By Social Work Intern, Hannah Gill
Spoiler Alert: face masks are skincare, not self-care.
Until recently, (thank you, COVID-19) the word self-care was taboo in most professional settings. The real meaning of self-care is crucial for everyone, especially those in helping professions. The only thing more important than understanding why self-care is necessary is ensuring that we practice it.
We live in a society that has programed us to believe that we live to work rather than work to live. This idea only reinforces the need for regularly practiced self-care.
Life is busy, for everyone, and it is easy to find an excuse for why we are not making it a priority. If you are like me, it is often a task “I will do tomorrow.” One tomorrow quickly turns into two and the vicious cycle continues. No matter what your excuse may be, remember that self-care is a crucial part of being able to be the best parent, co-worker, sibling, friend, student, advocate, child, teacher, mentor, spiritual leader, or business owner that you can be. Please read this next line and really take it in; you cannot expect to show up and give your best to others if you are not treating yourself like a priority.
Myth or Fact:
Self-care is face masks, bubble baths and your favorite Netflix show.
Myth. All the above are great and can absolutely be a part of how you take care of yourself. However, these practices alone will only give you momentary peace.
Self-care is diving deep into reflecting on your emotional thoughts and feelings every day.
Myth. While it is an important part of self-care to “check in” with yourself, self-reflection will look different for everyone.
Only certain types of people need to practice self-care.
Myth. It does not matter what job you have, if you are single or married, if you are young or old. Self-care is something that everyone can benefit from.
Effective self-care takes a significant amount of time.
Myth. There is no universal process for self-care. How you practice will likely be different from the way that your friend or partner does. It may range from a quick breathing exercise to a weekend “off the grid.”
How Do I Start?
Start today. Start now. Take a minute to check in with yourself. Practice listening to your mind and body like you would listen to your clients.
Take good care of yourself.