The term "self-care" didn't enter into the Oxford Dictionary until 2017. A relatively new concept, we often confuse self-care with self-indulgence, and, thus, attach a feeling of excess and guilt to protecting our greatest asset: ourselves.
As a society, we love to busy ourselves; so much so that busyness is actually considered an addiction. We somehow equate excessive productivity as a positive, even though we are left exhausted and burnt out. Self-care shifts the mirror back on one's self and how we are protecting and preserving our health, largely our mental well being.
From books and meditation apps, to yoga and spin classes, massages, sheet masks, iced lattes, aromatherapy kits, pedicures, and bath bombs, self-care has become a $10 billion industry.
Self-care is a highly personalized practice, and the need can depend on the person and the day. Sometimes we just need time alone to rest and regroup, whether that means a day off or, simply, learning the art of saying "no." Other times we might seek a night out with friends. For me, today, it was fresh flowers for the dining room table. It's been a heavy couple of weeks, and they brightened my mood the second I saw them. Love at first sight, I suppose.
While it's wonderful that the self-care movement has put a spotlight on
physical and mental health, along with opening the door to conversations about our mental health needs, it doesn't have to break the bank or even cost a dime. As a matter of fact, the greater benefits of self-care come from a place of personal growth and intention, investing in ourselves.
Truly creating your whole being to exist mindfully will reap benefits far beyond that of any scented candle. Spend time with people who feel like home. Nurture that which feeds your soul. Give and love freely without expectation. Seek to enhance your spirit. Appreciate all the beauty your world has to offer with you, and find bliss in the little joys, for the greatest measure of loving and caring for one's self begins within.