I get really irate when I read posts about self-care.

It’s not because I disagree with the idea of self-care, because I don’t. I think self-care is essential.

It’s because most people have no idea what self-care is.

Self-care is not ‘me-time’

Let’s get one things straight.

Self-care is NOT me-time.

Reminding someone to to take time for themselves and have a bath or read a good book with a glass of wine is not self-care.

This is simply taking time out and taking a break or having a much-needed rest.

Let’s think about plants for a second…

If you had a plant how would you look after it?

You’d definitely water it, that goes without saying. And then you might put it in a good spot in your home so that it gets the sunlight it needs or is out of the draughts. Can you tell how little I know about plants! ?.

Would you call this “caring’ for your plant?

No. This is just what the plant needs to survive.

Without these bare essentials your plant would DIE! This is something I happen to know a lot about as I’ve killed many more plants than I care to admit.

It’s important we make the distinction between basic care – keeping some thing or some one alive – and actual care.

What is ‘caring’?

Caring is defined as “showing kindness and concern”. For me that is more than doing the bare minimum so that the person or thing you’re caring for doesn’t die.

Actually ‘caring’ for your plant is going one step further. It’s things like;

  • pruning dead leaves
  • feeding it with extra nutrients
  • changing the soil or pot when it needs it
  • moving it around depending on the time of year
  • cleaning the leaves
  • spraying it with mist
  • playing it music or singing to it (if you’re into that kind of thing!)

Caring for your plant is doing things that will help it to thrive and grow, and not just the bare minimum to stop it from dying.

So now we’ve got that straight, let’s go back to self-care for humans.

What is self-care?

Self-care is doing things that will help you to thrive and grow. It is not doing the bare minimum to stop from you going into survival mode.

Reading a book in a bath with a glass of wine is NOT self-care. That’s just what you might need to do to stop you losing your shit on a Wednesday night after a tough day.

Let’s not confuse self-care with taking time out for ourselves to save us from emotional burnout or falling ill.

There is a chasm between doing things that keep you from the jaws of hell – being in struggle and survival mode – and doing things that help you to thrive.

It’s important that we recognise that self-care is about doing things that will help you to THRIVE emotionally, mentally and physically, and GROW as a human being.

Using this as a guide we can start to get a much better sense of what self-care looks like.

Here’s what self-care looks like

When we realise that self-care is about doing things that help us to grow and thrive, it gives us a much clearer idea as to what self-care looks like;

  • exercise
  • eating healthy and nutritious food
  • spiritual development
  • learning and personal development
  • emotional healing (past traumas, emotional triggers)
  • emotional and mental resilience
  • meditation

These are all activities that, if you do them consistently, will improve your physical and emotional health. This is what self-care looks like.

It’s caring for yourself in way that shows self-kindness and concern for self.

Here’s one way you can show self-care today

If you want to show yourself some self-care then working on your emotional and mental health is a great place to start.

If you suffer from anxiety or stress, addressing this would make a huge difference to your over sense of well-being. Our Clear Your Head Trash online course shows you how to tackle your anxiety and stress so that you can start to feel calmer inside. It shows you how to use the Head Trash Clearance Method to build your emotional resilience.

Find out more about the Clear Your Head Trash course here.

Alexia Leachman
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