This week is National Self Care week, but do we actually know what ‘self care’ is?
There’s so much contradicting information banded about, it can be hard to figure out what the deal actually is. So is it all about bubble baths, meditation and candles or washing your clothes and taking the bins out?
The truth is, self care is whatever you need it to be. According to the NHS:
“Self-management (another word for self care) is a term used to include all the actions taken by people to recognise, treat and manage their own health.”
I guess this is why there are so many interpretations of what it actually is. Self care is a very personal thing and can be tailored to suit whatever improves your mental and physical health at a particular time.
So, if you’re battling depression and are struggling to complete your daily activities, don’t feel deflated by seeing ‘self care’ posts advising you to light 10 candles and learn to play an instrument whilst meditating in a bubble bath, because that isn’t applicable to your current situation.
Simply put, self care encompasses anything that is going to benefit your situation or make you feel a sense of accomplishment. This could mean washing the dishes, having a shower or making your bed. It could also mean starting a new project, pampering yourself or writing in a journal.
If you’re in a bad place, the whole ‘self care brigade’ can seem irritating and idealistic, but if you strip it back to its true meaning, it really is a great concept.
All our lives we’re told that being selfish is a bad thing. As a child, maybe that concept is correct; our parents want us to learn how to share and give to others. Although being considerate of others is a great thing to learn, it can sometimes lead us to think we should always put everybody else first, which isn’t entirely true.
Sure, be a kind and generous person as much as you can, but this should never mean sacrificing your own health and happiness. I guess self-care is a way of reclaiming that word ‘selfish’ and moulding it into something positive.
If you think about it, when we’re looking after ourselves, we’re also in a much better position to help others, so really being selfish can actually be one of the most selfless things you can do!
This week and moving forwards, let’s start making an effort to schedule self care into our diaries. Every little thing we do for ourselves adds up and has the power to make a huge difference to our lives.