Self Care: It’s More Than Taking a Bubble Bath

Self-care has become a buzzword within the psychology/self-help world. If you have read any self-help literature, you will hear over and over to “Practice Self-Care.” I am tired of the phrase Self Care. It has been used and abused.

Self-care is not just something you practice on the random Saturday where you treat yourself to a massage or a mani/Pedi (although that is wonderful). Self Care is a way of life. Self Care is a daily, hour by hour, minute by minute practice. Self-care means listening to yourself, showing up for yourself, and putting yourself first. Self-care is the practice we have heard announced over and over again on the airlines “Secure your oxygen mask before helping others.”

Self-care means

  • saying no when appropriate.

  • saying yes when appropriate.

  • handling conflicts directly and honestly.

  • listening to yourself.

  • taking a break when necessary.

  • living a life based on values.

  • showing up with presence and courage.

  • setting healthy boundaries.

  • practicing compassion, compassion, compassion

  • actively engaging in your life.

The thing about self-care is no one can tell you how you should engage in self-care.

Self-care is the act of pausing and listening to YOU.

For some people, a hot bath is the ultimate self-care activity. For me, taking a bath is miserable. My tub is small. My bathroom is chilly. Inevitably, I forget something that I wanted and leave a trail of water in my wake.

For me, self-care is not a one size fits all event. It is a practice—an act of genuinely engaging with yourself and getting real.

Here are some tips to add REAL Self Care into your life.

  • As you start your week and layout your calendar of events, ask yourself–do I want to be engaging in these activities? Are there any of these activities I could skip/pass/reschedule?

  • Look at your calendar and ask is there enough time for me to re-group/re-energize? How can I add more?

  • Brainstorm activities you enjoy, have enjoyed, or want to enjoy and start making time to enjoy them. (even if it is only 5 minutes)

  • Do an inventory of the draining people and activities in your life? How can you limit interaction with these events?

  • Do an inventory of the energizing people and activities in your life? How can you add more of these events?

  • Where is there a conflict hanging over your head? How can you handle it in a productive/healthy way?

  • Add breathing rituals into your day–take the time to stop, take three deep breaths, and check-in with yourself.

  • Where are you putting someone else’s needs first to the detriment of your own? How can you vocalize or prioritize your needs?

If we all practiced self-care–the world would be a better place. Self-care is not a buzz word it is a necessity.