Self-Care Sunday: Opinion- what does self-care really look like?

Adair Passey

We often hear the phrase “girl, treat yo’self” when we are deciding whether or not to eat that extra piece of cake or to order a third burrito at Taco Bell. It’s very common to treat ourselves as a form of self-care, but sometimes this isn’t the most healthy way to do so.

Self-care comes in many different forms, but ultimately it is something that we can do for ourselves to help us recharge or feel good. Taking time for ourselves is crucial for our wellbeing, but like everything in life, self-care needs to come with a balance. Some common things that are perceived as self-care are sleeping for long hours, treating yourself to sweets or junk food and spending money you usually wouldn’t. Although these activities are occasionally much needed, if this is your only form of self-care, it can quickly turn into self-harm.

The concept that “treating yo’self” and splurging in unhealthy activities is the only way to take a little bit of “me time” is misleading. Self-care should be something that you incorporate into your everyday life. Although we all would love to splurge and eat Taco Bell daily, this is not an accurate depiction of what self-care should be. As I said, everything must come with balance. Unhealthy splurges in the name of self-care in moderation are fine and even beneficial, but if this becomes a constant habit, maybe not so much.

In “Girl, Wash Your Face,” a best-selling self-help book, Rachel Hollis dedicates a whole chapter to this topic. Hollis touches on the idea that you can love yourself, your size and shape, but that doesn’t mean that you can neglect your body in the name of self-care. Even if you are completely happy with your physical appearance, you need to take care of what is on the inside. Not everything about self-care should relate back to our physical appearance.

Instead of spending money or splurging on McDonald’s for the third time this week, go outside. Getting some fresh air is a great, free way to clear your head and recharge.

Another great option is to exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to be done in the name of shedding some pounds, but rather in the name of clearing our heads and getting some extra endorphins.

Clean your room or workspace. Having a clean surrounding helps us declutter our brains and be more effective when trying to be productive. It may not feel like self-care when you’re doing the cleaning, but afterward you’ll be thanking yourself.

Ultimately, self-care should be “me time” activities that we incorporate in our everyday lives. You don’t need to be unhappy with yourself in order to justify self-care time. Putting time and energy into ourselves is crucial and we deserve consistent, healthy love.