Self-care is a concept that has been mutilated by its portrayal on social media. We’re bombarded with images of how your abs and glutes should look, how positive you should feel, how grateful you should be. It’s almost impossible to live up to and the fundamentals of self-care have been lost in the process. It’s the anthesis of what self-care actually involves and, in this article, I hope to direct you to the areas you actually need to manifest for a purposeful and fulfilling life. Now healthy eating, adequate sleep and play/movement clearly have a massive role to play, however they do not demand a certain type of physique nor are they the be all and end all. Do things that create a sense of meaning, purpose, wellbeing and fulfilment. If your self-care is solely for social media, then the likelihood is, it’s more damaging than beneficial. Studies show that negative self-comparison is detrimental to our overall sense of self-acceptance and leaves us questioning the validity and worth of what we have.
Consider the following essential pillars of self-care when you examine areas you can promote wellbeing
Purpose is a fundamental and defining aspect of a fulfilling life. It brings a person closer to a flow state (intense absorption) and distracts us from our problems. It enables hope and potential self-actualisation.
Life-long learning increases brain activity, assists us in times of change, contributes to a meaningful and fulfilling life and creates connections with like minded people. It also keeps us curious and prevents fixed thinking patterns
Discomfort and adversity offer opportunities for growth. When we move from our comfort zone, we challenge our thinking, our emotions and our behaviours to improve, to adapt and to become more resilient.
Reflection is the ability to look back in a pro-active manner, to analyse areas you could have responded better and to incorporate changes based on hindsight.
Boundaries are a concept so many of us fear putting in place for fear of being disliked, however the only people who resent boundaries are those who benefited from you having none. Letting people know your perspective, your limitations and expectations is healthy; they may not agree however they will be fully aware of potential consequences. It absolves the possibility of repressed negative feelings festering and having devastating effects on our relationships.
Community and connection are an integral aspect of wellbeing. I refer to non-technology based, as the benefits are reaped only from face-to-face connection. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and open creates a space for others and rich meaningful relationships can be created
Remember, you are a human being, not a human being looked at!