How to REALLY practice self care

The self care movement has been huge recently because people are finally starting to realize the importance of stopping and taking care of themselves. This movement has been especially targeted towards women who often put others before themselves. Self care is being promoted mostly by beauty brands looking to sell you bath bombs and face masks or yoga and spin studios looking to have you as a member. Bubble baths and yoga studios are a form of self care for some, but don’t let advertising and capitalism fool you, self care is much more than that. Self care is any mindful action to take care of your mind, body, or soul. Maybe for you, pampering yourself is part of your self care, as it is apart of mine, but it shouldn’t be the be all, end all of caring for yourself.

If you are simply taking a break from reality by pampering yourself but not taking care of the issues in your life, you may need to dig deeper. Pampering yourself, like society suggests you do to care for yourself, is nice and dandy, but eventually that may no longer nourish you. Therefore, it’s important to stop and examine your life and check if you are really caring for yourself. Are you going to yoga classes because you are extremely stressed and drained from your job? Are you going on vacations just trying to escape the life you have? Unfortunately, self care isn’t as luxurious as society is making it seem, it can actually be really difficult. Self care isn’t just face masks and bubble baths, it is going to therapy and dealing with the issues you haven’t decided to face in years. It is telling a toxic friend or family member you can no longer surround yourself with them. It is recognizing you can’t just keep going through the motions and repeating it all the next day without getting burnt out. It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means taking responsibility and ownership of your life and not just “treating yourself” because you had a rough week. It is finding ways to enjoy and better your life, not just escape it.

Self care can be:

  • listening to a podcast
  • checking in with yourself
  • practicing meditation
  • indulging in chocolate or a glass of wine
  • positive self talk
  • making a list of things you are grateful for
  • taking a walk in nature
  • writing a love letter to yourself
  • journaling
  • taking a trip
  • creating a vision board

But is also:

  • going to therapy or church
  • unfollowing people on social media who make you feel insecure about yourself
  • making a budget for yourself
  • taking breaks from social media
  • finding healthy ways to release stress, anxiety, or anger
  • saying no to anyone or anything that doesn’t bring you happiness

It took me a long time to really get into self care. I spent 7 years in college because I went straight from undergrad into grad school, and on top of that, I worked 2-3 jobs my entire time in school. I had never really taken the time to care for myself physically or mentally because I was just going non stop. When I finished my studies in 2017, a lot of my issues came to light. It was like I had been throwing all of my issues into a closet and once I graduated and had a little more free time, I opened the closet and all of my problems came toppling down on me. Ignoring issues in my life, putting others first, and going non stop had taken a toll on my health and I realized it was finally time to start caring for myself. Originally, I started doing simple things like going to a spin class or getting a massage because that’s what I understood caring for myself was. I quickly realized those methods were not going to fix my issues, they were just putting a bandaid on my life instead of actually healing it. I took the time to analyze my surroundings and realized I need to do more to truly care for myself. For me, that was talking about my issues and toxic traits (we all got em!), going back to church, journaling, and finding things that truly make me happy. All of these are a work in progress, and I have long way to go. But self care is a life long commitment, so I am focused on the journey, and the growth and happiness that will come from it.


Finding Francesca

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