What is Self-Care?

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

This is my first ever Health and Wellness post, and I loved the topic so much that I decided to make it a combo “Talk Tuesday” post as well.

Self-Care. Fun.

If you follow the Millennial, upper-class heteronormative definition of Self-Care, then you ascribe to the idea that self-care is all about using the latest and greatest superbly influencer-marketed-beauty product, workout supplement, magical-superfood, time-saving app or fitness craze to assist in the elevation of your consciousness to a higher level.

Now, I happen to love all five of the things listed above. I especially love beauty-products like no one else, and thanks to my devoutly-Catholic yet health nut grandmother, I’ve known about superfoods since I was young. However, I get a little ticked off when I see these methods being packaged as the only true way to take care of yourself. That is when I have to call the ultimate BS.

To me, self-care means something completely different. To me, self-care is taking care of your NEEDS first before taking care of your wants. Self-care is taking care of your mental health. Self-care is taking care of your physical health. Self-care is nourishing your relationships. Self-care is making sure that you have enough money to pay your bills so that you’re not without the necessities. Self-care is making sure that you are doing what you HAVE to do so that you can do what you WANT to do. So with my definition in mind, here are some ideas to reclaim self-care.

Self-care is:

*Seeing a Therapist for Your Anxiety and Undiscussed Traumas. Many cultures have attached a negative stigma to discussing issues with a mental health professional. This is the reason why there are still so many people who suffer needlessly. I’ll readily admit that I was once one of those people who saw therapy as a weak person’s thing. However, I ended up in therapy at the age of 25, and it was one of the best things which could have ever happened to me. I was forced to confront a lot of personal traumas which stemmed from childhood and affected the progression of my adulthood. You may not be able to say anything much at first, but the day will come when you are able to be vulnerable, and I promise you…you will feel SO MUCH BETTER!

*Paying Your Bills on Time. This will save your name in the long run. I know, paying them sucks. But if you want to live independently in the future, you need to show that you are able to handle small responsibilities now. Plus, it builds up your credit. ALWAYS work on building up your credit.

*Visiting a health professional to discuss a medical issue that you have had for a long time and were too afraid to discuss. Many of us need to do this, myself included. Bringing a family member or friend who can support you during this visit is crucial. Too many of us don’t go to healthcare professionals and we catch diseases too late. Let’s change the cycle. I hate the dentist, but I will be making my appointment to go. Go. To. The. (Insert-Healthcare-Professional-Here).

*Spending Time in Prayer and Reflection. Don’t ascribe to the idea that prayer is perfection. Let’s be real: prayer is hard. Really hard. Showing vulnerability of any kind is hard. But it helps to take your problems to whomever you pray to. Stop listening to the people who say that prayer is easy. Pray however you can. If it’s easier to pray by writing, write. If it’s easier to pray by reading from a book, read from that book. If you have to use the mode of Gregorian Chants to get your prayers to God, do it.

*Eating Healthy Homemade Meals That Fit Comfortably Within Your Budget.  Listen, not all of us can afford Whole Paycheck. However, it’s worth it to find stores which sell high-quality fruits, vegetables, and other staples which fit within your budget. I’ll admit, I love JuicePress, but for the price of one of their tiny salads, I can make salads which will last me a week. Eating more home-made healthy meals will do WAY more for your health in the long run than the superfoods and supplements which cost more than your food budget for a month ever will.

*Saying “Peace-Out!” to Keeping Up With (Insert-Your-Favorite-Influencer-Here) You do not need to have what they have. Heck, half of them are broke people trying to make free money off of you by faux-stunting on various social media outlets. Here’s a tip: the real rich…do not stunt on social media. It makes them kidnapping targets. Live. Within. Your. Means. Your wallet, peace-of-mind, and mental health will thank you. So will your retirement account.

*Addressing Conflicts With Your Loved Ones. It seems as if everywhere I turn, I see people bragging and boasting about how they can cut people out of their lives with nothing more than a smile. It’s not impressive, and it’s actually frightening. Instead of cutting people off, how about learning to effectively communicate your displeasure and talk things out? Call up your friend or family member whom you have an issue with and discuss it like adults. Better yet, meet up in person. This will save you so much heartache. You may not agree with everything this person says, and you may not be able to save the relationship, but you will have the peace of mind knowing that you were able to communicate your thoughts and feelings in a mature and effective manner.

*Spending Time With Your People. This is a big one. I’m always hearing excuses about how we don’t have time and we’re always busy with work, school, etc. Here’s a radical thought: MAKE TIME. Time is the most valuable currency in existence because it is the one currency which we can never recoup. Call your parents. Visit your aunt and uncle. Meet people for Sunday dinner. Studies have shown that the longest-living people have robust and vibrant social networks. Do you want to help your elders live longer? Spend time with them. Regularly. You want to live longer: spend time with your friends laughing over some stupid stuff. 

*Doing Hobbies that Make you Happy.  I never really see this one on Self-care lists, but it’s the most important one. Hobbies are so important because they encourage us to use different parts of our brain to stimulate us. If you love playing in beauty products, do it. If you love the gym, go often. Love to dance? Take a class! Now, I love to read, knit, sing, and dabble in the beauty product realm (as you can see) so I do all of those things. Often. 

I hope that I’ve given you some new ideas for self-care and brought it to a level which you feel more comfortable with. Let me know what are your favorite methods of self-care!

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