what does self-care actually mean?

You may have noticed in the past year or two a lot of people using the term “self-care” and questioned what that actually meant. I tend to notice self-care being used in terms of bath bombs, candles, and chocolate – all very good things! But I have a slightly different approach to self-care.

Imagine a baby. What are the baby’s needs? What’s good to do for a baby? A caring, attentive parent will try to meet the baby’s needs. Babies love cuddles and toys, true – but they also need to be fed, changed, clothed. They need consistent sleep patterns, and they need to eat good, healthy food or milks.

Good self-care recognises that while sometimes we can allow ourselves to enjoy chocolate and a bubble bath, many times we need to make sure that we are getting enough sleep – so perhaps saying no to a late night gaming session or a night out, while knowing that there will always be another time that you can plan for. Sometimes self-care looks like making and enforcing boundaries: saying no to friends who make you feel worse about yourself, and yes to friends that leave you feeling good.

Self-care is not glamorous, and it’s not always easy. It’s making decisions that you know are good for you, even if they aren’t always fun, knowing that even if it’s not very rewarding now, it will be later, when you have more energy and feel more content.

If self-care is something you want to work on but you’re not sure how to begin, consider getting in touch for an outside perspective and working through it with me. I offer a free initial consultation, and would be happy to hear from you and offer my help.

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