What the hell is self-care and why do I need it?

I scroll through a lot of positivity and mental health posts on Instagram and all of them talk about regular self-care. All these posts seem to feature tasty meals, spa days or shopping sprees. While these things might constitute self-care, they don’t necessarily embody the practice.

So what the hell is self-care?

Self-care is about being kind to yourself.

Self-care is about thinking about yourself for once.

We spend so long caring for the people around us, be they family, friends, co-workers or clients, that we forget to take time for ourselves.

Sometimes a spa day makes sense but self-care doesn’t need to be so obvious.

Self-care could be turning off your phone for an hour in the day to get on with the next chapter of your novel. It could be taking ten minutes to meditate after a stressful meeting. It could be treating yourself to a hot chocolate next time you’re out. It could be having a shower in the morning, dyeing your hair, hanging out with friends who make you feel good, saying no to friends who don’t.

The things we see on Instagram aren’t reality, they’re this perverted version of it that just happens to make us feel shit about ourselves. What if you can’t get away from your family for a spa day? What if you can’t afford it? Don’t let the internet tell you that anything other than expensive treats and days out isn’t proper self-care.

Think about what makes you calm and happy. Think about what you’re missing. Letting those little snippets of joy into your life, or just taking time to get away from it all, counts as self-care.

For me, it’s taking moments to myself. I take time to appreciate my immediate surroundings. I go for a walk. I dance around to music. I treat myself to a large glass of wine and switch off by reading a book.

Why you need it?

Some people need self-care more than others. You might have a busy job. You might have a mental health condition. You might just be missing something big in your life. Whether you feel you need self-care desperately or have just discovered the concept, take time to yourself.

We are always connected. Always on. There’s no getting away from work, toxic friends, negative familiy members and the drama of the internet. We are constantly exposed to other people’s shit and sometimes it’s important to get away from that. Be kind to yourself. Say no to people who don’t make you happy. Take time away and do what YOU want.

What counts as self-care in your life?

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