top of page
< Back

Surprising Insights into Self-Care

Surprising Insights into Self-Care

Self-Care Isn't Always Soothing


A common misconception about self-care is that it's always just relaxing and soothing. That's not necessarily the case. In fact, if you're always just relaxing, you need to adjust your self-care strategies a bit.


Some parts of self-care are going to be uncomfortable and difficult, but it'll never be destructive. Even if self-care can be hard, it's only ever done with the intention of helping you improve yourself.


For example, if you're used to a pretty sedentary lifestyle, you might think self-care is just relaxing a bit more. Possibly at worst eating some better foods, but never anything too strenuous.


In reality, self-care for you would be getting out of your comfort zone and exercising to become more active. It's not going to be a comfortable or enjoyable transition, but it's helping you improve, and would be your ideal form of self-care.


This same idea can be applied to those who work too often. Some people are just addicted to working and refuse to give themselves enough downtime to process things and relax.


For them, self-care would be more focused on relaxing and enjoying themselves. They'd want to go back to work, but they would have to stay at home and find something to do as a hobby, something enjoyable.


Mental health is another part of self-help that might not be as enjoyable as you'd think it will be. You might be imagining taking a mental health day and just not stressing out about things too much, but it can often go a bit deeper than that. You'll probably have to sit down at some point and think hard about what it is in your life that's stressing you out - what's causing you to feel the way you do.


This can be an uncomfortable and deep look into your own mind, so it's certainly not a cakewalk. Don't go into self-care with the idea that you're just going to get to relax. Of course, relaxation is an important part of it, but that's not all it is.


At the end of the day, it's about bettering yourself, and you can't expect to improve by just staying stagnant. You need to face up to some less than desirable realities and realize that you're going to be confronted with some unnerving situations. As long as you can push through these, though, you'll come out on the other side a better person all around.



Socializing Is Strategic Self-Care


Something that is always recommended for people struggling with their mental health is to take some time for themselves. While this is great advice for those who are feeling extremely stressed out, it's not a fix-all solution.


Some people find a lot of support in a group, and others might already be feeling isolated, so they don't want to spend even more time alone. In that case, socializing can be a very effective tool for self-care, but it must be approached with caution.


Socializing for self-care can either be beneficial or detrimental, entirely depending on how you go about it. There are plenty of ways to be social. You can find a group with similar hobbies and interests and spend your time doing those things with them.


You might also have a group of friends from work or school that you enjoy spending your free time with, and this can be done anywhere. Many groups like to do some fairly common activities, like going out to bars or doing various things like attending sporting events.


One tricky thing about socializing is ensuring that you're hanging around the right people. It's crucial that you surround yourself with people who are going to help better you or act as a support system.


You don't want to get involved with people who have skeletons in their closet, people who are manipulative, and so on. These kinds of people will burden you in your life, detracting from your self-care efforts.


Even if you're hanging out with the right people, you'll want to be sure the things you're doing together are being done right and in a productive way. If you're blowing through a ton of money going out all the time, but are struggling with finances, try to plan some cheaper activities to do together.


Similarly, it's fine to go out to bars with friends, but if you're getting heavily intoxicated regularly, you're not practicing any healthy behaviors there. As long as you do it right, socializing can be an incredible way for you to help better yourself.


You'll make new friends, build a support system, and be able to share your joy with others. Being able to laugh and have fun with people without worrying about the outside world is almost magical, and it can help you in so many ways.


As long as you're doing things right, you're going to feel a lot better before long. Find a balance for working productively, tackling other self-care issues and adding socialization to your schedule for a well-rounded, enjoyable life.



Supporting Others Is a Way of Engaging in Self-Care


Self-care doesn't always have to concern you and you alone. Many people benefit from helping others. Whether it's something you enjoy doing for the sake of it or because it makes you feel good about yourself, doing volunteer work and other means of helping others can boost your mood and help you in your path to self-care, both mentally and physically.


There are so many ways that you can help and support others, and one of the most common ways is via volunteer work. Volunteering is free and can often help you get more connected with your local community and help you make connections with other people.


Just the sheer social aspect of it can make it a mood improving activity for a lot of people, but there are all sorts of other aspects as well. For example, some forms of volunteer work can help you work on your physical self-care by doing somewhat laborious work.


You might be volunteering to help clear out a local hiking trail, which will involve a lot of walking and moving somewhat heavy objects like tree branches. Simple things like this can help get you active and improve your physical fitness.


