It's essential to consider your needs as something of value. You can't take care of the welfare of others if you don't do it first for yourself. Only when you take care of your own physical and emotional health can you properly care for others. If weekly manicures or monthly spa days are out of your means, there are plenty of other self-care practices you can adopt.
Using the wisdom of expert women, as well as scientific research, I have compiled a list of seven activities that are useful examples of good self-care, and seven that are not so useful. Clinical evidence documenting the long-term health benefits of specifically adopting a self-care approach to health (compared to other approaches) is still developing, but it is consolidating. As Burton said, self-care is facing your reality and believing in yourself and your ability to handle what's on your plate. It may seem lenient, but if the activity helps you de-stress and devote time, it counts as self-care, Amsellem says.
So, should you eat that treat? When it comes to self-care, treating yourself means treating yourself well, not with foods that are unhealthy or detrimental to your wellbeing. Avery Kalapa says her work to create affirming yoga spaces and communities for people of all genders is inextricably linked to self-care. All the sources I consulted seemed to emphasize balance as part of the best way to identify true self-care, and sometimes giving good care means preparing to receive good care from others. Seek support from trusted counselors and behavioral health providers (such as therapists), a trusted primary care doctor, or a close friend.
The term self-care has been used a lot lately since it has become fashionable to talk about the good things you do for yourself in the name of being your best caregiver. Paula Gill Lopez, PhD, associate professor and chair of the psychological and educational counseling department at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, says the need for self-care is obvious. Debt is one of the main causes of stress problems, so needlessly deepening it is not a good self-care strategy.
7 Things That Are Self CareSelf-care is about taking time for yourself and doing activities that make you feel relaxed and happy. Here are seven examples of activities that can be considered self-care:
- Meditating or practicing mindfulness
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating healthy meals
- Exercising regularly
- Spending time outdoors
- Doing something creative
- Spending time with friends or family
7 Things That Aren't Self CareAlthough some activities may seem like they are self-care, they may actually be detrimental to your wellbeing in the long run.
Here are seven examples of activities that should not be considered self-care:
- Drinking alcohol excessively
- Overspending on unnecessary items
- Eating unhealthy foods
- Staying up late watching TV or playing video games
- Avoiding difficult conversations or tasks
- Neglecting important responsibilities
- Isolating yourself from friends and family