Self-care has become a buzzword, with pictures on Instagram of people using face masks, indulging in bubble baths with their new bath bombs, getting manicures and pedicures, treating themselves to chocolate, a green smoothie, you name it. While all of that is great and there’s nothing wrong with it whatsoever (seriously, go for it!), I think it’s also worth to shed some light on the self-care that might not be as fun, “insta-worthy”, or even pleasurable. The self-care that hardly anyone talks about. The type of self-care some might think of as “a necessary evil” – even though it’s not evil at all because it’s still caring for yourself!
Definition of Self-Care
Let’s get a little technical for a brief moment and take a look at what self-care means according to some definitions:
Oxford dictionary: The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
Meriam-Webster: Care for oneself.
From a Psychology Today article: Self care in essence is the mindful taking time to pay attention to you, not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that ensures that you are being cared for by you.
Based on reading these definitions, my interpretation is that self-care is a practice that involves caring for ourselves in ALL aspects concerning our health (mental, emotional, physical).
The Background Story
I’m writing on this particular topic because of an experience I had that made me question what self-care really is and what areas of my wellbeing I needed to cared for.
I had a couple of rough weeks in March. I got really sick while I was in The Philippines. It started off as a simple cold, which later led to bronchitis. I was basically in bed for a week and a half, with barely any energy to do anything. The week after, even though I was feeling better, that low energy and “sick routine” lingered around. It also didn’t help that I flew to Canada, so I was recovering from being sick plus now I was jet-lagged. So I felt drained. I was still staying in bed way too much during the day. I would be too lazy some nights to do my usual routine (wash my face, brush my teeth, floss, etc). I was struggling to keep up with clients and work. I felt foggy. Then it dawned on me that I was not practicing self-care in the most simplest ways.
Practicing self-care is as simple as keeping up with our hygiene (a nice shower will do), finding time to move around (perhaps a mini dance party in your room) or going for a walk, even if only for 5 minutes. It’s also regularly keeping your overall medical health in check, which is SO vital and sometimes taken for granted. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t frequent the doctor as much as I should.
When was the last time you went for a general check up at the doctor?
When was the last time you went to the dentist for a cleaning?
When was the last time you got your eyes checked?
Types of Self-Care
I compiled a list of other “not so popular” types of self-care that I find just as important as the ones we typically see/hear about:
- Brushing your teeth + practicing good, regular hygiene overall
- Going to the doctor
- Going to the dentist
- Getting our eyes checked
- Drinking more water
- Budgeting and sticking to that budget
- Not taking that extra shot of tequila
- Taking a lunch break vs. working through lunch
- Not watching the next episode on Netflix at 1am when you know you need to be up early
We can have an established self-care routine, but sometimes life happens (such as getting sick or being a jet-setter) which can cause a shift in our routine. Getting back to that routine can be challenging, but not impossible!
Make yourself a priority and get back to your self-care routine. I’m very eager to hear what your ideal routine looks like and the reasons and stories behind it. Book a discovery call with me and we’ll work something out.