In these times of global crisis, the term “self-care” is on everyone's lips. And especially during this winter season, the cocooning season par excellence! It's the perfect time to refocus on what really matters: yourself.
But self-care is not only a seasonal trend, I would go so far as to say that it is a real discipline, a lifestyle parameter, an attitude of mind to be adopted on a daily basis and all year round... and whose keyword is “well-being”.
What Is Self-Care?
It is the practice of taking care of oneself, inside and out, in order to have a balanced mind, body, and spirit. It is a holistic approach to health, a practice that takes into consideration the whole being. It is about taking care of yourself physically, morally, and spiritually.
Self-care is not just about running a bath, applying a mask, and lighting candles as the current clichés convey... it can be anything and everything. Activity as well as inactivity.
Listening to music
Sipping on a fresh juice under the sun
Canceling an appointment that generates a stomachache
Daydreaming on the terrace of a café
Starting a therapy
Getting a massage
Signing up for that pottery class you've been eyeing for a while
Deciding to turn off your phone for a day
Is Self-Care Egocentric?
Contrary to what many people believe, taking care of oneself is not self-centered because it does not mean not taking care of others. On the contrary, it means respecting oneself in order to respect others. Because we can only be good to others if we are good to ourselves.
This is one of my biggest adages in everyday life. Be your own priority so that you can observe a positive effect on everyone around you.
Finally, I would say that self-care is a real value in itself. It is an introspection that allows you to define your real needs, to be disciplined, and to face your problems.
And as Marcel Jouhondeau rightly says, "You only get happiness to the extent that you expect it from yourself."
So it is up to you to take care of yourself, to cultivate your own happiness every day. By taking care of yourself, you become the hero of your life, not the victim.
When you feel uncertainty, anxiety, or even panic, deciding to take care of yourself first is not as easy as it sounds, but it is very beneficial!
It reduces your stress, improves the quality of your relationships, and increases your self-esteem.
I believe that self-care is particularly important in times of global crisis, such as the one we are currently experiencing.
How to Self-Care?
In truth, there is no set formula: each person determines his or her own formula, depending on his or her needs, feelings, and what is best for him or her at that moment.
I invite you to think about the last time you felt really relaxed, energized, or inspired. Do you remember what made you feel that way? Was it a Sunday morning spent hanging out in bed? A running session? Quality time with a loved one? A hot chocolate after a walk in the snow? The last time you slipped into your freshly washed sheets?
Maybe you weren't doing anything at all?
Write these things down and try to put them together to define your own way of pampering yourself.
You can then decide to incorporate at least one action (or inaction) each day to make yourself feel good. It doesn't have to be complicated. The simple act of cooking a nice meal or daydreaming while watching the clouds can bring you a lot of peace and inner joy.
It is essential in this process to take control of your schedule. Opt for a digital detox, refuse long meetings, cancel your commitments accepted "to please", learn to say no to some of your impulses, to people, to projects - Stop feeling guilty, prioritize yourself and cut short everything that drains your energy, take time for YOU.
Why Do We Have So Much Trouble Taking Care of Ourselves?
The hardest part is making the effort to establish new habits and make room in your schedule.
Personally, I believe that we only acquire new habits when we have been able to verify their benefits beforehand. It is, therefore, necessary to experiment, test, and adjust in order to find one's cruising speed and allow the new habits to be fully integrated.
Prioritization, and therefore agenda management, will then follow naturally.
The fault can also be attributed to this society of productivity in which we currently live. We do not value enough the fact of doing less, differently, or doing nothing. But doing nothing is also a way to take care of ourselves.
It is easy to run away from our problems by choosing distraction as a solution. Taking care of oneself means making the choice to build a life from which one does not need to escape regularly.
Why Is Self-Care Important?
Self-care is not a luxury. It should be a priority for each of us, a commitment to ourselves.
As life becomes more and more hectic and stressful for most of us, we should all practice self-care.
Taking care of ourselves allows us to face our daily lives with more lightness, with a more relaxed body and mind, and to live our lives at their best.
We all have little things that help us, that make us smile, that soothe us. And by identifying them, by valuing them, we embellish our day, and by extension, our life.
I hope you enjoy this beautiful season of self-care and that you will want to make it last all year long! 🙌🏼