If you are currently residing on planet Earth, you’re likely familiar with the self-care phenomenon.
Often communicated by celebrities and the Insta-famous influencers, this concept particularly resonates with millennials.
Simply put, self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Typically associated with scented candles and face masks (which are both awesome), it’s also important to remember that self-care isn’t a one-size-fits-all practice.
Sometimes we need to go beyond the temporary chill-out and explore a little deeper.
Although self-care practices are often all about calming your mind, sometimes it takes a bit of initial reflection to get you there.
Here are a few ways to practice meaningful self-care.
1. Give yourself permission.
Self-care is about being cognizant of your feelings and using these varying emotions as a guide for future choices.
If something makes you happy, keep doing it. If someone makes you happy, keep doing them.
Continue your de-stressing rituals if they’re working for you, but also observe when and why you’re engaging in them.
We often normalize stress and anxiety, but sometimes it’s about more than just work stress or jitters from a busy schedule.
There’s likely a common factor that’s triggering this stress – and that lingering issue won’t go away until we fully evaluate the circumstances, and make new choices accordingly.
These decisions often won’t fit into our pre-planned agenda, and self-care is about being okay with that.
2. Treat yourself, but don’t treat it as a solution.
We often indulge on impulse because we feel that we “deserve it.”
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with an occasional pig-out session or hazy night at the bar.
However, these “treats” are often only satisfying in the moment.
They do not provide a long-term solution, and can sometimes make us feel even worse than before.
It’s important to allow yourself to have fun, as this reinforces the concept of giving yourself permission.
However, it’s also important to recognize when it’s no longer “treating yourself” – it’s a coping mechanism. And a bad one, at that.
3. Cut ties, but put down the scissors.
A popular aspect of self-care involves eliminating toxic people from our lives.
This action is often crucial, as it aims to clear the way for more overall positivity and satisfaction with our lives.
That being said, this movement can be counterproductive.
By taking charge of the situation and making drastic decisions, we are often left with more resentment than before. Rather than feeling relief, we’re just fueled by anger.
Plus, sometimes we have ulterior motives. We cut people off because we secretly want them to fight for us.
When our not-so-sneaky plan doesn’t work as planned, we feel defeated.
It’s important to cut someone off when it’s truly time for it – not as a test or a punishment.
When it comes down to it, self-care is all about strategy, and you’re in complete control of using the right one.