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Dear Abby: Self-Care

Dear Abby, 

I always hear people talking about “self-care” and “treating myself,” but I honestly don’t know what that means. What exactly is self-care?

 

Dear Anonymous,

Well, self-care is a blanket term and it can mean many things. To put it in a broad perspective, I would say that self-care is anything that you do to take care of yourself (duh) both mentally and physically. To some, self-care means spa night and face masks and a steamy bath. And to others it might mean taking a day off of work when you need it or even something as simple as taking a shower in the morning. There is no set “thing” that’s defined as self-care. It can be anything you do to nourish your mind and your body.

 

Dear Abby, 

I want to have a spa night, but I have virtually no money. How do I have a relaxing night without having to spend a bunch of cash?

Dear Anonymous, 

Not every spa night has to be a Lush advertisement, and I think that’s the most important thing to remember. Social media portrays self care and spa nights in unachievable ways, as it isn’t the same for everybody. There should not be any standards of what your spa night looks like. After all, it’s yours. Draw a bath, watch a show/movie, make a yummy meal. You don’t have to have expensive face masks or anything like that to have a great spa night. Find stuff you already have at home to make your own face masks or go to the dollar store and pick up a few cheap ones. Have fun and relax!

 

Dear Abby,

I’m having a hard time figuring out whether or not my “self-care” is actually self destructive. How do I know when I’m going too far?

Dear Anonymous,

Self-care should never be something that you beat yourself up over if you don’t do it. It’s not a chore or responsibility, it’s a way to wind down and nurture your mind and your body. Once you start obsessively doing “self-care,” it then becomes destructive. Don’t put yourself into overdrive just because you feel like you have to do a face mask before bed. Once you feel like you have to do anything that’s supposed to be relaxing, it’s destructive. Try to take a break from all of that, separate yourself from the idea of checking it off on a to-do list. Self-care is supposed to be soothing, and that can’t happen if you’re forcing yourself to do it!

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