What Is Self-Care Actually? by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

Self-care is one of those buzzwords that seems to be everywhere. There is a lot of talk about the importance of self-care, but not really a lot of information about what it really is.

Many people assume that self-care refers to pampering yourself in some way. That may be a day at the spa, a day on the golf course, a weekend getaway to the mountains or the beach, or perhaps just relaxing on a rainy day and reading a good book.

In reality, any of the activities above can be considered self-care. However, self-care does not have to be this elaborate. It is also not about indulging yourself in anything you choose to do that feels good. Instead, self-care is about caring for yourself, reducing stress in your life, and finding ways to tend to your emotional and physical health so you can be your best.

The Importance of Self-Care

Over the last few years, isolation due to COVID, the Great Resignation, and changes in workplaces have created additional levels of stress. Working from home or in a hybrid role has its benefits, but it also makes it harder for some to actually get away from their work.

Being more isolated, feeling the pressure of social media, constant news cycle, increasing demands at work, and concerns about the future can all increase our stress levels. Increased stress means increasing emotional and physical costs to the body, which can also cause increased anxiety and stress.

Taking Control of Your Well-Being

Self-care doesn’t have to be difficult, costly, or time consuming. It does need to help you to have a healthier approach to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Simple things like sitting down to a healthy meal and turning off your devices to enjoy a conversation is a form of self-care the whole family can practice.

Self-care for some may include getting more physical exercise, even if it is going for a walk once a day or playing with the kids when you get home from work. Finding things you enjoy doing that allow you to mentally and physically relax is also important. Hobbies, volunteering, taking a class, or doing something that brings you enjoyment and peace is perhaps the best form of self-care.

Finding things that are healthy for your body, mind, and spirit is the first step in implementing self-care into your daily life. Start slowly and gradually add more self-care activities, focusing on eliminating stress and anxiety in your world.