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What The Folk?!: Self-Care Explained

What The Folk?!: Self-Care Explained

Welcome to Self-Care Explained. We are here to reclaim the definition of self-care that is most essential and true. We want to remind you that you are worth it, and we are here to support you.

Self-care has become a major buzzword over the last decade. Inevitably, it has gotten lost in the endless loop of consumerism. The truth is, self-care doesn’t require overpriced face creams or the latest supplement craze. That may sound cliche at this point, but it is an important reminder within a culture that makes you feel like you constantly need the next best product to be happy, beautiful, or loved. In reality, self-care is a remembrance of our most essential and basic needs.

Image is a black and white image of a woman sitting on the shore of a beach with her arms hugging around her legs looking somber, showing self-care explained.
Image by Shifaaz Shamoon via Unsplash

Defining Self-Care

Self-care refers to the deliberate and conscious practice of taking actions to preserve, enhance, and prioritize your own physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It requires recognizing your own needs and actively engaging in activities and behaviors that promote self-nourishment, relaxation, and overall health. Self-care is not just about addressing immediate needs but also about cultivating a sustainable and healthy lifestyle that supports your long-term well-being and resilience.

Pieces of the Self-Care Pie

Self-care encompasses a wide range of activities and practices that can vary from person to person, depending on individual preferences, circumstances, and goals. It’s important to note that self-care goes beyond occasional indulgences; it’s about creating a consistent and holistic approach to self-nurturing. It’s also important to remember that everyone’s self-care needs are specific to them. There aren’t any quick fixes or solid answers on what you need to feel cared for and resourced. It’s up to you to recognize and identify what you truly need, and to make all the small decisions it takes to get you there.

Under the umbrella of self-care, there are a few different facets that make up a holistic view of what self-care can encompass:

1. Physical Self-Care is about your body and safety. This can mean regular exercise, proper sleep and nutrition, prioritizing doctors appointments and preventative healthcare. It can also mean that you have a safe place to live, are taking care of your bodily functions, and getting enough sunshine.

2. Emotional Self-Care is all about what is going on within. Emotions can be complicated and scary when we don’t take time to explore and address them. This type of self-care can look like acknowledging and addressing your emotions by practicing mindfulness, journaling, engaging in therapy or counseling, and seeking support from loved ones.

3. Intellectual Self-Care is nurturing your mental well-being by engaging in activities that challenge and expand your mind. These can be things such as reading, learning new skills, creative problem solving, having deeper discussions, or engaging in creative hobbies.

4. Social Self-Care relates to your connections with others, be it friends, romantic partners, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc. Building and maintaining healthy relationships, setting boundaries, and spending time with friends and family who uplift and support you are sometimes overlooked at an imperative part of the pie.

5. Spiritual Self-Care is different for everyone depending on their beliefs. Whether you are religious, follow a spiritual path, or connect to nature as a source of something inspiring to your journey. It’s important to have something greater than yourself that you can foster a relationship with.

6. Environmental Self-Care involves creating a supportive and nurturing physical environment that you can thrive in. Whether through decluttering, decorating your space, spending time in nature, or engaging in sustainable practices to reciprocally care for the Earth.

7. Professional Self-Care is majorly important because of how much time we spend working in our modern age. Setting boundaries at work, taking breaks, and advocating for a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout. These things can make a huge difference in your life as a whole. Financial self-care can also fall under this category.

See Also

8. Pleasure and Leisure is the fun one! While self-care is not solely pleasurable, pleasure and leisure are majorly important parts of the pie. Engaging in activities that bring you joy, delight, and relaxation, whether it’s watching a good movie, enjoying a favorite hobby, taking a bubble bath, enjoying a concert, or having a girls night.

Image is of a neon sign that states "and breathe" against a greenery lined wall, for self-care explained.
Photo by Max Van Den Oetelaar via Unsplash

Community Care

Self-care isn’t selfish. In order to have a healthy, functional world, we have to have healthy and functional citizens. Community care is the idea that we must care for ourselves, so that we can also be able to show up in the world as caring individuals. It also refers to the fact that we all rely on each other to survive and thrive. We require societal supports such as public transportation, childcare, elderly care, medical care, essential workers of all kinds, and so on.

Caring for yourself is not just indulgence, and it is not simply a cute idea to instagram about. It is as necessary to life as breath. It is self-preservation. As Audre Lorde wrote in her 1988 essay collection A Burst of Light, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

In order to care for ourselves, we also need to acknowledge the ways in which we are being set back by society. In a world where we are urged to prove our worth through productivity, it can be easy to forget that we are not made to operate all on our own. Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, in her book Real Self-Care, reflects on “faux self-care,” which we have largely been sold. This refers to the face masks, pedicures, fancy exercise classes, bubble baths, and so on. Dr. Lakshmin talks about how when we are feeling burnt out, and not taking care of ourselves as we feel like we “should” be, it feels like our faults. Sometimes, however, it’s not. It’s the inevitable symptom of being apart of a culture and an economical system that thrives off of underpaying and undervaluing people. Particularly women, and women of color even more so. This is important to mention because many people are feeling like they are just never doing enough. In reality, they are just incredibly under-supported.

Self-care is a big topic. There are many nuances and considerations for each individual. We want to support you in your self-care journey, and create a larger conversation on the topic! Join us in the self-care journey by joining the conversation in our Maidenfolk Members’ Club!

What does self-care mean to you? Share with us @Maidenfolk on Instagram and let us know, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below!

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