A Guide to Self Care – Part 1

Self care has been in the media a lot lately, and for good reason. We can all agree that it is incredibly important for our well-being. However, when we think of self care, the image that comes to mind is often bath bombs and diets. To get started, first we need to understand what self care really is.

Image you can't pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first

What is self care?

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines self care as “the act of caring for oneself” It may sound overly simplified, but it is nothing more than taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Because everyone is different, it will look different for everyone. There is no right or wrong way to care for yourself, as long as it contributes to your happiness and well-being.

Why is it important?

When life gets busy with work or school, our first instinct is to cut out things like yoga and socializing. We respond to the stress by working more, skipping meals, and ignoring our emotions. This isn’t a healthy or sustainable response to stress. Within a few days, you will start to feel tired, lethargic, unmotivated, and unhappy. If you start feeling stressed and unhappy, then you can combat this cycle by practicing self care. Maybe when deadlines are coming up, you leave yourself reminders that your health is more important than your work. If you have a lot of studying to do, make sure to set a timer to remind yourself to take breaks.

How can I practice self care?

Your needs and lifestyle are unique to you. There is no wrong way to practice self care, so just do what makes you happy. Here are some general tips to get you started:

  • Take a break if you need it
  • Actively do what makes you happy, don’t wait for happiness to find you
  • Try to laugh at least once every day
  • Stay hydrated
  • Learn to say “no” to things that get you down
  • Make time for the people you care about
  • Stop comparing yourself to others
  • Reflect on the good things that you have done
  • Make sure to get outside everyday
  • Steer clear of negativity
  • Help others by volunteering and it will make you feel good too

For more tips, go to Part 2: Physical, Mental, and Emotional Self Care.

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