Self Care seems to be quite the buzzword at the moment. The mantra of the millennials, it seems to be everywhere. It has also been picked up by the media as a great way to market products and ideas to a seemingly worn out public.
It’s no secret that modern life can be hard. How can it fail to be when our lives are increasingly busy and our exposure to information- good and bad- can be overwhelming to say the least.
It’s no wonder then that people are connecting more and more to a desire, or need, to treat their bodies and minds a little more gently. It’s seems like amongst all the bustle and uncertainty we have forgotten how to look after ourselves.
Is it all just a fad?
But is the Self Care trend sweeping the internet really valid? Do the thousands of tips listed on blogs and articles, actually have a positive impact on our day to day existence and therefore health? Or is it all just a fad?
We think not. While its current popularity can make it a little difficult to see the (palo santo) wood for the trees, we believe self-care is an important practise which is unique to all of us.
As we approach then end of Self Care Week we have decided to take a look at why.
Well, put very simply, if you don’t look after yourself you get sick! We all know the feeling of working too hard, sleeping too little and eating the wrong foods. Whilst these seem like very simple fixes, for many of us they are traps that it is all too easy to fall into again and again.
In fact, it can often be the more nuanced actions that we do or don’t take every day that send ripples across the rest of our lives, effecting our overall health and wellbeing, both mentally and physically.
This is where self care comes in, with the belief that making small changes to the way we live can greatly influence our health and happiness. Even the NHS is on board, recognising self care as a way of “understanding when you can look after yourself, when a pharmacist can help you and when to get advice from your GP.” In this way, self care can be a great preventative measure to stop you getting run down, which in turn can lead to physical and mental illness.
A pragmatic approach
This is a particularly pragmatic approach to the importance of self care. However, in practise it often manifests itself in more holistic forms. At the centre of this is Mindfulness. Another buzzword I know, but it can be an incredibly beneficial practise and is a great way to bridge the gap between self care and simply leading a conventionally healthy lifestyle.
Mindfulness places emphasis on the importance of remaining completely present and aware of our body and surroundings. Often combined with meditation or relaxing exercise such as yoga, the practise of mindfulness can help us to reconnect with our bodies and disengage from anxiety triggering thoughts of the past or future.
This is an ability each and every one of us possesses. Learning to harness it can make a wonderful basis for anyone’s self-care routine. It is these principles that the myriad of self care tips you find online are based upon.
The most important thing to remember is that self care is all about you as an individual, one size definitely does not fit all. The first step is recognising the strong link between your emotional and physical lives with your overall wellbeing. Take time to notice what does and doesn’t work for you and be aware of your changing needs.
So in short, Self Care is not a fad it’s just an articulation of our need to relearn or acknowledge our own human needs. If you are feeling run down, exhausted or sick it is your bodies way of asking for some kindness, make room for that. After all, you cannot pour from an empty cup.