Happy Self-Care Awareness Month! In honor of this month, I thought that I would gather up some of my favorite personal development and mental health bloggers and ask them all about what self-care means to them.
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Here’s what I asked them (head over here to learn about what self-care means to me):
- What does self-care mean to you?
- What’s your favorite of self-care?
- How can someone start a self-care practice?
Jen from Diffusing the Tension
Self-care means finding what truly calms you and restores you and making that a regular priority. I love watching my favorite shows, working out, and taking a long, hot bath! I think they have to not just do what everyone else tries, but really do an emotional inventory about what activities restore them. Then, do that as often as you can!
Tsvetty from Mental Health Memo
To me, it means giving the same amount of love and care to myself as I do for others. I think on a more casual day to day basis it’s simply getting to be alone for a fairly long period of time. I like to reflect, think, do and watch things that make me happy without interruptions from the outside world. On a more indulgent scale, something like a spa day or a massage would be the dream.
I think you can easily start with just identifying what brings you peace and energizes you, and planning out time slots to do those things every week. Eventually, you’ll start getting a better understanding of what you need and when, and improving your self-care routine. It doesn’t have to be complicated! Like I said, for me, it’s just getting to be alone for a while. Just do what makes you feel good!
Jess from Just Call Me Jess
Self-care means taking time for yourself to improve your mental, physical or emotional health. It means taking time to listen to what your body and mind need so that you can be your best you. My favorite form of self-care is meditation! After meditating, I feel relaxed, centered and rejuvenated. I am able to focus and it normally reduces any stress or anxiety I have by simply taking a few moments to breathe. My recommendations to practicing self-care is to plan it. When a frame of time is set people are more likely to keep it, and less likely to have an excuse not to do it.
Karen from Karen Carlucci
Self-care includes paying attention to what my mind and body are needing. This requires pausing from constant motion and being still for a moment. In that moment I may discover that all I need is to breath. Self-care is giving ourselves permission to just be. My favorite form of self-care is laughing and appreciating the comical moments in life. I have relied on humor all of my life and am grateful for how it can lighten any moment and provide relief from stress. Taking improv and comedy classes has been a great outlet for me.
I suggest people wanting to implement a self-care practice first reflect on what brings them to life, what comforts them, and where they turn when overwhelmed. These answers will provide insight into what they already do and need. From there a plan can be designed with activities, people and mental exercises to select from when desired. Having a self-care buddy can help in engaging in certain self-care practices.
Taylor from Best Wishes, Taylor
“Self-Care” is what you do to fill yourself back up mentally, spiritually, and physically—aka taking care of yourself. Basic hygiene, a full night of sleep or a nap, sitting with a friend, nourishing yourself with food… but also with the things that bring you joy. And remember, it won’t always be an Instagram-able moment. My favorite form of self-care is practicing being present. I think one of the biggest misconceptions, built by social media, is that you have to take a bubble bath or sip on a branded coffee…. But if you don’t step into yourself in those moments, or any moments, you will not reap the benefits of being present and slowing down.
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My advice is to remember that self-care is a practice. That means slowly building up consistency, and being gentle with yourself when you fall off track. But anyone can start a self-care practice—any time. I suggest starting by practicing slowing down. Our minds move quicker than we do, so learn to bring it down a notch through an activity that allows you to settle into yourself. Maybe coloring, people watching, walking in the park, meditating… whatever works best for you. Take care of yourself.
Allison from Little Blog of Positivity
The famous saying ‘put your own oxygen mask on first’ always springs to mind for me when I think of self-care. I think it’s so important to carve out some time to look after yourself. What you do during this time is a personal choice but it could include doing some exercise, taking a bath, reading a book or meditating.
I have a few favorite ways to self-care! It really depends on how I’m feeling. I try and ask myself what I need at that particular time. Currently, I’m finding that listening to music can really help to make me feel better. I also love to read a book, take a bath or go for a walk. I practice mindfulness regularly too and find it helpful. A lot of people think they don’t have time for self-care or that it is selfish in some way. It definitely isn’t selfish (see above about the oxygen mask!) Try and identify at least 10 to 15 minutes in each day where you can do something that makes you feel better. Then decide on your activities to do during this time and schedule it in at a regular time.
Poovanesh from Family Growth Life
Self- care for me is nourishing your mind, body and soul. It means nurturing each part so that I am able to function at an optimum level. My favorite form of self-care is an early morning cup of coffee and a chocolate cookie with a great magazine. It’s a balm for my soul before the hectic pace of the day starts.
One way to practice self-care is to prioritize “me time” daily. Start a simple ritual, even if it’s for 5 minutes, where you put your feet up and sit in stillness. Another way is to start meditation. When you’re short of time, you can do a 5-minute meditation and when you have more time like in the weekends, you can meditate for a longer time. Going for a walk in a park is also a great way to recharge.
Raina from Raina with Chronic Illness
Self-care, to me, if doing something fun without feeling guilty about it. It means that I get to take a break from everything when needed, knowing when to let go of what I can’t control and focus on what I can. It means looking after myself so I can care for others.
One of my favorite form of self-care involves soaking myself in warm water with Epsom salt for an hour. I also love baking, so I usually bake something I have not had in a while or something new. I can’t seem to get enough of science-related articles and read them as much as possible. Nothing is more beautiful than mother nature.
I encourage people to experiment with nature or anything that piques their interest and go from there. I do this because I want to help people find themselves again and enjoy what they once enjoyed or find other sides of themselves. I, then refer them back to their notes and ask them to pick their top 5 activities they loved. These activities represent their spa salon whenever they feel overwhelmed or need a break, these are the places they go to hide from the world and the chaos. These activities help bring back some of those memories hiding somewhere deep down every single one of us.
If you’re interested in getting some in-depth and personalized help with starting or leveling up your self-care practice, check out my For The Love of Self-Care coaching packages here.
Kat from Transcending Thoughts
When I think of self-care, I think of “unplugging.” It’s spending time to refresh and regather yourself sort of like a reset. It can mean turning off social media, taking a spa day, spending time by yourself in nature or perhaps with your family. Essentially it’s doing something that you love, something that makes you genuinely happy and is your escape from a busy week or just a hectic life in general.
Writing will always be my number one choice. Even when I have writers block, I embrace other forms of art such as painting or photography. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than working on a project and finishing it. That is self-care to me, just tuning everything else out and entering into my own world. Being able to show many people is an added bonus.
The most important thing is to find what you genuinely love to do, because that is your form of self-care. If you genuinely love it, it isn’t work. Starting a practice takes time and effort but also requires strategy. Planning your practice is the most important. I recommend showing those close to you or people that you trust your ideas.
What are your tips for building self-care practice? What’s your favorite form of self-care?
Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.
Briana is also the author of The Self-Care Journal for Young Adults.