Okay, by this point, we’ve all heard of self-care and its benefits.
But what if we’ve tried it and we’re just not feeling those benefits?
There could be many reasons why it’s not clicking for you, but here are four potential reasons and how you can fix them.
1. You’re not doing it regularly enough.
Self-care can’t just be a one-off. A single bath or a one-off massage might feel good at the time, but you probably won’t see any lasting benefits. It’s when we start to practice self-care regularly that we will begin to see the positive effects in our lives. The reduction in stress, an increased ability to cope with overwhelming emotions, and so on. It’s a good idea to practice some form of self-care on a daily basis, but if this feels overwhelming, try to set aside at least an hour a week that is purely dedicated to self-care. The results will start to show.
2. You’re trying the wrong activity for your needs.
Different situations require different methods, so a one-size-fits-all approach probably won’t turn out to be effective for many people. In the last point, I mentioned baths. Some people love them and find them really relaxing. Others (like myself) find them boring and hate getting wrinkly fingers! So if someone like me was to dedicate their precious self-care time to taking long baths, chances are it would be difficult to see any positive effects. Try some different activities and see what works for you. Perhaps you could try some creative self-care in the form of painting or drawing, or maybe some comfort self-care like snuggling up in a cosy blanket and watching a film. The more variety we include, the more likely we are to feel like we are taking care of our whole self, rather than just the part that needs a wash!
3. You’re doing the same activity over and over.
Similar to my previous point, if you like a particular form of self-care, it might be tempting to repeat the same activity every time you engage in self-care. However, I’ve found that this can quickly lead to the effect of the self-care activity wearing off and not being as noticeable. I’ve found that trying a range of different activities keeps things fresh and helps me to feel the effect of the self-care in a more noticeable way. Of course, I regularly go back to my favourite types of self-care, but I try to mix in a few different things as well. Consider self-care in terms of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and other needs you might have.
4. You’re making it too complicated.
Self-care doesn’t have to mean hiking up a mountain and meditating at the top for three hours. Self-care can be enjoying a mug of hot chocolate, reading a book for ten minutes, or even taking a nap! Overcomplicating your self-care can quickly lead to you feeling like it’s taking up too much time or taking too much effort and then becoming disillusioned with the whole concept. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t hike up a mountain and meditate for three hours. If that brings you joy, and you are able to do it, then do it! All I’m saying is, try not to put too much pressure on yourself to do something elaborate and complicated when the little acts of self-care can produce great benefits in themselves.
I hope these tips are helpful and that you find them beneficial in getting more out of your self-care activities.
Do you have any self-care tips you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments.