Getting Downright Real: What Self-Care REALLY Means

Everywhere you look, you can learn new ways to practice self-care — books, blogs, videos, podcasts. You’ll find catchy headlines like… 

10 Ways to Take Care of Yourself 

5 Self-Care Tips That Will Revolutionize Your Life 

20 Daily Habits to Upgrade Your Self-Care Routine 

Self-care is trending, and for good reason. It helps you stay grounded, empowered, and most importantly — free from signs of burnout.

However, the media is skewing our perception of self-care. What comes to mind when you hear the word “self-care?” You might think of spas, scented bubble baths, or a shopping spree. 

The media offers only a limited version of self-care. There’s so much more to learn about what self-care really means.

The Truth: What Self-Care Really Means

You might believe that self-care is an indulgence — eating that extra red velvet cupcake, blowing your money on that new makeup palette, or staying out late to socialize. 

More often, this is treating yourself rather than practicing self-care.  Self-care is about respecting your mind and body. It’s more than rest and relaxation. It’s also challenging yourself to grow into the person you want to become. It’s about setting personal goals and achieving them.

While self-care can be enjoyable — a relaxing massage or sugary treat — it can also be difficult and uncomfortable.  

Self-Care Is Not Always Pretty or Fun 

Self-care can be unglamorous. Sometimes, it can be downright scary. 

It might test your limits. It may cause discomfort. But that’s sometimes necessary if you want to respect your body and achieve your goals.  

Yes, self-care might look like a deep-tissue massage after a stressful work week. But it can also look like: 

  • Getting honest with yourself about your finances by creating a budget 
  • Having a challenging conversation with your significant other because you’re unhappy 
  • Letting go of a toxic friend because their negativity is affecting your well-being 
  • Heading to the gym, despite wanting to lounge at home 
  • Seeing a therapist to unearth your suppressed emotions and insecurities

Some of these situations nudge you to travel outside your comfort zone. You may want to retreat and hide from the world. 

But, you see… 

That’s the truth about self-care. It’s the uncomfortable things you choose to do that help you to grow.

How to Implement Real Self-Care In Your Life

You might still be grappling with this new definition of self-care. It may be different from anything you’ve read before. To help you come to terms with this revelation and apply it in your life, I propose the following tips: 

#1 Make Real Self-Care Non-Negotiable

Do you want to know the secret to making self-care stick — even the activities you don’t like doing?

Make it a daily habit.

Self-care isn’t something you do when you feel like it. It isn’t like scheduling that two-week vacation each year. 

It’s a daily commitment.

It means doing both the things you want to do and the things that you don’t want to do every day

Self-care is indulging in a scented salt bath and walking 10,000 steps. It’s dressing up to feel beautiful and going to bed on time for a restful night’s sleep.

Most importantly, self-care is understanding the relationship between small habits and life-changing results over time. However, this positive shift happens only when self-care is non-negotiable in your daily life.

#2 Get Clear On Your Values

Instead of thinking of self-care as a list of things to check off, try seeing it as a lifestyle that aligns with your values. 

Take a moment to pause and reflect on your values.

If your current values are focused on health, how would that affect how you practice self-care? Yoga and resistance training would make sense, but indulging in a decadent slice of chocolate cake would not.

What if one of your values is around being an empowered career woman? Self-care can look like attending a conference to improve your skills. Staying out late and compromising your sleep, however, would likely conflict with this value.

Real self-care is different for each woman. Your values might be different from mine. What’s important is that you identify what your values are and how you can cater your habits to manifesting them.

#3 Use Self-Care as a Compass, Not an Escape

Have you ever skipped a workout and treated yourself to a night in with Netflix and pizza instead? Or put off working on a project because you felt that you deserved to grab drinks with your friends?

If you do this routinely, you might be using self-care as an escape — an excuse to avoid your responsibilities.

This is not self-care. This is avoidance and procrastination… and can actually cause more stress than relief.

Rather, self-care activities align with the life you’re hoping to achieve. If you want to be more healthy and energetic, then exercise will serve you well. If you want to get that promotion at work, then staying productive without procrastinating aligns with that goal.

Self-care is like a compass — the self-care habits you build will lead you to your destination.

Share below the one thing that you know you need to do. Then let me know, is this the day you’ll take action on it?

Self-care is like a compass — the self-care habits you build will lead you to your destination. Share on X

Get Started With Self-Love

Remember what I mentioned earlier about self-care being uncomfortable?

Here’s a question I have for you: Do you love yourself?

If you answered no, you’re not alone. Many women struggle with insecurities and low self-esteem. You might even feel that you’re undeserving of love from yourself.

But here’s the thing.

Self-care is both physical and emotional. You can apply a face mask to achieve glowing skin, but that does little to radiate genuine love towards yourself.

When you look in the mirror, I want you to love the woman looking back at you. To help manifest this in your reality, sign up for my free From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge.

During these 7 days, we’ll look at what’s really going on beneath the signs of burnout and I’ll give you simple strategies for how to turn things around so you can get on the path towards balance and enjoying your life (again). 

If you’re ready to break out of the burnout cycle and desire to be…

  • Relaxed and confident, knowing you’re tending to the most important priorities
  • Energized, clear and focused
  • Calm, easy-going and peaceful
  • Sleeping like a baby and waking up rested
  • Engaged, inspired and passionate about your life 

Join me by clicking here to sign up for my next From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge. It’s Free!

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