Self Care. Two words that hold different perceptions to each of us, however, portrays the same philosophy. On July 24th it’s International self-care day, a celebration of the concept of putting yourself first. The date in itself is a reminder to engage with our wellbeing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
To explain this aspect of our day to day lives that is frequently forgotten, the age-old airplane oxygen mask analogy. If you have been on a plane before, you’ll notice the sometimes questioned instruction: make sure to put on your own mask before assisting loved ones and fellow passengers. That’s because if you’re struggling to breathe air, you’d be of no help to yourself or anyone else. Which is where the importance of physiological and psychological maintenance comes in.
Self-care is a commitment to yourself that can often be misjudged as “indulging”. To me, taking care of myself is a way of self- preservation, a way to empower myself. Prior to contrary belief, it isn’t as easy as “burning a scented candle” or “using bath salts and rose petals” before bed. To me, it’s nourishing myself every day and finding time to do what I love in between my busy schedule. It's finding my voice, speaking my truth and advocating for the causes I believe in. Sometimes it's even budgeting time to ride a bike to work while taking in the view of the sunrise.
Self-care should be a soothing practice, not something that stresses you out! Of course, it’s never easy to find time for these seemingly frivolous things in our overloaded schedules. But the value they hold is unmatched. Resilience is key and building that gives us the power to bounce back. I’m no life coach or self-care guru but I sure am trying my best to improve myself, because nothing good ever comes easy and this too will be a gradual habit.
With that being said since last year, July 24th 2018, I’ve learned some new habits that I’ve started to tweak and practice in order to become the best version of myself. So read on to discover what constitutes my definition of self-care:
Advocating for the environment
Preaching the importance of feminism
Adding a few drops of lavender essential oils to my pillow for a more restful sleep
Adopting a low waste lifestyle (I hope to make zero waste soon)
Eat five small but healthy meals a day
Write more often
Make time to play my guitar every day
Improve my posture and breathing
Being more straightforward with people
Attending puppy therapy on most Wednesdays at my university (my favourite advancement)