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Self-care is a term that I am sure you have all heard many times, but what does it really mean? It can be overwhelming in a world that doesn’t stop, and there are constantly new products and things to try to promote wellness. This article will outline what I feel self-care is, how to navigate the ever-evolving world of self-care, and some of my favourite things to do as self-care. 

Self-care is exactly what it sounds like; it is taking care of yourself and putting yourself first, even if that means putting other things on hold. Self-care are the things you do for yourself and no one else. The best part about it is the self part. To me, this is the most important part. What you do as self-care should be because you like it, because it works and feels good for you. At this point you might be thinking to yourself, “but I don’t know what those things are,” and that’s okay. Self-care is often talked about as a journey and this resonates with me. For a long time, I didn’t know what worked for me, and because of that, I neglected the notion of self-care. However, as I began to burn out and see the value in putting effort into taking care of myself, I quickly realized how important it truly is. It involved a lot of trial and error and the changing of routines and practices but it has been worth it. 

My best suggestion is to do some basic research on popular self-care routines/practices as well as sit down and make a list of the things that make you feel good. This can be anything; if it puts a smile on your face (and it isn’t illegal) throw it on the list. If you’re like me and like to stay super organized you may want to put everything you find into a document in your phone/computer/notebook, this way when you’re struggling to think of what you can do for yourself, you’ll have something to refer back to. It’s as simple as that, however, you may find that some things you try don’t work for you and that’s okay too. Like I said above, it’s about you; trust your instincts and if something doesn’t feel right, go back to the drawing board. 

Something else to keep in mind is that self-care can be as complicated and grandiose or as simple and lowkey as you like. Deep down, what self-care is about is becoming more self-aware and recognizing when you need to put yourself above other parts in your life that may be draining you. This can be an extremely challenging task, even more so now with the additional strain of COVID-19, which has affected everyone in its own way. It can be even harder to find time for yourself, or maybe you have too much time on your hands. Whatever your situation, adopting even small, self-care practices into your daily routine will increase your self-love and (hopefully) decrease your stress levels. 

Throughout my self-care journey, one of the most important things I have learned is that self-care really can be anything, depending on what you need at that moment. Sometimes self-care is as simple as taking a nap during a long day or calling a friend to cheer you up. For me, self-care has become a part of my daily routine. I do things that make me feel just a little bit better about my day and myself. For me, this includes a quick workout or yoga every other morning, a morning and night skincare routine, the use of essential oil roll-ons and diffuser blends, journaling/planning, and meditation. These things have worked for me, and they may work for you, however, there is so much out there to try and experiment with. I encourage you to do research and really sit down and reflect on the things that will bring you joy and relieve some of the tension and stress of everyday life. 

 

Trinity Sheppard

Wilfrid Laurier '22

She is a 3rd year Social Work student with a minor in Indigenous studies. When she's not watching her DVD's or listening to her vinyl collection you can find her painting, drawing, or hanging out with family and friends.
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