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What is Self-Care really

Co-written by Grace Stevens and SanJula Bhatnagar

When you hear the term “self-care”, you may initially associate it with cosmetic or appearance related gestures such as getting your nails done or doing face masks. Within the realm of counseling and healing, self-care is much deeper and more meaningful than the cosmetic routines. Real self-care promotes a healthy lifestyle for both your body and mind. Self-care is resetting your body and mind to restore energy and facilitate inner peace. The goal is to actively and intentionally nurture yourself so that you can handle the challenges of tomorrow and avoid burnout and self-defeat. What this practice looks like is unique to one’s mind and body, so finding the strategies that work for you is the work and the goal.

Some simple tips include exercising, improving sleeping patterns, eating better, setting goals and valuing priorities. Exercising for 30 minutes can help boost your mood and improve your health, even simple movements, stretching, or walking around the block. Sticking to a routine sleep schedule or reducing your blue light exposure from your phone and laptop before bed can help improve your overall quality of sleep. Keeping a balanced diet by eating healthy regular meals and staying hydrated can improve your energy throughout the day, as well as limiting caffeinated beverages such a soft drinks and coffee. Setting goals and priorities by deciding what must get done now and what can wait. Learning to say “no” to new tasks if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much can help you stay focused on what matters to you and reducing the likelihood of feeling overextended and overwhelmed. Also, remaining to stay mindful of your wins, successes, and your areas of gratitude can shift your perspective and enhance consistent motivation over time.

Self-care is essential to your mental health and your ability to grow as an individual. Listening to what your body and mind needs is key to remain healthy. Engaging in self-care can give you a more positive outlook on your life. These tips are just some ways to improve your life and hopefully jumpstart your own self-care journey. Everyone’s journey is unique to themselves, but if you’re struggling on how to get started, beginning the therapy process can help you gain important perspective on who you are and where to begin.

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