What is Self-Care?
The phrase self-care has been tremendously overused to the point people don’t even know what it comprises anymore. It seems people are throwing the term around in a lazy effort to discuss mental health. While everyone has a different definition of what self-care means to them, when you search the term on google it says:
the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.
"autonomy in self-care and insulin administration"
the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
"expressing oneself is an essential form of self-care"
This definition encompasses much more than manicures and detaching from social media. People have made cute memes and graphs, but self-care isn’t pretty sometimes. It’s hard work to dig deep into what the depths of our soul truly need.
Self-care has turned into a scapegoat to ignore what our inner needs truly are. It’s important to take care of our superficial needs such as hair, massages, and treating ourselves to the movies. It’s also going to the doctor to stop ignoring our internal health, it’s doing the hard work in therapy, and it’s budgeting our money to stop spending frivolously on clothes that we don’t need in the name of self-care.
Sometimes we need to stop ignoring our outside issues in the name of self-care. A lot of times, I know I am guilty of going into hibernation and sleeping the day away to ignore the problems that are consuming me. Solitude is needed if we are taking that time away to journal, find solutions to our problems, and exercise to get the endorphins going, but sometimes it leads to going over budget online shopping while wearing a sheet mask.
Redefining what self-care means to you is crucial to your growth. Find out what problems you’re truly ignoring and incorporate that into your self-care routine or even find a new word for taking care of yourself physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. We have to be honest with ourselves. Ways we can help ourselves reach our full potential is to find an accountability partner, be kind to ourselves, and have a growth mindset - basically a mindset that is a constant state of learning. We need to push ourselves past our comfort zones to reach the highest version of ourselves. When I talk to some of my friends about why they don’t attend therapy or why they make excuses for why they haven’t started toward our goal, they say it’s because of time. We make time for the things we want. If we can make time for happy hour and lunch dates, we can make one therapy appointment if we have the access (see resources below).
One way I took care of myself was instead of looking at Instagram’s that I found myself comparing myself to, I started looking at Black women entrepreneurs to find inspiration. I continue my therapy appointments, meeting new people that are like minded and inspirational, and taking risks that future Kierra will thank me for later.