Redefining self-care for myself - by Oseka

Oxford Living dictionary defines self-care as: ‘The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress’

I’m not sure what self-care means to me. I see a lot of posts floating around Instagram, using the word ‘self-care’ in their description. When I first started noticing the influx of self-care posts on Instagram, I thought “here we again, another bandwagon for people to jump on”, especially coming from ‘influencers’ who use popular opinions and trends to gain followers.

From what I have seen a lot of practices fall under self-care; meditation, mindfulness, social media detox, even smoking weed has been mentioned as a way of practicing self-care! I’ve felt (and still feel) like I don’t know what self-care means to me or how I could even practice it so before writing this, I decided to ask myself ‘what does self-care mean to me?’ and I came up with this list.

    Moments of Peace – Taking a 10-minute walk from work, listening to slow soul on Spotify, taking in the scenery, the people and just taking a moment to breathe! This normally helps when I feel like I’m about to have an anxiety attack at work—when I don’t understand what I’m doing.

    Dancing – This is something I’ve always done, in private but never considered it as practicing self-care (protecting my happiness) until recently.

    Watching my fave movies and TV shows - I think this is pretty self-explanatory. Escaping into my own world, sci-fi movies, murder mysteries and all that jazz.

    Hittin’ that BLOCK button – ONE. OF. MY. FAVOURITE. pastimes! I scroll on Instagram a lot and occasionally I come across really ignorant and racist comments under some posts and instead of reading and getting all hot under the collar about someone’s irrelevant opinions, I just report and block. It gives me a release knowing that I will never get to see that person’s page or comments again and neither will they see mine. Cleansing my online world, one block at a time.

    Organising my finances – This may bring more stress to most but for me, when I feel like I’m ‘spiralling’, it helps to focus my mind on one thing and after my mind feels clear and ready to go.

    Re-organising my surroundings – This is a big one for me because I’ve never thought of this act as part of a self-care routine. Every 2-3 months, I change the layout of my room. I’ve always thought I do this because I get bored easily or my needs change, but I’ve come to realise that these reasons I’ve made up are far from the truth. The real reason I change the layout of my bedroom or my living room is because I need to control something when I feel like other things are out of my control.

    I’ve never considered any of these things I do on an almost daily basis as self-care because—again, I have never had a clear definition of what self-care is to me. I have noticed a pattern in this list and that is CONTROL.

    I think control is a very important aspect of my self-care because at times when I feel like I’m spiralling, or everything is going wrong, it helps to just take a moment and breath, dance my worries away or organise my surroundings because after that, my mind feels clear and ready to work again.

    I am more than happy to put CONTROL as a definition of self-care for myself because control for me means release.

    - Oseka

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