Are Facemasks and Indie Music Enough for Supposed "Self-Care"?

By: Ali Sakr

There’s this stigma about self-care confining to certain stereotypes and/or steps that you need to undergo to complete this seemingly ritualistic cult-based activity. Ok, maybe this stigma doesn’t actually exist, but I am sure that there are plenty of people to whom the meaning of self-care is quite vague, so I’d thought, being no expert on the matter whatsoever, I’d attempt to clarify the knowledge I believe I know. Here goes.

I am about to make quite a revelation, so please, brace yourself. Self-care, as made quite painfully obvious by the inclusion of the prefix “self,” is a pretty individualized phenomenon. In other words, it’s pretty much whatever you consider it to be. You – not some tumblr blogger with a lifestyle that seems so perfectly ideal, trying to tell you what “real” self-care is. As long as it works for you, it’s self-care.

So why am I still writing? Well, it’s because – like the hypothetical tumblr blogger I just mentioned – I’ll attempt to give you some ideas to experiment for yourself, and perhaps reach some new realization of what caring for oneself is to you.

As mentioned in the title, caring for yourself physically can be an excellent way to serve the true purpose of self-care; preserving your own wellbeing, happiness, and improving your health. This one particularly falls under the latter example, but it can also apply to the first 2 if you’re that kind of person – which is perfectly fine. A few common examples are a facemask, a warm bath or some form of exercise.

To get a bit more in depth with the exercise part, I would personally divide all the possible reasons I would exercise to 3 main categories: getting rid of excess energy, relaxing, working towards a more long-term goal. Since the first two are perhaps more inline with the topic we’re currently discussing, some more details – energy you get rid of doesn’t need to be negative. Yes, it can be fueled by anger, bottled up emotions or stress, but it can also be the kind of energy that’s making you feel slightly manic. As for relaxing, sometimes it can come hand in hand with blowing off some steam – try out some power yoga or take a long run, the relaxing movements/atmosphere will accompany sufficient physical effort to exert – just enough to leave you fulfilled.

Moving on, there is more to self-care than just physical activities – you must give your mind what it needs as well. This again, can encompass far more than it is possible to include in one article, but a few examples too: setting the mood with some music, putting your phone away for the night and doing something that relaxes you/that you’ve wanted to do for some time, such as reading a book, watching a movie, singing, drawing or painting, even cooking or baking. These all serve as a meditative calming experience to some person out there, and it might be you, so try it all out and find out your favorite form of self-care.

So after all of that, to answer the question one final time, yes. The answer is yes.

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