We Need To Have A Real Conversation About Self-Care

In conversations surrounding self-care, I often find myself getting frustrated with how people view basic self-care practices. When the topic of self-care is bought up, face masks, bubble baths, and yoga always seem to become the focal point of the discussion. While these are lovely actions, they aren’t as realistic as to what self-care entails. Most who struggle with their mental health have a hard time actually taking care of themselves. If we continue to water down self-care to simply pampering, we end up overlooking the things that are needed to take care of our mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing, and ultimately neglecting ourselves rather than taking care of ourselves. 

Self-care is a common term used to describe a series of deliberate acts that we do every day to improve our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. These actions aren’t always luxurious. Taking care of yourself shouldn’t require you to buy anything, or spend money. Self-care is listening to your body and mind, asking yourself what it is that you need, and giving it to yourself. 

As I stated before, most people who struggle with mental health issues have a hard time actually taking care of themselves. For most people, acts of self-care are pretty boring. For example: taking a shower, simply getting out of bed, remembering to eat, or brushing your teeth all qualify as self-care. While these acts may seem small to some, they could be extremely difficult tasks for others. Regardless of how your self-care looks, it’s important to know that if you took time out of your day to do something for yourself, even if it’s the smallest thing, you’ve achieved the practice of self-care. 

Self-care varies from person-to-person. It’s important that when talking about self-care, we keep in mind that each person needs different things to sustain themselves. At the end of the day, the main objective of practicing self-care is to make yourself your main priority, even if only for a few minutes. Yes. Face masks, bubble baths, and yoga are all valid acts of self-care, but generalizing self-care to these acts may alienate those who have difficult times doing the simplest of tasks. Self-care is not only about rewarding yourself or taking a few moments for pampering, but it’s also about self-preservation and making sure you have the things you need to get through the day.