Thankfully, very honest acts of personal love such as this are finally finding their way to the forefront of societal discussion. And it’s no surprise that in conjunction with stories like Selena’s the concept of “self-care” is becoming increasingly popular as well. But for those who are unfamiliar with the idea (outside of its plain speaking description), now is as great a time as any to learn about and enjoy the many benefits of this super individualized practice.
Not sure where to begin?
Well for starters, self-care is different for everyone. For some it’s going for a run, while for others it may be crawling up in bed with a good book. You see at its very core, the purpose of self-care is to simply identify your current needs and nurture them accordingly.
To get you going, here are three scenarios, as well as a few accompanying self-care tactics to try.
If “depletion” feels like your middle name, your version of self-care may require some time to slow down. Creating a space that elicits feelings of comfort and relaxation is a great place to start. A softly lit room, be it through candles, a himalayan salt lamp or dimmers, will immediately promote relaxation. Meditating or simply focusing on your breath in a comfortable position can also help to quiet the mind. This can be done in silence, to music or using an app. Taking a hot shower or bath is also a great way to unwind. At the end of the day, it’s all about guilt-free pampering.
If you’re looking for something outside of your home, taking a yoga class, receiving a massage or even getting a manicure/pedicure can all be helpful forms of self-care.
When stress has got you chomping at the bit (or just feeling all kinds of on edge) your self care approach may require you to release a little energy. Going for a run, brisk walk or taking a workout class will not only circulate feel good endorphins, but also allow you to blow off steam in a positive and healthy way. If lacing up running shoes isn’t really your thing, going for a hike and taking some time to quietly connect with nature may also do the trick.
There is no feeling more frustrating than one we’ve bottled up. Both exhausting and stressful, holding in those less than pleasant emotions can provoke an overwhelming sense of negativity. Journaling is an empowering approach to confronting your thoughts in a safe and completely private way. Writing is not only cathartic, but it can also help us to work through our ideas more fully. Ultimately, providing perspective, understanding and even, healing. If talking through an issue seems more in line with what you need, then relying on a trusted friend or therapist can provide you with the time to work through feelings in a self-loving manner.
Whatever your approach, the key to self-care is listening, without judgment, to your needs. It may feel weird or even selfish at first, but this concept is meant to be turned to time and time again. Much like the air mask analogy you hear before takeoff, it is your job to ensure your own breathing before focusing on anyone else’s. Though easier said than done, we are only as good to others as we are to ourselves.
Related: How To Turn Strangers Into Friends