Nowadays, self-care is all the rage. From fizzy bath bombs to unique new face masks, self-care routines are taking over social media channels, blogs, and vlogs. And it’s no wonder why - according to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of people in the last year have felt so stressed that they’ve become completely overwhelmed. Of those who felt stressed, 51% reported feeling depressed, while 61% reported feeling anxious. 1
Given this research, it isn’t surprising that more people than ever are looking for an escape. However, cosmetic approaches, like getting a manicure or trying a new skin care routine aren’t the beginning and end of self-care - it’s simply putting a band-aid over the true stressors in your life. In fact, feeling the need to “treat yourself” with skin-deep self-care routines may be a sign you’re not caring for yourself enough.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is doing the hard work that, in the long-run, will help you create a life you don’t constantly need a break from. When you feel the need to escape from your life, think about why. Are you “treating yourself” to a box of chocolates because you actually want one, or because you’re trying to cope with something in your life? If the latter sounds more like you, self-care may include eating some chocolate, but it shouldn’t end there. True self-care asks you to examine your situation and understand what you can do to resolve the issue that’s causing you stress. Many times, it won’t be easy - but it will be worth it.
How To Practice Self-Care
Self-care looks different for everyone, and your own approach may change depending on your situation. Your self-care routine could include creating time for meditation or self-reflection, cooking yourself healthy meals, changing jobs to one that brings you more joy, or ending toxic relationships in your life.
Depending on your circumstances, self-care includes:
- Checking in with yourself and being honest about what you feel
- Allowing yourself to feel and process your emotions
- Setting a budget and sticking to it
- Knowing your boundaries and honoring them
- Saying yes to the things that scare you
- Forgiving yourself
When you’re practicing true self-care, you may not love it in the moment. But by taking care of the problems that are causing you stress, rather than simply dealing with the symptoms, you’ll be well on your way to building a life you love. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy bubble baths and face masks simply because of how good they feel, instead of the escape they can provide.