Thanks to social media, the term “self-care” has become a household phrase over the last couple of years and is still steadily gaining traction.
To some, it may seem like just a fad concept. A term coined by “millennials.” A phrase that gurus and health and fitness professionals toss around like candy at a parade. But is it that simple, that superficial?
Studies are showing that more and more people are tired of being tired, overworked, overstretched and unwell.
Those same studies are showing that more and more people are actively practicing self-care and experiencing more joy and better quality of life as a result.
1. What is Self-Care?
By definition: self-care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness.”
However, this can mean so many different things to an individual and you really have to find things that are meaningful to you and that make sense in your life. It can be as simple as trying to think more positively or more involved with activities like scheduling regular massage or counseling appointments.
2. Try it Yourself
It can be hard to even know where to start. If self-care is a new concept to you, one thing you can do is try filling in the blank in the following sentences:
“I really want to feel more _________”
“I really wish I had more time to_________”
“I really feel like I need more ________”
Once you’ve answered these questions, choose the one that feels the most important to you right now and think of simple ways you can start working toward that goal. There is no right or wrong answer, and no goal is too big or small.
Whether you’re adding good or subtracting bad from your life, the idea is to do more for YOU.
3. Practicing Self-Care
You can find all kinds of self-care tips and ideas online, podcasts you can listen to, and a plethora of books on the subject. Whatever methods you pursue, don’t feel guilty for making yourself and your health more of a priority!
Here are some of my own methods of self-care:
Good quality sleep is so important to your body and mind.
Writing down thoughts, feelings, ideas, phrases you want to remember…anything that comes to mind
Probably speaks for itself, but movement is so good for the body AND mind. Whatever form is enjoyable to you and enhances your life. From walking the dog to “boot camps”, do what feels good to you!
- Me time.
I am someone that NEEDS alone time, and am not ashamed to ask for it.
- Positive thinking
Ditching negative self-talk and thoughts. Self-compassion was sadly a whole new idea for me until this year. But thanks to a wellness professional I now see on a regular basis, this simple but important concept has been life-changing.
- Friend/social time.
Don’t we all have days or weeks or months where you just want to stay home in your jammies watching Netflix? That’s important if that’s your “me time,” but it’s good for the soul to have time with friends and family and nurture those relationships, even if you have to give yourself a nudge off the couch
Jami Kohlmann, LMT, CLT, CPT, CES, CAFS is the Massage Services Coordinator & Personal Trainer at Mettler Center.
Call 217-356-6543 to schedule a massage or a free 30-minute personal training consultation.