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  • Beyond the Mani/Pedi: Real Self-Care Rachelle Burrell, MSW, LCSW

    We hear the term “self-care” everywhere, but what does it really mean? Sure, pampering yourself with a mani/pedi counts (unless you can’t afford it) feels great but there’s so much more to self-care that doesn’t involve spending money or masking deeper issues.

    Self-care isn’t about buying yourself dessert to self-soothe if you are struggling with weight, or purchasing clothes you can’t afford in hopes of feeling better. These actions might give temporary relief but in the long term cause more stress.   Focus on healthier coping mechanisms and self-care practices that contribute to your overall well-being.

    Be Honest with Your Doctor

    Self-care means being honest with your doctor about what you need, no matter the condition. Whether it’s depression, incontinence, or anything else, talk openly. Your health is important, and honest conversations can lead to better care.

    Set Financial Boundaries

    Sometimes, self-care means saying no to lending money to others, even family, if you haven’t set up an emergency savings account and a retirement plan. Financial stability is a huge part of self-care. Prepare for emergencies or future goals with your hard-earned money. If you want to help others, include it in your budget, but don’t impulsively lend money you can’t afford to lose.

    Get Involved in Your Community

    Being aware of your community and the issues that affect you is empowering. Use your voice by voting or contacting your local politician. Taking charge of things that impact you can prevent feelings of helplessness or anxiety. This kind of self-care involves being proactive in your community.

    Forgive Yourself and Move On

    Forgive yourself for past mistakes and bad decisions. Dwelling on the past doesn’t help and can hurt your self-care efforts. Many people feel unworthy of good self-care because of past offenses. Embrace forgiveness, learn from your experiences, and move forward.

    Make Your Own Choices

    Choose activities or restaurants you want to explore instead of always deferring to others. Prioritizing your preferences and desires is a big part of self-care. It’s about valuing your own choices and taking time to enjoy what you truly like.

    In conclusion, real self-care goes beyond surface-level pampering. It includes honesty, financial responsibility, community engagement, self-forgiveness, personal choice, and healthy coping strategies. Embrace these aspects to nurture your well-being in a holistic and sustainable way.