A Basic Guide to Self-Care

With things such as self-care threads becoming such a prominent trend in social media, I have seen many who believe that what works for them should and will work for everyone else; however, this could not be farther from the truth. The reality is that genetics and other factors that vary from person to person play significant roles in what a person may need. In this article, I will try to provide helpful tips on how to find what methods of self-care will work for you. While this may not cover everything, I hope it is helpful to those who seek advice on how to properly care for themselves.

Image via Chris Knight/Unsplash

The most important, as well as the most obvious, aspect of physical health is diet and exercise. This does not mean that a person should follow a strict diet and work out like a bodybuilder. Diet-wise, you should make sure that you are getting the nutrition and calories you need. Your main priority should be your overall health, not your weight or the appearance of your body. Although certain body types are glorified by society as being “healthy,” the reality is that there are healthy and unhealthy people of all body types. It is also recommended that you drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Water is crucial for all of the body’s most important functions. Finally, physical activity in some shape or form is key to staying healthy. Whether it be something as simple as choosing the stairs instead of the elevator or doing a few bicep curls before you go to bed, anything counts.

Also, many people find that skin care is an important part of their self-care routine. The first step is finding a cleanser that was made for your skin type. If your skin is oily, look for cleansers that specify they are for oily skin; this also applies to those who have dry and combination skin. While some people may prefer to wash their face twice a day, some may prefer to wash their faces at night and use a toner in the morning. There are also people who may prefer to wash their faces and then use a toner afterward. It’s all about what works for you. The next key step to skin care is finding a face moisturizer that works for you. Although, some people may believe that people with oily skin don’t need moisturizer. As for body care, shower once a day. If you shower too frequently it may dry out your skin. Be sure to lotion your whole body after you get out with moisturizing lotions. If you prefer to shave be sure to use shaving cream or some other form of alternative. If you choose to exfoliate your skin, one thing I like to use is sugar scrub and a natural bristle brush about once a week.

Teeth are also very important to take care of. Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day. If you have braces, you may have to brush after every meal to avoid having stains on your teeth. Also, if you have to wear rubber bands with your braces, please be sure to do so. They really do make a difference and can cause you to have to wear braces for much longer. If you have had braces in the past, be sure to wear your retainers. You should also try to get into the habit of flossing at least every other day to get the plaque in between your teeth that your toothbrush may not be able to reach.

To add on, take care of your medical needs. If the doctor wants you to take medication or supplements of some sort, please be sure you are diligent in taking them. If you do not feel comfortable taking them for whatever reason, please be sure to mention it to your doctor so that you can discuss supplements. Even if you feel embarrassed, you should be honest with your doctor so that they can provide you with the best care.

Be sure to take care of your mental health. If you feel as though you are not able to talk to anyone close to you about your feelings, look into getting a therapist. This can be a therapist at school or a private one.  If you are unable to contact a therapist for some reason, invest in getting a notebook to use as a diary so you can get your feelings out. You are always able to rip the pages out or scribble over sensitive information if you are worried about people finding it. Next, find a creative outlet. Everyone has one, they just might not know what it is yet. You do not need to be an expert on it, just find it enjoyable. This can be writing, as aforementioned, drawing, singing, or anything you find enjoyable. When it comes to school or working a job, be sure to do the best you can so there is no room for regret. Study using methods that work for you; if your current method doesn't work, switch it up! Leave for class or work a few minutes earlier than normal so that you are always on time. Do your assignments ahead of time so you have time to review them.

Finally, try to spend your time with positive people who want the best for you and do not put you down. Many people confuse constructive criticisms for put-downs and vice versa so it’s best to communicate for clarity. Even if not in this particular situation, communication is always best. It will relieve you of the paranoia of not understanding what people mean.

In addition to this, you should treat yourself because you deserve it! Take a long bubble bath. Read a good book. Put on a face mask. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel good. Take care of yourself!