Self-care: Unspecified, and Inclusive

Self-care has been highly associated with “girly stuff”; whether it is going on a shopping spree or a skincare frenzy, it is always something normally associated with being a female. Perhaps that is the reason why males tend to ignore their self-care needs. Now how would self-care turn into something more inclusive, and undefined by gender nonetheless?

The answer to that would be by doing two things: realizing that self-care should be an inclusive concept and ending the stigma related to some self-care habits. And of course, there are explicit ways to accomplish that.

1. Getting Out of the Box

By that, it is meant to stop relying on the basic and general ideas of self-care that provide instant relief. In other words, the “pain killers” of self-care which people tend to strive on, yet only temporarily, and examples of those would be grand shopping sprees or a sudden and abrupt week of going to the gym daily and then quitting altogether. The reason those examples are not considered healthy self-care is due to their immediate high that surely fades shortly after they are no longer in effect. This leads to the question: is going to the gym or working out in general not considered healthy self-care that provides one with a better mental health state?

2. Practice Making Perfect

Depends. The how, when, and why are the factors that always determine if something is eventually going to prove to be worthwhile. The how would refer to whether there is a commitment to the concept or not. To elaborate, hitting the gym or working out in any form would be highly beneficial to anyone if they decide to commit to the concept and make a lifestyle out of it. In moderation, and with the right motives, actual results would show in both mental and physical health. On the other hand, inconsistency would result in a cycle of only working out when you are motivated -which is, naturally, not the case all the time. This is when one realizes that they needed a routine of hitting the gym on certain days, and not every single day for just a period; that is called a revenge pattern, and routines overpower patterns any day. Of course, this rule does not apply only to work-out plans, but to all plans generally.

3. The Steps to Finding Oneself

For most people, finding yourself means staying in your comfort zone and choosing a routine full of things you already love -which could be reading daily, having regular bath times with music…etc. This would be beneficial to a certain extent, as you are doing things that provide you with an atmosphere of calmness and familiarity. However, there is one inescapable truth, which is that you have not met all the versions of yourself that you would love. You haven’t tried every activity or hobby yet, and this is when you could stumble upon something that ignites certain creativity within you -a fire that goes on forever with passion. The best part is, whether you are an introvert or a social butterfly, trying new activities does not always mean interacting with people or the opposite. An example would be someone choosing to try reading novels for the first time; they could join a book club and engage with new people to socialize, or they could simply download every novel that intrigues them. At the end of the day, try that new activity that you have been delaying; challenging yourself would be the most exciting tool in your self-care kit.

All in all, self-care is tricky and once it was associated with certain aspects -such as girly stuff, or just having some time alone- it lost its actual essence to some people. It is time for change and although change is quite frightening to some, it is the only constant in life. So, embrace it.


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