The other aspect of volunteer work are the mental self-care improvements. It can often feel nice just to know that you're helping someone else out there. For example, food banks and food pantries almost always need some volunteer workers, and by helping out, you're ensuring that someone out there is getting a meal that they might not have gotten otherwise.


This can be uplifting and inspiring, making you feel as though you can and will make an impact on the world around you. By combining all of the factors that play into volunteer work, such as feeling included and social, feeling like you're helping, and feeling better physically, this can be a fantastic way to help take care of yourself.


It might seem a little selfish to do volunteer work for the sake of feeling good about yourself, but at the end of the day, everyone benefits from the situation. There are plenty of websites and apps that you can use to find various volunteer opportunities around you, so don't be afraid to start searching.


You might find that there are a lot of unique opportunities out there that you might be very interested in helping out with. You'll be feeding your soul and spirit and lessening your own stress while helping others lower theirs as well.



Financial Stability Is a Form of Self Care


One of the most prevalent sources of stress for almost all adults today is finances. Whether it be taking care of student loans, mortgages, being underpaid at your job, struggling to pay bills, or any other possible source, finances can be terrifying if not managed properly.


It makes you feel like your entire life is dependent on it, and that can become very stressful if you're even slightly underperforming monetarily. In order to alleviate a great deal of stress, you need to become financially stable.


Something that so many people fail to realize when it comes to finances is that you need to live within your means. This could very well mean cutting out certain parts of your life that you enjoy doing, but in the long run it's worth it.


You might have to stop going out to do things like seeing movies or eating out. It's so much better to become financially stable than it is to enjoy yourself somewhat for a few hours a week but then pay for it later with a huge burden of stress and worry.


Try to live frugally for a while so that you can stabilize your money situation. This might mean cooking at home most of the time, and cooking cheap meals at that. Any and all information about cooking some basic meals can be found for free online, so don't fret about having to go to some cooking class or paying for a pricey cookbook.


Smarter spending on food can often make a huge difference for the average person. Start learning how to save and put away money for emergencies. If something happens to your car or to your health, you need to have emergency reserve money in order to fix the problem - especially if your insurance doesn't cover a whole lot.


By saving wisely, you won't have to be so stressed in the event of an emergency. A major component of finances is your income. So many people are unhappy with their income, and they always wish they were being paid more.


If you haven't already, consider some alternative jobs similar to yours that might be able to net you a higher income - even if they're not quite as enjoyable. All of these things are much easier said than done. It's not easy sorting out your finances, adjusting your lifestyle and spending, and so on.


However, it's a necessity that can result in amazing self-care payoffs the longer you work on it. Regardless of how difficult it might be, if you want to rid yourself of a lot of stress, understanding and stabilizing your finances is a major step in the right direction.


Self-Care on a Budget


Sometimes, the source of a lot of our stress is money. So many people worry about how much they're making, how much they're spending, and so on. Naturally, when it comes to improving yourself both physically and mentally, you don't want to go stressing yourself out about expensive options for them.


The good news is that you don't actually have to spend a lot of money in order to get into a good self-care routine. First, physical fitness can appear to cost a lot on the surface.


You might be thinking about getting all new gym clothes, gym bags, water bottles, supplements, a membership, and so much more. Truthfully, though, that's not really necessary.


All of those things can either be substituted for something cheaper, or gotten rid of altogether, helping you cut costs immensely. When it comes to gym accessories, the less you have the better.


You don't need a ton of stuff, so you really don't even need a bag unless you intend to change at the gym. As far as clothes go, anything vaguely comfortable and athletic is good enough, such as a t-shirt and shorts.


You don't need to and buy top brands. For water bottles, you can find cheap reusable bottles - you don't have to invest in trendy, top notch bottles. In terms of supplements, they're not really necessary, as you can get the nutrients and vitamins you need from carefully picking out certain foods.


Finally, you don't even need a gym membership in all honesty. Plenty of people have made gyms at home with readily available equipment to help them stay in shape. You can do bodyweight exercises without machines, too.


Mental health is very similar. People like to think of it as having to go out and get expensive massages and spa treatments or pay a ton of money with a therapist, but you can get really far in terms of mental health just by doing things at home, or really anywhere, all for free.


For example, meditation can help immensely and that is entirely free. If you don't know how to do it, you don't need to hire a coach, but just go online and learn about which methods work best.


You can also do some fairly cheap self-care spa days from home with some cheap ingredients from your local grocery store and some instructions from the internet. Talking out your problems with others is like a free form of therapy, and can even help create bonds.

bottom of page