I first heard the term “self-care” at my old job at a healthcare PR agency. Part of my job (and TBH, my most favorite) was working with bloggers/online health advocates who were living with chronic illnesses. Self-care was always an important topic of conversation–it was imperative for them to listen to what their bodies/minds needed, especially during times when they were in constant physical pain.
Ever since I was exposed to the notion of “self-care,” it seemed to pop up everywhere, for everyone (not just those living with a chronic condition like I originally thought). New articles and studies about how important it is for us to take care of ourselves, because apparently Americans, in general, are pretty terrible at it. I also started to realize that I didn’t really “practice self-care” up until this point. It’s not that I didn’t take care of myself–I’ve always eaten pretty healthy & exercised regularly–but truly practicing self-care takes a little more intention and awareness.
Within the last few months, I started making an effort to practice self-care & I’m baffled why I didn’t do it sooner. First of all, it feels great & makes you really happy, which seems super obvious because that’s the whole point of self-care, but you don’t realize it until you do it consistently. Second, self-care can really be whatever you want; there are no strict rules because it’s about listening to yourself about you want/need. At first, I experienced a weird sense of guilt because it felt like I was treating myself for no real reason, but once I got over that and realized I deserve to be nice to myself (because again, obviously), self-care actually became really fun & something I look forward to.
If you’re new to this whole self-care thing, here’s a simple list to get you started. Everything below takes between 30 seconds and an hour to complete, making it easy to incorporate it into your day. Again, self-care can be anything you want it to be–it’s all about making yourself feel good–physically, mentally & emotionally–because you deserve it. Enjoy!