There is nothing new about the concept of self-care. We all know it is needed in order for us to be productive. So why is there a negative stigma to the self-care concept? In many cultures, too much self-care is seen as lazy, or is something that needs to be earned. Self-care is often seen with the perception of needing to be offset by hard work and exhaustion. Why do we need to earn the right to conduct self-love, or self-care? I am challenging you to change your thought process on the self-care concept.
Let’s talk about the definition of self-care. There are many interpretations of this word. My perception of the self-care definition is: Self-care is seen as a preventative measure to help keep the mind, body and spirit in harmony to prevent illness, fatigue, and injury. Oxford Dictionary tells us that self-care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” As we can see there are a few variations of the definition of self-care, but the underlying concept is the same. For the simplicity of this blog we are going to use my interpretation of self-care. I am a true believer, self-care should be a preventative and ongoing concept and not used only during stressful events.
Growing up I can remember being rewarded for hard work. But indirectly, if I was not too productive or appeared to coast, there was not a reward. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing incorrect about rewarding yourself for hard work, but self-care should be done just because you are you😊! Barton writes, “as much as we want to help other people, if we empty ourselves completely without recharging, we’ll have nothing to give them. Essentially, we need to take care of ourselves in order to properly care for and about the important people in our lives. So take that moment, or day, or as long as you need to recharge and get back on your feet.” Eventually, self-care will be part of your baseline regimen of care. It will become as natural as making sure you eat every day!
As you get older, you realize self-care/self-love is a true necessity. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to complete self-care on a regular basis. I know for many people self-care is a new concept. So, start off small and set a time line of the frequency of completion. For example: My personal self-care goal changed from once every other month, to once monthly, to biweekly, and now weekly. The process took years to progress to this frequency and not have any underlying guilt (you are worthy!). Also, what you do for self-care can be different every time. Mix it up and make it fun😊! Here are 10 examples of quick inexpensive self-care task you can complete to get you started. They are as follows:
- Take a walk- Free
- Play with your pet- Free
- Complete a home facial- May have items at home/free to low cost
- Paint your nails- Free to low cost
a task on your bucket list- May be a
little more costly depending on bucket list
- Get a massage- Low to moderate cost/ if you want free, have your significant other complete it for you😊!
- Complete a DIY project- Low to moderate cost depending DIY list
- Do an in home wine tasting- Low to moderate
- Gardening- Free to low cost
- Watch a movie/ TV series/Read a book- Free to low cost
These 10 self-care examples are just a start! No matter where you choose to start, you will be on your way to well appreciated self-care. Remember baby steps, and you do not have to be stressed out to initiate the process. Self-care should be preventative. You are well on your way in making this process apart of your regular routine. Remember, no one’s perfect, if you fall off just restart the process. Be kind to yourself. Your body will thank you😉!
The self-care task listed above are meant to be a reference point only and are not all-inclusive. How do you complete your self-care and how often? Please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave a comment in the comment section below (Now, an anonymous comment option available for your privacy!). As always, thanks for reading and subscribing😊!*
Barton, L. (2016, March 17). Self-Stigma: The Undeserved Guilt of Self-Care, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, April 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivingmentalhealthstigma/2016/03/how-we-feel-self-stigma-when-practicing-self-care
Oxford Dictionary (2021). Self-care. Retrieved on 2021, April 28 from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/self-care