The 5 rules of Self-Care

The term “self-care” seems like one of those social media buzz words, but it is so much more than that.

Self-care, as defined by Segall and Goldstein (1998), is “any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate, and self-initiated”. 

It is a DELIBERATE action. 

Blogs, influencers, experts, and everyone in between will want to tell you what a self-care routine should look like. However, these are just suggestions because only you can know what you need in that moment. 

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So, before you even think about what your routine would look like you need to work on being in tune with your mental wellness. Being open to acknowledging when you’re not okay, and being okay with that. Sitting with your feelings and identifying what may have triggered these feelings. It’s a scary process but is well worth it. After this, you’re ready to move into creating a self-care routine/ritual.

I have outlined some loosely formed rules about what a self-care routine might look like. Be sure to remember that this is just an outline. You need to fill in the specific activity/ activities you need in that moment. 

Rule #1: It's all about you. You get a pass to be selfish. Drown out everything else and focus on you. What are you feeling in this moment? What do you need?

Rule #2: It's not a pity party. You are not taking this break because you're weak. It is your strength that gives you the ability to realize that you are not okay. You are in tune with your body and you know something isn’t right.

Rule #3: It's all about recharging. Take the time to love yourself so you can love others.You're not your best self until you begin practicing self-care.

Rule #4: Don't feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Time spent on self-care is time well spent. You're being productive by working on you; you are making sure you are at your best. Take that time and don’t you feel guilty about it. 

Rule #5: Don't be afraid to mix it up. We're dynamic beings. Everyday we leave the house we encounter something we've never experienced before; so your self care routine doesn't have to look like the same thing every day (or however often you choose to practice self-care).

A self-care routine can be preventive or curative (or both). This means the routine can either be incorporated as a regular part of your day’s/week’s activities in order to keep you entered and focused (preventative) or it can just be a routine you lean on when you need it (curative). 

It doesn’t have to be something elaborate. Something as simple as taking time to read or taking a shower by candlelight can recharge my batteries based on the day I’m having. 

What should you be doing to take care of you today?