Self-care is right up there with extra — as in, “those crazy dance moves are so extra” — and woke — as in, “get woke!” — as one of the hottest of-the-moment buzzwords. And whether the fact that the phrase is suddenly everywhere makes you love it or hate it, we’re pretty confident that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. All this talk about self-care might be a little extra, but your best move is probably just to get woke about it and join the movement. (Yes, actually, we do crack ourselves up.)
On the off chance that you’ve somehow managed to escape all the recent self-care chatter, we’re more than happy to get you caught up on the trend. One of the most interesting things about the broader self-care conversation is the diversity of definitions it’s generated, and while it’s hard to capture the movement’s meaning in a single dictionary-like sentence, the experts at PsychCentral have done a pretty great job of summing it up:
“self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. it’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.”
It’s hard to imagine that anything described this way could be at all controversial, but you might be surprised. Forbes distinguishes the importance of self-care as a discipline implemented as part of your larger wellness routine, rather than a more selfish indulgence — “think expensive bath products, luxurious chocolates, spa appointments.” While we’re totally on board for expensive bath products, luxurious chocolates, and spa appointments when the time is right, we also understand that there is a big difference between the kind of high-quality soul-tending that refreshes you to be a better partner, friend, employee, and parents and straight-up excessive pampering disguised as self-care. Forbes notes:
“self-care is not an indulgence. self-care is a discipline. it requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with.”
Nailed it, Forbes. As usual.
In our latest Mat Chat, our own Tessa Jenkins talks more about the bulldog perspective on making time for self-care.
When you approach self-care from a place of self-improvement and personal growth (just like Tessa describes!), you best make it a priority in your own busy schedule. We know, we know — you’re feeling overbooked. But there’s no reason you can’t pencil yourself into your own calendar for some fresh air, an online yoga class, a soul conversation with your sister, or a solo drive with some thoughtful podcasts cranking through your speakers.
And if you decide to take a bubble bath with a glass of wine and a bowl of ice cream later the same day? That can be our little secret. Indulgence may not be the same as self-care, but it’s no crime, either!
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