Self-Care is not “Treat Yourself” or Facemasks

Tea Wheat, Entertainment Writer

In today’s society, the idea of self-care is all over and is becoming a big part of a lot of people’s lives. This is absolutely outstanding because self-care is extremely important to maintaining a healthy mental state, managing stress and just overall showing yourself some love. Though, most of the time when I see things about self-care, it is all about treating yourself, facemasks or some other every now and then thing. Well, from what I’ve been finding, that is not necessarily self-care; self-care is raw, hard and definitely not always fun.

I recently attended a conference where one of the sessions I attended was on self-care action planning. This was something that really stood out to me because I, among many others, am very good at saying that I will start a self-care routine, but never fully understood the concept. When I heard self-care I also thought it had to be complex or expensive, and thought that it would have to take a lot of time out of my day. This presentation squashed the bug that was my idea of self-care right in front of me. The presenter drove home the fact that self-care is not always pretty. It is not always facemasks and Netflix binges.

My ideas of self-care were completely rewritten, and I’m glad they were. I found that self-care is something that needs to happen every day, not just when you’re having a rough day, and that when you are having a rough day, it is important to already have a self-care action plan set to fall back on. Now, I’m sure a lot of you are thinking what I was: “How can I practice self-care every day? Won’t that take up a ton of time?” Well, no actually, it won’t. Some things that are self-care acts that are recommended to be included in a daily schedule are improving your nutrition, exercising, staying hydrated, spending time in the sun and spending time with your emotions. Spending time with your emotions and allowing yourself to feel is by-far not easy or pretty, but it is something that is extremely important to overall well-being. This list stuck out to me because the things that we do every day just to keep ourselves alive and moving are all acts of self-care, too.

Deeper than just the day-to-day things are the other additional things one can do for self-care. The presenter put these into categories of mind, body and soul. I loved reading through the list of over 25 ideas for self-care. Some that stuck out to me as things I would have personally never thought of were editing your social media feeds and getting rid of the negative people, dancing, getting a plant and going on a self-date. While these are things that may not have jumped into my mind originally when hearing self-care, they are things that are valuable and that will truly help to boost one’s mood.

One thing that was on the list that I loved the idea of was going on a “Beauty Scavenger Hunt” on your way to or from work or school. This is something that takes no extra time but allows for reflection and mindfulness in those moments by finding five things that you feel are beautiful on your travels.

So, I challenge you to take the time this week or weekend to sit down and plan out some things that you could do to incorporate self-care in your life. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive, it doesn’t even have to be fun (because working out definitely isn’t fun when you are first starting), but in the long-run the things you do for self-care will improve your overall wellness and your happiness.