The True Meaning of Self Care

I’m guessing you see the phrase self care everywhere these days. It’s become a trendy thing to talk about.

Lots of us – especially women and mothers – put ourselves last, and that can hurt not just us but everyone around us. So I’m happy we’re talking about self care more!

But . . . here’s the catch. What does self care actually MEAN?

If you hang out on Instagram or Pinterest, it might look like massages, bubble baths, and chocolate. Or maybe binge watching Netflix during a hard week. There’s nothing wrong with any of that. (I love all those things!)

But I think we miss something important when we only focus on those “treat yourself” moments. True self care is something else, something extremely powerful. When I talk about this in clinic, I’ve had people later tell me it was life-changing.

(It’s something you already know. But sometimes you need to hear it again.)

TRUE self care is first and foremost about being loving and kind toward yourself. In other words, CARING about yourself.

I can’t tell you how many years in the past I’ve made these classic New Year’s resolutions:

1. Work out more
2. Eat better

Some years I was pretty good, and of course I felt better with exercise and healthy food. But did I always stick with it? Nope. And did those things give me consistent energy, improved mood, and focus? Nope.

Why? Because they didn’t take away anxiety, constant mental chatter, or loneliness. They didn’t actually fill what needed filling.

That’s because self care isn’t just about taking care of our physical bodies, or indulging our wants. It’s about about taking care of ALL of ourselves – body, mind, and spirit.

And that starts with being truly loving and kind with ourselves, so that all our actions follow from that motivation. Here’s the amazing thing: when we begin THIS kind of self care? Everything changes.

In my next blog post, I’ll talk more about why this is so important. And I’ll discuss some of the powerful shifts that occur when you operate from this place of self-kindness. Talk to you soon!

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