I was surprised to find, after some research, that self-care encompasses more than just spa visits, luxurious hammock naps and carving out time for yoga. Perhaps that's the way it's marketed to a narrow slice of the population, but in fact, self-care can be described as the most basic level of human care. It includes seven pillars: heath literacy, mental wellbeing, physical activity, healthy eating, risk avoidance, good hygiene, and good use of products and services. (International Self-Care Foundation)
In honor of self-care awareness month, let's learn more about what self-care looks like, here and now, in 2020. This year has been tough. Some days, meeting our own basic needs can feel really hard. Here are a few heathy habits of self-care that you might not be giving yourself credit for:
1 LISTENING TO YOUR INTUITION.Seems basic, but tuning in to and trusting your gut requires practice.
2 DEFINING BOUNDARIES.Look after yourself by letting others know what makes you comfortable. Let go of those who intentionally and repeatedly cross the line.
3 ALLOWING MENTAL SPACE.This can be achieved by spending time in nature, turning off your phone, or meditating for 5 minutes. Even short breaks are restorative.
4 ACCEPTING YOURSELF AS YOU ARE.You are the only you there is. There is freedom in owning and loving your individual truth.
5 NOURISHING YOUR BODY.Don't underestimate the power of a homemade meal from the fresh bounty of the Earth, shared with those you love. We are what we put in, on, and around our bodies.
It's important to note that while each of these acts is free and accessible, many people around the world do not have a level of privilege that affords the time and awareness to partake. Let's try to be conscious of others' access to self-care. Sowing seeds of gratitude for the things we take for granted is another practice that nurtures our mental wellbeing.