Self-Care the Right Way: Stress Free

April 12, 2019

Today it seems like the topic of self-care is everywhere. It is hailed as the magic treatment for almost anything: Insomnia? Try thirty minutes of meditation before bed. Stressed? Make some you-time for at least an hour a day, try a face-mask! Feeling sick? Start an essential oils routine! 
 

 


While none of these are bad or incorrect suggestions, the rumour is that self-care solves all. So what's commonly happening? People are stressing out over self-care, trying to fit it in or to make it work perfectly in their lives. This is the exact opposite of what self-care is meant to be!

There is absolutely a time and place for self-care, but the key is balance and not over-obsessing that you're doing it "right.”

 

"Self-care is how you take your power back" - Lalah Delia

 

Self-Care for Instagram 

Today, our society is more connected than ever with social media. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are not only used for keeping up with family and friends, but for shopping, and even work!

The negative side from these sites comes when we find ourselves comparing what we have and do to what others are posting. It's easy to forget that only the best and most positive things are being shown in these posts. 

 

Someone can represent himself or herself as almost anything they want, even if it's not the whole truth, or even a part of the truth!

 

Good to Read: Hello H2O! Water for a Healthy Life

Self-care has become a trend for Instagram, often a fetishized way of life. And here we are, creating cookie-cutter standards for what self-care must mean and obsessing over how to perfectly fit inside.

 

So what happens when we realize we don't perfectly fit or measure up? We feel bad about ourselves. That is not what self-care should be!
 

 

Self-Care Driven Anxiety 

 

What can happen from feeling badly that your self-care routine is nowhere comparable to the "models" of well-being? A lot of people might feel or develop anxiety over this.

The wellness industry in many ways has increased spaces for mental health awareness and made great improvements.

 

However, there is also a more business-marketing targeted side that has just created another way to be 'perfect.' Influencing people to want to achieve this level of ‘perfection,’ like the perfect body or diet, and more recently the perfect self-care routine. 

 

It might sound silly, but it's true and people are more susceptible to this than you might think. 
 
Your self-care will not look like anyone else’s. It doesn't need to be instagrammable and it certainly should not cause you anxiety!
 
Self-care can even cause in people the feeling of guilt. The thought that I should be doing something else, like taking care of the house or kids can be stirred up with taking time for you. Those thoughts certainly eat away at the well-being purpose of self-care. 
 
If you feel that developing a self-care routine will benefit you, but are unsure how to make it work or experience anxiety over it, talk with a mental health professional and work together to form a plan. 

 

Acupressure Tip!

When you are exhausted and really run down, try stimulating this spot:

Apply pressure four finger widths below the kneecap and one finger width to the outside of the shinbone. You should feel a little tenderness here, so apply soft even pressure for one to two minutes


So What Can You Do...

If you notice that the rituals you had set up to make you feel better are stressing you out, it’s time for a change.  In fact, it’s time to simplify!

 

  • Identify the routines or rituals you have been trying to work into your schedule. Ask yourself, is this really making me feel good? If yes, continue to try and make it a part of your wellness. If not, drop it (and with zero guilt!)

 

  • Start each day with intention. Yes, waking up an hour or so earlier would be nice, and you can certainly try. But, if you hit the snooze button too many times because you had a late night, don’t beat yourself up over it. Instead, ask yourself what you want to achieve or focus on for the day and try to follow through with that instead. (And yes, getting more cuddles from your family counts as an intention!)

 

  • Boundaries are your friend. It’s okay to say no. In fact, boundaries are a key point to self-care. Remember that you can’t do everything. Saying “no” to one thing is saying “yes” to another

 

  • Try your best not to compare your self-care with others. Are you buying that trendy expensive workout outfit and gear because it motivates you and you feel good in it, or because it will look good for Facebook and then never actually be used?

 

  • Activate your body. Moving around releases the feel-good hormone serotonin. If you can’t fit in the gym or a fitness routine, set your mind to being more active while at work. Take an extra lap around the office or use the stairs rather than the elevator. A little bit can go a long way.

 

  • Practice deep breathing. Deep breathing helps to calm you down in stressful situations and even serves as a helpful wind-down. (Hint Hint: read the next section and throw some acupressure into the mix!)

 

  • Remember that your self-care is yours alone. You shouldn’t feel stressed to complete it or while doing it. Self-care is about you. While you can share your journey on social media, some moments are best left only for you. 


 

"And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.”
–John Steinbeck

 

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