What Does Self-Care Really Mean?

There are several definitions of self-care out there. Even the “official” definition has evolved over time to include a lot more angles to the meaning. Here is the one that I like the most.

“Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure etc.), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.), socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.”

What Does Self-Care Really Mean?

 

If we are being honest with ourselves, most of us who speak of adopting self-care techniques are only caring for ourselves in some areas and not all. Sure, we take the time to sit with our thoughts to make sure that we’re thinking positively. Or we practice good hygiene, but do we really pay close attention to our physical health and nutrition?

 

How about our social health and income levels? I don’t mean stressing over not making enough money either. Thinking about these things made me question whether we even really know what self-care means. For a long time, I only thought of self-care as a mental or internal thing. If I monitor my thoughts, stay mentally healthy, and carve out time for myself to enjoy a book or a movie, I was practicing great self-care, I thought.

 

The truth is that there are many more things involved in self-care than a hot bubble bath twice per week. Self-care is keeping yourself healthy in ALL aspects of life. Here are the ways that we should practice self-care below.

The truth is that there are many more things involved in self-care than a hot bubble bath twice… Click To Tweet

Ways We Can Practice Self-Care

 

  • Mentally/Emotionally

  • Physically

    • Do you maintain a healthy body? Do you keep your body exercised and in shape? Do you make sure that your body avoids danger?
  • Nutritionally

    • Do you feed yourself healthy foods that nourish your body and keep it functioning properly?
  • Hygienically

    • Do you practice proper hygiene on a daily basis?
  • Socially

    • Do you have a healthy social life and circle of friends? Do you communicate well with others and have a life outside of working and spending time at home?


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  • Spiritually

    • Do you have healthy spiritual practices that feed your soul and your mind in a positive way? Do you have something that keeps you sane and gives you hope during troubling or trying times?
  • Financially

    • Do you manage your money well? Are you building something that you can pass on to generations beyond yourself? Are you working toward a goal that will cause you to be financially stable?
  • Culturally

    • Are you aware of your own culture as well as the cultures of your friends and others around you? Do you respect the cultural differences of the people that live and work around you? Are you sensitive to other cultures?

 

If we can honestly say that we are doing well in each of the areas we’ve discussed above, then we absolutely are practicing great self-care. I, for one, have some work to do. I made a promise to myself at the end of December of 2015 that I would treat my body better in 2016. So far, I am doing pretty well. The scale has been nice to me too, but there are some other areas that I can pay closer attention to, in order to make sure that I am treating myself better in general.

 

How about you? Have you been practicing great self-care, or are there some areas that you still need to work on? Get my FREE Self-Care Checklist below! Click photo to download. (email required)

Self-Care Checklist

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2 thoughts on “What Does Self-Care Really Mean?

  • February 4, 2016 at 4:34 PM
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    Great advice, Andriea. I agree that self-care should be all-encompassing. As I continue to work towards a better me, I am looking at all areas of my life that need improvement (which is a lot lol) and this list is a great guide. I really like what you said about thinking on purpose and not allowing our thoughts to live in our mind. That’s definitely something that I’ve been striving towards the past few years. I get a little better each year 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply
    • February 4, 2016 at 4:44 PM
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      Awesome! Thanks for reading, Summer! It took me some time to get that mindset thing together too. I also have a lot of work to do, but knowing puts us in a great position to be able to do better!

      Reply

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