Join Me In Redefining What 'Self-Care' Really Means

Join Me In Redefining What 'Self-Care' Really Means

True self-care is important and should be maintained daily and with purpose in order to be effective. Here are some ways to prioritize and maintain your mental and physical health during your busy life.
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During winter break, with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays and family reunion, it is very important to slow down our busy lives and take time for ourselves. Self-care is defined by Dictionary.com as “care of the self without medical or other professional consultation.”

However, shouldn’t self-care reach beyond the physical aspects of picking up some over-the-counter drugs, putting on a face mask, going on a shopping spree, or taking a bubble bath? Shouldn’t the effects of self-care last longer than the physical acts of relaxation done on your days off? With a so much emphasis in today’s fast-paced society on reaching one’s “full potential,” it is alarming that the importance of self-care is often brushed under the rug.

True self-care is important and should be maintained daily and with purpose in order to be effective. Here are some ways to prioritize and maintain your mental and physical health during your busy life.

1. Write in a journal.

Take time for yourself to reflect and write about your life. While leading such busy lives, time can seem to go by so fast. Take time to slow down and reflect on your day. This can be as simple as a few sentences. Not everything needs to be shared and documented on social media for everyone to see. Sometimes it is important to sit back and write about your daily happenings without an audience.

2. Be OK with being alone.

Doing things alone allows you time to think and reflect. When constantly surrounded by others, it is so easy to get sucked into the “groupthink” mentality. So take yourself out to dinner, people watch at the local coffee shop, go on a walk, close the door and be OK with just being alone.

3. Set goals and rewards.

Set short and long-term realistic goals and rewards for yourself when you reach them. A big part of self-care is helping yourself reach your full potential and appreciate the work and effort you put in, even if others don't.

4. Cut out toxic people.

You become the company you keep. Putting energy into toxic people will end up hurting you. Choose to spend time with people who build you up, not break you down. You deserve better.

5. Realize when you need a break.

We’ve all been there. Feeling completely worn out; burnt out on our daily lives. This is the time when self-care is the most important. Listen to yourself and trust yourself when you aren’t happy in a situation. Take time to regroup and reassess. Doing something that you aren’t excited or passionate about is not worth the trouble.

Cover Image Credit: Julianna Merry

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A Love Letter To The Girl Who Cares Too Much About Everyone But Herself

You, the girl with a heart full of love and no place big enough to store it all.

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Our generation is so caught up in this notion that it's "cool" not to care about anything or anyone. I know you've tried to do just that.

I'm sure there was a brief moment where you genuinely believed you were capable of not caring, especially since you convinced everyone around you that you didn't. But that just isn't true, is it? Don't be ashamed of this, don't let anyone ridicule you for having emotions.

After everything life has put you through, you have still remained soft.

This is what makes you, you. This is what makes you beautiful. You care so deeply and love so boldly and it is incredible, never let the world take this from you.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

You are the girl who will give and give and give until you have absolutely nothing left. Some may see this as a weakness, an inconvenience, the perfect excuse to walk all over you. I know you try to make sense of it all, why someone you cared so much about would treat you the way they did.

You'll make excuses for them, rationalize it and turn it all around on yourself.

You'll tell yourself that maybe just maybe they will change even though you know deep down they won't. You gave them everything you had and it still feels as if they took it all and ran. When this happens, remind yourself that you are not a reflection of those who cannot love you. The way that people treat you does not define who you are. Tell yourself this every day, over and over until it sticks. Remind yourself that you are gold, darling, and sometimes they will prefer silver and that is OK.

I know you feel guilty when you have to say no to something, I know you feel like you are letting everyone you love down when you do. Listen to me, it is not your responsibility to tend to everyone else's feelings all the time. By all means, treat their feelings with care, but remember it is not the end of the world when you cannot help them right away.

Remember that it is OK to say no.

You don't have to take care of everyone else all the time. Sometimes it's OK to say no to lunch with your friends and just stay home in bed to watch Netflix when you need a minute for yourself. I know sometimes this is much easier said than done because you are worried about letting other people down, but please give it a try.

With all of this, please remember that you matter. Do not be afraid to take a step back and focus on yourself. You owe yourself the same kind of love and patience and kindness and everything that you have given everyone else. It is OK to think about and put yourself first. Do not feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You are so incredibly loved even when it doesn't feel like it, please always remember that. You cannot fill others up when your own cup is empty. Take care of yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Charcoal Alley

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You Don't Have To Be Single To Learn How To Love Yourself

Having a significant other can help you get one step further to self-love.

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Being single is never something to be ashamed of. There is no reason for a man or a woman to feel like they need a significant other to be happy with their life. But, if you do feel like having a S.O. would benefit you and your happiness, there is nothing wrong with that.

I am so used to hearing things like, "In order for someone else to love you, you must love yourself first," and "Self-love is the best love." I mean, of COURSE, self-love is the best love. Loving yourself and all your quirks are so crucial to living a fulfilling life, but I don't think you need to be single to figure out how to love the person that you are.

These quotes about being single and finding self-love have become so mainstream. It's not wrong if you're still trying to figure out who you are and you're in a relationship. People say that being single is a crucial part of your life that everyone needs to experience, but that's not always true.

I've been single for a while now, and I've learned that there are things I can't change about myself and that I should be valued as a person. Despite all of this, I feel like I'm never fully loving who I am 100% of the time. There are good days and bad days. Some days, I find myself wishing I could be more like someone else or change some of the things about myself I'm not too crazy about.

Having a significant other who loves me for exactly who I am can help me in learning to love myself. There are still parts of me that I feel like I'll always want to change, and sometimes it can be extremely difficult to see why those things are important in figuring out who I am.

I know what I deserve out of a relationship, and I know I can't fully rely on someone else to find my own inner happiness, but having someone there to make those bad days better can help me get closer to that happiness I'm looking for. Having a person there to remind me of all the things I should love about myself is something I feel is missing from my life.

I know that the typical way to finding self-love is through exploring your life and the world on your own, and I know that it can be deeply ingrained in our minds that we need to be confident in who we are in order to be ready for a relationship. But it's also okay to explore life with someone right by your side.

If you're single and loving it, that's okay. But if you're single and searching for that S.O. to help you love who you are, that's totally okay as well. Being single can really suck sometimes, but I'll continue searching until I find that person who wants to love me for me. I strongly believe that person will help me learn to love myself for who I am as well.

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