What is self-care?
I often hear people say self-care is a face mask or a bubble bath. If a face mask and a bubble bath means self-care for you that’s great and you are definitely encouraged to continue doing it whenever you feel like it.
But let me tell you, self-care can be so much more than that!
Imagine I couldn’t understand the word self-care and you had to define it for me. How would you define self-care?
Take a moment here to reflect.
In my practice I have heard many wonderful definitions of self-care:
“Self-care are things that you like doing and that make you happy.”
“Self-care is looking after yourself:”
“Self-care is relaxing and healing.”
“Self-care are behaviours you do to be healthy.”
As you can see self-care means something different to everybody.
I often compare self-care to taps on the sides of a stress bucket. We all have a certain capacity to hold stress. The taps help us reduce stress levels. If the bucket overflows or the stress levels are chronically high and spillages happen repeatedly we are faced with mental health difficulties.
I would like to invite you to broaden your perspective on self-care and how you can invest into your physical and mental well-being in all different domains of your life, beyond the physical relaxation.
Reflecting on clinical experience and drawing on models of mental health I would suggest the following domains of self-care:
- Physical: Diet, Exercise, Sleep…
- Psychological: Positive affirmations, (Self-)Compassion, Gratitude, positive mindest…
- Social: Family, Friends, Supportes & Helpers, Community…
- Spiritual: Meditation, Prayer, Mindfulness, Meaning and Purpose, Intentionality…
- Lifestyle: Stress-Life Balance, Predictability-Spontaneity Balance…
Hopefully, this blog post helped you to think differently about self-care and maybe you discovered some new ways of investing in your overall wellbeing.
Please feel free to get in touch should you have any questions or would like to discuss some aspects further.
Lukas Dressler (he/him)
Integrative Psychotherapist (MBACP)
for Children and Young People