What Is Self Care And Why Do You Need It?

3 February 2016, 17:28 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09


By Victoria Pavlova

Step 1: Don't freak out.

2015 saw the rise of "self-care" as a sort of buzzword among us internet-y folk. But what does it even mean? Unsurprisingly, several YouTubers have come forward to answer all your questions about the rather murky concept of "self-care". 

For the purposes of this article, we'll ignore all other possible meanings and just focus on self-care in terms of physical and mental health - the stuff you do for yourself, so you don't go off the rails on a daily basis. So why exactly do you need to practice self-care? 

Anna Akana explains.

There's more to it than that, natch, but Anna's funny and dynamic style makes the whole subject of mental health super accessible. We can all relate to those hot mess struggs, right? Here's how you start to fix it.

Ask yourself "Am I taking care of myself?"

Anna Akana

So you've decided to take better care of yourself. Great. So... how, exactly?

Well, self-care is kind of a Choose Your Own Adventure deal tbf. But here are the basics, courtesy of our one true goddess, Laci Green.

So here's what we learned.

Productivity is important, but you've got to slow down, de-stress and get in touch with the things most valuable in your own life. Laci's self-care basics include:

1. Survival stuff - eating enough, drinking enough, sleeping enough, exercising, showering, making sure all the machinery is in working order.

2. Social needs - keeping in touch with friends, regular hangouts, getting out of that introvert bubble, etc.

3. The work-life balance - organising your time in a way that both allows you to do everything you need to and then not think about work in your downtime. It's very easy for us millennial types to slip into workaholic mode, but that ain't practicing good self-care.

Obviously, your version of self-care may be a bit different, but these are good starting points to consider.

Marina Watanabe sums it up quite nicely in her video.

It's taking the time to do activities that nourish you, whether that be mentally, physically or spiritually, if that's what you're into.

Marina Watanabe

Marina's advice includes things like setting aside time where you're literally not allowed to do anything that doesn't make you feel better. And the most important part of all this - treat yourself with the same kindness that you would a loved one.