What is self-care?
As one of the top buzzwords circling the wellness and mental health communities, most of us have been reminded regularly to incorporate some sort of self-care into our routines to promote an overall healthy wellbeing. But in recent years, the term ‘self-care’ and its purpose has been muddied by consumerism and the beauty industry, portraying beauty treatments as the only form of self-care. I’m here for including a nice hair mask and a bubble bath as part of my self-appreciation routine and if beautifying yourself is your idea of self-care, you do you and rock it. However, there is so much more to self-care than pampering yourself.
Self-care isn’t just a modern luxury and the way it is currently portrayed is far from its origins. The term traditionally comes from the 1950s, coined for institutionalised patients as simple tasks that helped nurture a sense of self-worth, such as exercising and personal grooming. It was then carried into the 1960s by academics and medical professionals as a prescribed treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in the first responder’s industry, to combat the high levels of stress and pain in their jobs. Advice ranged from addressing physical needs such as nutrition, physical exercise, and regular medical care; to psychological support including journaling, meditation and enjoying nature.
So, what can real self-care look like? It’s very individualistic and will vary from person to person. The bottom line is, it is anything that leaves you feeling nourished in some way. For me, self-care can be anything from watering my plants and getting my chores done so that they do not clutter my mind, to enjoying a bubble bath after work to de-stress and having a hot cup of cacao before bed while I read. Sometimes, self-care will be giving yourself a rest to recuperate, and other times it will be getting yourself off your butt and getting things done.
I believe that personal grooming, practices for your mental wellbeing, and tending to your physical needs all play a role in our journey to self-love and caring for ourselves. It is an intuitive practice of identifying your requirements and tending to them with love and kindness. What is on your mind and what could you do to ease that burden? When was the last time you felt relaxed and happy, and how could you find time to do that again? When was the last time you truly rested? Have you been nourishing your mind and body recently?
I hope this article has given you a little food for thought around what self-care looks like to you and maybe it can give you a little inspiration for your day-to-day. As always, if you ever need any support – Tranceform is here for you.
Sending loving kindness your way,