The term self-care is often used to describe ways for people to de-stress from the daily responsibilities of life. From going to school or working to dealing with daily life stressors, self- care is important. Although there are numerous positives with self-caring, the idea of what self-caring should look like is different for each individual. While many people consider self-caring to be activities and relaxation hobbies, the mental, social, and personal aspects of self-caring are also important.
Your Self-Care Should Be For You
There have been many times where people see self-care as one style, activity, or lifestyle. From thinking the weekend is for relaxing to the idea that resting is the way to properly take care of yourself, the most important part of self-caring is “putting yourself in self-care”. If you are a person who loves to self-care by going outside and building crafts, hiking, running, or other external activities, then so be it! That’s just as good as reading a book or staying in.
As humans, we all have different ways we like to recharge and take care of ourselves when times are stressful. Self-care should be your own form of art to take your mind off any stressors in that moment. It will and should look different from other people’s relaxing methods. Understanding your own form of self-caring is the first step towards letting yourself feel today’s feelings.
Self-Care On What You Can and Where You Can
Self-caring, going out, seeing friends, and the biggest forms of “treating yourself” can take a lot of time and money. Sadly, with the lifestyle of a productive professional, graduate student, or student affairs staff member, self-caring can be difficult. However, you can self-care on a budget while at home, work, and where you are now without planning big events. A vacation to Spain sounds amazing and a ticket to a Broadway show is an awesome way to self-care. Unfortunately, not everyone has those privileges available. Time off, financial limitations, and positional requirements can be different for individuals in various situations.
Whether your style of taking care of yourself is a vacation to France or a staycation at home, embrace the time you have and do what is best for you. Any form of relaxation that benefits your positive mental health counts as self-care.
Self-Care ≠ Lazy
In a culture that values hard work to extreme measures, it’s important to understand the value of self-caring. To work hard, everyone needs time to rest their batteries and regain energy. Taking care of yourself does not mean you are lazy or behind others at work! It means that you value your health to be your best self at work. Getting ahead at work by denying yourself the benefits of mental health days, resting, and enjoying life is an unhealthy idea that should be forgotten. Communicate how you feel, seek your support system, and understand that you are doing the best you can.
Treat Yo Self
The most important part of self-care is making sure you actually do it and that it relaxes you. As a huge Parks and Rec fan, I am a big supporter of Dana’s and Tom’s mentality when it comes to “treat yourself” days. This moment in the show is one of my favorites because of the important lessons of self-care and personal self-esteem in the show. The overall message of loving who you are and focusing on what makes you happy was the ultimate definition of self-care as opposed to the focus on material items. While both characters care about material items, the purpose behind their self-care day during busy times of the year is to emphasize happiness and loving who you are.
As a new professional, I have learned that “Treat Yo Self” days are important to let go of the pressure and enjoy myself. I make Fridays my “Treat Yo Self” days to clean my place, run errands, and take time to finish tasks. That productive feeling of completing tasks right after work is an amazing one that I use to end the day on a positive note.
Remember to always take time for yourself and keep your mental health, happiness, and work/life balance positive.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson