What is Self-Care?
Self-care has become a buzz word in the mental health community, but what does it really mean?
Self-care is taking the time to do things that fulfill an unmet need in order to feel more balanced and complete. Unmet needs can occur in various areas of your life including physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and other realms of life.
It's More than Just the Basics
Self-care is about more than just taking care of the basics, it’s about bringing ourselves into balance. So maybe you’re a busy mom who has been putting everyone and everything ahead of your own care. Or maybe your career has got you focused on deadlines instead of being present with yourself. Just taking a shower and brushing our teeth are basic needs, and it's definitely a step in the right direction to do these things. However, it’s not all there is to self-care, again we’re striving for balance.
Check-in with Yourself
Take a moment to check in with yourself and recognize what your body and/or brain is telling you. What do I need in this moment? Some examples include:
- Unmet physical needs like rest, exercise, and nutrition
- Social needs, like having quality time with family or friends
- Quiet time to be by ourselves and just be present
- A safe place to work on our mental health, such as individual therapy
- Connect with nature, or participate in a healing practice or ritual
When we are dealing with stress, we often turn to unhealthy ways of coping such “checking out" by drinking alcohol or getting lost in social media. Again, checking-in with ourselves can help us determine if a self-care activity is positive and bringing balance into our lives.
Why is Self-Care So Hard?
Self-care is especially difficult for women because of the unconscious societal pressures we face, as well as the biological connection we have with our children. While your partner may respect you completely, they may be unaware of the subtle expectations that are weighing on you.
Women's Integrative Counseling
At Women’s Integrative Counseling, our focus is on the issues women frequently face. Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Lauren Rodgers can provide you with the necessary support and guidance you need to get you feeling like yourself again. If you are a North Carolina resident considering therapy, click her to schedule your risk-free consultation with a licensed therapist.