Do you ever feel like there are phrases that were created by people out in the world who just want to sell you things? That is what I think has happened to the phrase “self-care.” Companies have taken this phrase to create a reason why we need stuff, particularly their stuff, but it does not have to be that way. Let us take a moment to look at what self-care means and how we can achieve self-care time at home.
Self-care is vitally important to how we care for ourselves and includes our physical, mental, and emotional health. It is about taking time to check in with ourselves and making sure that all our needs are met. It also means engaging in activities that promote overall well-being and reducing stress. This last part is key because self-care looks different for everyone, and what I enjoy may not be enjoyable for others.
If you have not seen today’s Ohio 4-H Mental Health Month tip on the Ohio 4-H Facebook page, it is about creating an at-home spa day. I am one of those people who enjoys a good bubble bath, and this is a great way for me to practice self-care. Here are some things I will be grabbing from my cabinet: epsom salts, bubble bath soap, and essential oils, which I will enjoy while reading a good book. I will prioritize taking time to be alone, reflecting on this busy week and month (if I feel like it), and just enjoying my down time. Use items you already have at home, or purchase things you enjoy to create your own at-home spa day.
Not the bubble bath type? That is great too. Think about the activity that brings you joy and relaxation and make time for that instead. I hope your takeaway today is: find an activity that reenergizes you and reduces those feelings of stress. Maybe it is riding a bike, calling a friend to chat, reading a book, or just taking a nap. Whatever you need for your self-care should be the priority during your designated “Self-Care Time.”
Want to learn more about self-care and/or activities to try? Check out these resources from Extension programs across the nation:
Wishing you the best,
Aubry Fowler, Fairfield County 4-H Educator