When you think of self care, I feel like skin care, face masks (etc) may pop into your mind but in reality, that’s just one self-care activity you could do. The word ‘self-care’ is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health” so it could really be what you determine is ‘self-care’ for your own well-being.
Personally, I’m guilty of not prioritising self-care a lot of the time – I think it’s because I thought perhaps it had to be certain activities (like a face mask) or at certain times but I’ve learnt this isn’t the case (for me anyway) which prompted conversations with people around me and also this piece you’re currently reading.
I’m not really a face-mask person but I do love to get creative like with scrapbooking or cross-stitching (my Nana taught me years ago) and I find it lets my mind just focus on a physical creative activity. I also recently got back into reading books, like properly switching off from everything and just reading, and I’ve already finished three books this year (one being Will Smith’s big recently released book) – I think it’s more than I read in the entire of 2021! It’s probably actually a bit ironic that I hadn’t been prioritising self-care as by day I work for a mental health charity but it’s never too late to make a start that’s for sure.
Another form of self-care I did recently was having a bit of a social media clean-up which included unfollowing accounts that no longer serve me in whatever way – it’s sort of like people in your life, sometimes you’re going to grow in a different direction and they played a part in a previous chapter but not the current one (and that’s OK by the way!). If you don’t already, I highly recommend following a few of the awesome inspirational accounts on Instagram including the likes of @weareurban, @morganharpernichols and @momentaryhappiness.
I also a few weeks ago left the house for leisure, got some fresh air and went around central Auckland with my friend Shelley to take in all the new art installations in the form of whale tales as part of WWF’s Whale Tale Art Trail. We were masked up and kept away from others since we are in the red light restrictions but honestly it was so nice to have a change of scenery and to walk around the Viaduct, Britomart and Wynyard Quarter to see these artist’s designs and their meanings in person. If you’re looking for a fun and easy activity, I highly recommend (in a pandemic safe manner!) – they’re all over Auckland and it runs until April (this isn’t an AD or anything, I just love seeing people’s creativity and a good excuse to get outside which acted as a good form of self-care!).
I know there’s a lot going on right now, and it seems crazy that we’re still in this pandemic two years later but I’m here to remind you that it’s OK to not be OK (and to seek help if you need it) and self care IS NOT selfish, so spend some time exploring what ‘self-care’ means to you and take some time out to get amongst it!