The Importance Of Self-Care

Practicing self-care is an important way to maintain both physical and mental wellbeing. Self-care for those in eating disorder recovery is especially crucial. Here are some simple ways to integrate self-care into your life regardless if you are in eating disorder recovery or not!

by: Abigail Knowles

‘Self care’ has become a term that is thrown around a lot, referenced in our day-to-day lives, in pop culture and even scholarly literature, but this term may have different meanings for different people. Self-care could be taking a break from work, stepping back and reflecting or it could be simply doing something you enjoy and giving yourself a treat. More broadly, I like to think about self-care as being kind and patient with oneself.

For someone who is type-a and has a perfectionistic personality like me, the concept of self-care can seem daunting. For someone who thrives on order, self-care seems to be something that deviates from the order and rigidity of my daily schedule. I would go as far as to say that self-care can be stress inducing instead of stress relieving. For me, the solution lies in re-conceptualizing how I think about self-care. Self-care does not have to be some big event, like getting a massage or going to see a movie, and it does not have to force me to deviate from my schedule. Self-care can be softer and gentler, it can be little steps that I can integrate into my day-to-day life to help me be more compassionate to myself.

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1.     Tell yourself what a good job you are doing, even if it is on something small. For example, if you are in school, congratulate yourself for completing your little readings and assignments. This positive reinforcement will not only make you feel supported in your endeavors, but it will provide internal positive reinforcement to help you keep moving towards your bigger goals and tasks.

2.     Be kind to others. While this may not seem to fall under the umbrella of self-care, giving someone a compliment will automatically make you feel better too and, when you are kinder to others, you are giving yourself permission to be kind to yourself as well. 

3.     Say no. When your day gets overwhelming, saying no to another responsibility is important in the process of giving yourself enough time to take care of you.