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  • Writer's pictureNazia Bhatti

What is Self-Care?

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

The term ‘self-care’ gets thrown around a lot. But what does it really mean? It often gets misconstrued as treating yourself to something special or doing something for yourself that is selfishly indulgent. In fact, this couldn’t be farther from the true definition.

Yes, self-care can encompass the activities that feel self-indulgent, but those are not necessarily the things we need to do on a regular basis in order for us to preserve mental health and well-being.

Self-care is doing the things you need to do in order to be your most productive self.

Self-care more importantly is doing the things you need to do in order to protect your time and mental, emotional and physical capacity.

For example, in order to protect your time, self-care would mean saying ‘no’ to those optional extra tasks at work that cause you to work late, or to a dinner invitation when you just aren’t up for it, and using that “extra” time to instead do things that recharge and energize you, like going to the gym or do that yoga class you’ve been looking forward to, or have a few hours to yourself to read a good book. It’s also about reflecting on the things you do in your day to day calendar that might be contributing to draining your energy.

Throughout the pandemic, our world was inundated with bad news, negative stories about numbers of deaths, lockdowns, protests, and new variants. It’s no wonder so many people have and still are struggling with their mental health.

It is more important for us to take a pause from the very thing that might be leading us down the path of feeling stressed or unhappy. Self-care in this case would be making the decision to distance yourself from the negativity, perhaps limiting the amount of news coverage we take in, taking a break from toxic social media posts and pages, and instead immersing yourself into the things that bring you joy, laughter and contentment.

Self care can also be about creating a routine that you enjoy, that sets the tone for your day and brings you some peace and contentment. For example, starting your day with a short meditation, or turning on the music to dance while you dress for your day, and developing the habit of speaking kindly to yourself.

Self care is not just indulging in treats and eloquence, it is about indulging in and fostering a healthy relationship with yourself - literally Caring for your Self - to create space for healing, health and happiness. This relationship that you forge with yourself can help you to recognize places that need attention, love or help, to fully be your best self. And of course being open to growth is where the magic happens.

Take a few minutes each day to think about one thing you could change that could bring you less stress and little more peace and compassion to your day.

I would be happy to sit down with you and see how I can help you to create a more positive sense of Self, create a Self Care routine, or anything else that you would like to chat about.

To explore more about balance and sense of self, in addition to any other issues you would like to explore, please book a 15 minute no charge initial consultation to see how I can support your wellness goals.


Guest post by Nazia Bhatti, BHSc, MSc, RSW

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