“Being selfish isn’t always a bad thing! Sometimes you have to be selfish to take care of yourself!” Hold up. Stop right there.
Definition of Selfish (adjective)
concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others
Here are a few examples of selfishness just so we’re on the same page.
- Cutting in line
- Framing someone else for your mistake
- Cheating on your partner
- Using someone’s stuff without asking or straight up stealing
- Hoarding food/money/etc.
- The list goes on…
Self care does NOT equate to selfishness and it’s dangerous to say so because it implies that we don’t deserve to take care of ourselves. That we’re not allowed to have needs and limits. That we’re not allowed to be human.
Yes, self-care involves focusing exclusively on yourself, but it’s not at the expense of others. If anything, engaging in self-care helps others because you have that much more energy and motivation to contribute to the world.
That being said, self care isn’t indulgent. Almost every time finals season hits, my mental health goes to crap. I feel worthless, I lose all faith in myself, I hate myself, and the threat of a complete meltdown looms over me the entire time. If I don’t take time off to focus on my mental health, I quite literally fall apart.
Of course, your circumstances don’t always have to be that dire to have a valid reason to engage in self-care. Ideally, you’re consistently taking care of yourself to prevent a complete shutdown or just to keep things running smoothly.
Now that you lovelies are convinced that it’s okay to engage in self-care, here are 10 ways you can bring self-care into your lives!
- Drink herbal or green tea. Both of these are extremely soothing, but be warned that green tea has more caffeine than black tea. (Who would have known?)
- Bonus Tip: While brewing and drinking the tea, try not to focus on anything else besides the tea. In this way, it can become a meditation-like experience because your mind isn’t racing.
- Start journaling. It’s a great way to process your emotions and stay positive. (Of course, you could journal for a completely different reason too!) Studies have shown time and again that students learn more when they take their notes by hand, and I think the same applies to journaling. You can learn so much about yourself and it can be as low commitment as you want, I promise.
This took me a couple minutes maximum, and I could have done it with one pen. In case you’re wondering what the icons mean, I made a key for happy moments, funny moments, ongoing personal development, and theme of the day on an earlier page. My goal is to continuously reflect on positive things in my life, so I can come back here if I’m struggling. What’s your goal? Let me know in the comments below!
- Go out for ice cream or your favorite food. I think it’s safe to say that a majority of you lovelies like food, yes? Don’t be afraid to treat yourself every now and then! Disclaimer: I’m NOT saying to use food to solve or forget about your problems. I want to emphasize healthy relationships with food, and not being afraid to eat what you like is very important for that.
- Bonus Tip: Go out with your friends and share the self-care!
- Learn how to sew. I know it’s no longer cheaper to sew your own clothes, but sewing boasts some serious mental health benefits. According to this CNN article, crafting is a natural anti-depressant and produces effects similar to meditation. I can personally vouch for this having just DIY-ed a book cover for my bujo this weekend, and feeling my stress seep out of my body.
Aren’t they gorgeous?! ❤ Here’s the tutorial in case you want to make your own.
- Dance to your favorite jams. I love bedroom bopping, alright? It’s a great way to get off the couch and raise your heart rate for a few minutes, and I’m sure that we all know that exercise is great for mental health also. Disclaimer: I’m not saying that exercise will magically cure mental illness. That would just be silly.
I hope you found these tips useful but, if not, here are some books on self-care so you can have expert opinions as well!
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (I’m reading this one right now!)