What Does Self-Care Look Like?
Over the past few years, the entire world has experienced a phenomenon known as the pandemic. This pandemic has caused great rifts and changes in our lives. From the loss of people and friendships, to career changes, to plain ol' disturbing the peace; I think it’s fair to assume that we’ve all experienced some loss to a certain degree.
I, for one, am not exempt from this and had to remind myself to "just keep swimming" as Dory did in Finding Nemo. So what did just keep swimming look like for the past two years? For a native New Yorker and first-gen American like myself, one may infer that it can mean tapping into this unwavering perseverance that my West Indian ancestors possessed while weathering the storms. Although that sounds noble, the practice of perseverance to that extent never factored in mental health. And if there’s one thing 2020 reminded us, it’s just how important our mental health is and how much it impacts our physical health.
Now, this is nothing new; for years prior, we’ve been adopting this idea of practicing self-care. While self-care is often associated with spending money, whether it is treating yourself to a nice bag or even a nice meal, self-care is less about the thing you get and more about how it makes you feel. In this time, I’ve learned it can even be about the process of doing an activity that is good but has been deemed tedious due to lack of time for it. My point is self-care doesn't have to be costly or even extravagant. It can be doing simple tasks like getting out of bed and showering, making sure to eat and take your vitamins, or even setting time aside to set out your intentions for the day. And this is something I had to learn while working from home.
Self-care is subjective and requires us to listen to what we need. Some days it might require you to focus; other days it might demand you to move. Most days it will call for you to slow down, be still, and be present. Whatever and however you self-care, remember to be flexible with your routine. Be gentle with yourself. It is not a chore, but it is the practice of taking care of the very necessary parts that make up you.
Below are a few activities that I have implemented into my self-care routine. I have broken down the activities into three categories: Focus, Movement, and Slowing down. Feel free to take what you like and leave what you don't behind.
When it comes to practicing focus, I like to: read, journal, draw, and/or stretch. Those are my go-to's for when I need to take a break from reality and the noise. Those activities often help me to come back with a renewed perspective.
For movement, I like to: take walks, exercise, meet up with friends, and dance. Sometimes my mind and my body are on two different pages. These help me to make them aligned.
Slowing down is by far the hardest and the one I practice the most within the last two years. It entails tapping into the present and is extremely useful for practicing gratitude. Some activities include: prepping a bath for myself using Sēk’s Lemongrass Sea Soak with Epsom salt and Dead Sea salt; which gives my mind and body permission to transition fully out of work mode and into relaxation mode (that isn't a simple task while working from home). Another activity that I find soothing is my nightly skincare routine. I spend an ample amount of time using Sēk’s Deep Hydration Moisturizer, giving myself simple massages, and paying careful attention to aches and dry areas. It is one of the few times that I dedicate selfishly to myself, and I encourage everyone to take that time. The last activity I'll mention, is making myself a cup of tea. From setting the kettle on, to pouring out the water, to taking the first sip where the steam tickles my nose; making myself a cup of tea is the perfect way to prep for bed and reflect on the day I had.
I can go on but I think it's safe to end here. Thanks for reading. I hope some of this resonates with you. Like if it does. Comment below and let me know what self-care has looked like for you, and which products you love from Sēk.
Until next time, take care.