelings rather than addressing them. At the end of the day, the person who can take care of you the best is yourself. You know what you need and what makes you the happiest

Self-care should be taking time for yourself. It's treating yourself to a first date, reminding yourself of your values and reaffirming who are you to yourself, not anyone else. It's giving yourself the liberty to breathe without doubting yourself or your abilities and reminding yourself that everything is a process.

You should give yourself the time that you allow others. Building up frustration towards yourself isn't going to resolve anything, but rather put yourself further down than you were. This new year, you should challenge yourself to make sure you're taking care of yourself before anyone else.

Tackling self-care has no roadmap, it's more of a stepping stone path, but you hold all the stones. You decide how you're going to take care of yourself, whether it's investing time in reorganizing your life or finding the feng shui in your home. You could FINALLY start that fitness journey you've been telling yourself you'd do two years ago, or change up your hairstyle. Self-care is putting your needs and wants to the forefront instead of pushing them aside in favor of helping others. How can you take care of others if you aren't taking care of yourself?

Remember, self-care isn't about how much money you can spend on yourself. Save the dollar for something else. Instead, see it as an act of stabilizing yourself, bringing your mind and body back to homeostasis. You need to take care of you at the end of the day, not wait for a shoulder to free up so you can cry on it. Be your own shoulder and lift yourself up if you can.