One of the most frequent questions that I receive from clients is that they do not know what self-care solutions are most effective for their lifestyles. In order to identify solutions and effective actions, the first step is to define self-care. The term has become a bit of a trendy catch-all the past few years; meaning the good ole internet is filled with far too much information on the topic to wade through, with a majority of it being contradictory, confusing, or just plain wrong. And while some feel-good actions like massages and bubble baths can be wonderful, they are certainly not long-term solutions to keep your health (mind, body, and soul health!) in check.
If you are curious as to what core aspects keep your mind, body, and soul health in tip top shape, check out my last post covering WWS’s 12 pillars for a balanced self-care routine here.
According to Google:
1. a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.
1. the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.
Merging these together, we can define self-care as: anything that provides necessary input for an individual’s health and well-being; with an individual person being a unique person that is distinguished from other’s based on their own observations of their own mental and emotional processes (introspection). In other words – self-care is going to (and needs to!) mean something different for every single person.
Since your own particular input needs will sway and vary with different periods of your life, it may feel challenging to define self-care for yourself. To help give you some inspiration on creating some clarity around how you define self-care, I reached out to some of my favorite wild and strong women in the wellness industry to see just exactly what this concept means for them. The uniqueness of their answers is absolutely beautiful, but you will also find some pretty interesting parallels amongst them too. [Like coffee. So many coffee lovers amongst these women, that surely there is a correlation between coffee consumption and having a healthy self-care routine?!]
Take a peek at how these 10 wellness experts define self-care, and feel free to join in by submitting your unique self-care definition in the comments below.
How do you define self-care? Self-Care is the capacity to gently meet the needs of your toughest emotions and pain. This requires you to feel the deep, raw ache or anger or fatigue (or overwhelming joy!), face it with love, and ask “How can I meet your needs right now?” Once we’ve faced that … the hard part is often acting on it with unwavering commitment to the greater good.
What is your favorite self-care routine? Taking my damn time in the shower and making sure I smell all the smells, feel the hot water, look out the window … then use oil instead of lotion while I wander around my apartment naked for whatever amount of time I happen to have that day.
How do you define self-care? Self-care is found in the steps you take to protect your energy to be the best version of yourself emotionally, mentally and physically. Building various forms of self care into our lives teaches us to tune into our own needs so that we can show up for ourselves and for others in a brighter, more positive way.
What is your favorite self-care routine? One thing I’ve introduced lately is a quick 5 – 10 minute yoga flow every morning and nothing makes me feel better than a great stretch to wake up first thing!
How do you define self-care? Self-care to me is the act of prioritizing my mind, body and soul. Self-care includes making choices that leave me feeling grounded and re-charged, from partaking in my morning rituals, to moving my body, to saying no to going out when I know I need a night in. Self-care is self-love, and sometimes that love is tough love, such as choosing to work through difficult emotions, instead of repressing them.
What is your favorite self-care routine? My favorite part of my self-care routine is my morning ritual time. I sit down with a cup of coffee, my journal and tarot cards. I pull a card for the day and journal a bit, which allows me to center and ground myself before taking on the day.
How do you define self-care? To me, self-care is making sure I’m not forgotten in all of the roles and responsibilities I tackle each day. It’s making sure that in all the craziness and in the calmness of the day, I have a few things I do to check in with myself.
What is your favorite self-care routine? Setting up for it. Making a giant cup of coffee first thing in the morning, grabbing my journal and fluffing the pillows on the couch then sitting down comfortably in the quiet and writing.
How do you define self-care? To me self-care means doing anything I damn well please that makes me feel good inside my body and my mind.
Until just a few years ago I was a people pleaser and spent most of my life doing what others thought I should do instead of what I wanted which led to lots of shame (because I never could please everyone) and years of being morbidly obese because I tried to eat my feelings away.
So, for me, self-care happens to be drinking shit tons of coffee, enjoying whatever food I want that does not make me feel like shit the next day, slinging iron, riding my bike, kayaking, walking, running, hiking, swimming and any other kind of physical activity (preferably outdoors) that keeps me up and moving because I am physically hurt when I am still for too long.
What is your favorite self-care routine? Whatever I am doing at the moment, because it is MY CHOICE
How do you define self-care? Self-care is recognizing and honoring your specific needs. It’s listening to what actually makes you happy and fulfilled.
What is your favorite self-care routine? I love climbing into bed (preferably before 9:30pm) and reading for pleasure. This helps me relax and reset so that I can get good, quality sleep.
How do you define self-care? To me, self care is any set of intentional actions meant to restore and rejuvenate your spirit. We already give so much to the world. Self care is giving back to ourselves.
What is your favorite self-care routine? My daily walks. Focusing on nature and noticing the nuances of the world around me are my favorite ways to practice mindfulness. Daily walks are essential for me to de-stress and reconnect with myself and the world. Plus, it’s when I get my best ideas.
How do you define self-care? Self care for me is anything that I intentionally do to take nurture myself physically, mentally or emotionally. There are certain self care practices that have become daily essentials for me such as moving and meditating and there are others that ebb and flow based on whatever life brings up. The key to self care is taking the time to be present with myself and tune in to whatever that moment calls for.
What is your favorite self-care routine? My favorite part of self care is getting to quiet down and have a conversation with myself without all the other “chatter”. Self care allows me to truly know and practice loving kindness towards myself.
How do you define self-care? For me it’s about boundaries and taking the time to do the things that fill me up. I used to do things to make other people happy (even if it made me unhappy) or in an effort to be “fun” (which was my default persona, especially when I was feeling insecure). Now I am more particular about how I spend my time.
What is your favorite self-care routine? Sleep – I love taking a shower, putting on all my lotions and jumping in bed EARLY to read or just relax before actually going to sleep.
How do you define self-care? I actually think this is tough. It’s like defining love. Self-care begins with having enough worthiness and spiritual connection to realize that our life is a gift with responsibility. Every one of us was put on this earth to accomplish something. It is our responsibility to take care of our self so that we can accomplish what our creator meant for us.
What is your favorite self-care routine? My favorite part of my self-care routine is being consistent with my daily journal. This habit has only been part of my routine for about 16 months, yet if I miss a day I feel off for the whole day.
Defining what self-care means for you so that you can create the most effective self-care routine may seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re feeling stuck with your self-care routine, join the Wild Woman Strong e-mail community to receive free resources, stay up-to-date on product launches, and get my best tips that are only reserved for the insider crew.