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Self care has become a pretty trendy term. But what does it mean? I ask my clients this all the time- what does self care mean to you?

I have learned that there seems to be a misconception, that self care is a one time thing. Like a weekly ritual. Another thing to check off our to-do list. We do it, and then it is done.

It is great that we are adding “self care” to our to do list! This tells me that we are shifting our mindsets, and starting to view self care as important. However, I do question whether self care can really be “checked off”. Whether it is something to do, and then have done.

Is there a way that we could incorporate self care into our day to day lives? Is this realistic? I would argue that it is:

1. Routine = self care

As human beings, we are creatures of habit. We thrive off routine. “Routine” does not have to mean doing the same thing everyday. Instead, “routine” can mean:

Going to bed at (roughly) the same time…
Waking up at (roughly) the same time…
Taking your medication consistently (including vitamins/supplements)…
Eating at regular intervals…

These things may sound simple, but they can be huge steps, towards daily self care. 

2. Food = self care

You’ve heard this before: nutrition matters! How we nourish our bodies can have an impact on our mental health. Don’t skip meals (hunger has an effect on our mood). To the best of your ability, make food choices that are healthy for you.

3. Healthy friendship = self care

A night out with friends can do wonders for your mood. Life can be busy, but regular contact with good friends is important.

4. Unplugged time = self care

There has been compelling research, which suggests that social media can have a negative effect on our mental health. Keeping up with your Twitter can also pose challenges to mindfulness (being aware of your surroundings, being in the here and now). In today’s day and age, it can be unrealistic, to boycott our phones completely. However, it is not unrealistic to enjoy an hour a day away from our phones. 

5. Moving our bodies = self care 

Exercise does not have to mean joining the gym. There are lots of ways that we can get our hearts pumping:

Walk the dog…
Dance to your favorite song…
Walk around the mall…
Play charades with your friends and/or family…

Remember, you are the most beautiful and expensive thing you are ever going to own. You need to be cared for, in order to care for others. You are worth it.

Take care of you!