Taking Care of Yourself Goes Beyond Self Care Sundays
The phrase “self care” has turned into a buzz word defining taking care of yourself to practically anything. And yes, I mean anything! From re-organizing one's fridge with acrylic containers and splurging on expensive skincare to participating in famous “Sunday resets” just because it’s popular, many people (including myself at times) have lost sight of what it means to truly participate in taking care of yourself.
Do not get me wrong, all of those things are a form of self care if they meet your needs to recharge and feel at peace. But if you are participating in them because TikTok says it’s a way to take care of yourself, it’s likely you’re depleting yourself more.
- Taking care of yourself has multiple layers: taking care of your physical health and taking care of your emotional and mental health
- Everyone’s physical, mental, and emotional needs are different
- Basics of taking care of yourself include eating healthy, sleeping, moving your body, keeping a clean space, taking time for yourself, and building meaningful relationships
What Does it Mean To Take Care of Yourself?
So, what does it mean to take care of yourself? Taking care of yourself has multiple layers: taking care of your physical health and taking care of your emotional and mental health. In a perfect world, all three would be fully and equally taken care of at all times. But let’s be real, we do not live in a perfect world, and attempting to take care of all three fully and equally can cause more harm than good.
Taking Care of Yourself: The Choice is Yours
It’s time to put TikTok and all the self care hacks aside and think about what you need to recharge your body, mind, and soul. What relaxes you? What brings you the most joy? What enables you to move throughout the day with the least stress? Take a second to think about it.
Do you have your answer? If so, I can almost guarantee that your form of taking care of yourself differs from your neighbor's form of taking care of themself.
Everyone’s physical, mental, and emotional needs are different. I may thrive recharging cuddled up with a book on a rainy day, while you thrive recharging on a boat fishing on a hot sunny day. Both activities serve the same purpose, but if we were to swap activities, it’s likely we would both feel bored, unfulfilled, and further depleted because those activities do not fulfill our individual needs and desires.
With that being said, when deciding on how to take care of yourself, choose activities that fill you up and serve your needs, not what mainstream social media says you should be doing.
Activities to Take Care of Yourself
This may seem like a no brainer, but eating healthy is key to taking care of yourself physically and mentally. Eating a healthy rainbow diet to ensure you get essential macro and micronutrients boosts the immune system, maintains strong muscles, supports digestive function, boosts mood and energy, and more.
Individuals are suffering at the hands of the sleep debt crisis occurring in the United States. People are not getting enough sleep to maintain their rigorous lifestyles, causing physical burnout and mental depletion.
Learning how to sleep better can lead to improved moods, energy levels, creativity, memory, immune function and more. If you want to learn how to sleep better, check out this article.
Keep a Clean Space
If clutter and lack of organization adds chaos to your hectic day, keeping a clean space may make you feel more calm and put together. In fact, it is found that there are mental health benefits of keeping a clean space such as feeling calm, uplifting your mood, and heightened productivity.
On the other hand, if clutter leaves you unfazed, cleaning your space may not be the best option for taking care of yourself.
Take Time For Yourself
You do not have to carve an entire day out of your week (like dedicating an entire Sunday to reset) in order to take time for yourself. According to Mental Health America, making small goals to spend 5-15 minutes a day to yourself doing small tasks like walking or journaling can make a huge difference.
Other ways to take time for yourself include focusing on the building blocks of self care like sleep and nutrition, finding mindfulness through meditation and deep breathing, participating in an activity you enjoy, and setting boundaries to ensure you have the time to give back to yourself.
Move Your Body
Moving your body is highly recommended for taking care of yourself because of all the benefits it boasts. From combating disease and death to improving energy and mood levels, there are few drawbacks to moving your body and exercising.
Moving your body is not confined to lifting weights or attending group workout classes. Moving your body takes shape in many forms, creating endless options for everyone. A few options are:
- Low intensity interval training
- Swimming laps
- Tennis with a friend
Build Meaningful Relationships
Building meaningful relationships where you feel you belong is essential to taking care of yourself. Spending time with loved ones where you feel welcomed and heard increases your sense of belonging, which in turn helps manage stress.
Additionally, having a sense of belonging provides you with greater support, builds resilience, and enables you to more effectively cope with difficult times. Remember to call your loved ones today and remind them how much you love them!
Social media has created a skewed perception of what self care is, leaving many viewers convinced that if they are not participating in “Sunday Resets” or acrylic fridge organization, they are not taking care of themselves.
Today we set the record straight, re-claiming what it means to take care of yourself and helping others discover what they need to take care of their physical, mental, and emotional health.
Whether you need to set boundaries, dedicate more time to loved ones, go to bed earlier, or declutter your closet, all are forms of self care. Cheers to taking care of ourselves all of 2022!
Written by Lauren Conklin