Self-Care—Fad...or a Revolution

by Jami Kohlmann, LMT

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.

self careTo 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!

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! As life changes, so may your methods of self-care. Try to check in with yourself every once in a while to see if you need to make changes. Here are six of the self-care methods I'm currently working on. Feel free to use them as inspiration! 

3. Jami’s 6 Methods of Self-Care:

  1. Sleep
    Good quality sleep is so important to your body and mind.
  2. Journaling
    Writing down thoughts, feelings, ideas, phrases you want to remember…anything that comes to mind
  3. Movement/Exercise
    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!
  4. Me time
    I am someone that NEEDS alone time, and am not ashamed to ask for it.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

I encourage each and every one of you to incorporate one self-care method into your own life each week, starting today!