what is self care

What is self care and why is it so important

What is self care and why is it so important? We take a look at some of the ways you can adopt a self care practice without breaking the bank

If you’ve been on social media over the past few weeks we guarantee you’ve seen at last one person indulging in some #selfcare. But what is it exactly? And does it always have to cost a fortune?

A super short explanation of self care is taking time to yourself to recharge your batteries, and not feeling selfish about it. In this always on society of super connectivity, it’s easy to feel guilty about turning off our phones, unplugging the WIFI and taking some time out. And yet, experts argue that that’s exactly what we need to be doing.

However, as is always the way, once social media cottons on to something it becomes competitive. Spa days, weekends away and days of fun are all common #selfcare posts, which is great. But what can you do if you don’t time the time or budget to adopt a similar approach?

Dr. Farrah Hauke, Psy.D, a licensed psychologist, adds that self-care is “absolutely vital” to emotional well being. “It is incredibly important because it can decrease stress as well as anxiety and depressive symptoms. It also helps us to be more productive and mindful of our needs which helps us to proactively address problems.” She too agrees that self-care “does not have to be time consuming or expensive.”

So what can we do?

Adopt a meditation practice

All you really need is a cushion, a quiet room and some time. But, if that sounds too intimidating, download a meditation app, or use guided meditations to get you on your way.

Read more: Meditation apps to use at home

Start a gratitude practice

It makes sense that if you focus on the good then the good starts growing, which is why grateful practices can be so beneficial. Start with a simple list of three things you’re grateful for today, and don’t put pressure on yourself. If the best thing that happened to you today was a morning coffee then that makes the list. The idea here is to see the beauty in the mundane, which won’t happen if you start worrying your gratitude list is too small.

Read more: Gerry Hussey’s guide to practicing gratitude

Take care of something

Be it a dog, a fish or even just a plant, taking care of something is proven to help us see past ourselves and get perspective on our problems as being something fleeting. Try it and see how it will help to flip your mindset.

Watch a movie

But watch the movie only. No scrolling, no talking, no worrying and letting your mind wander. Sit for two hours and loose yourself in a movie. Or a book. If you think that mindfulness is doing one thing to the exclusion of all others – this is technically a form or mindfulness. The same also applies to cooking, baking, gardening and running. Anything you do with a singular focus.

Make time

Do you love restorative yoga but never have time to make a class? You do, you’re just prioritising differently. If a friend needed you for an hour you’d rearrange your schedule to make time. So do the same for yourself. Whatever it is you want to do, make time for it. And stick to it. It’s like making a date with yourself.

Read more: 7 ways to find time for yoga

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