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By Katie Bailey, MA, LPC

What Is Self-Care, What Is Not Self-Care?

In all honesty, I don’t like trendy words; however, sometimes you just can’t get around it. “Self-care” seems to be everywhere these days. So, what is self-care really? What is it not?

Self-care is any activity that we intentionally choose to support our emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health. When we prioritize our well-being, we lower our anxiety and depression, and improve our relationships. We enjoy life more, living as we were made to live.

Despite the term, self-care is not selfish. In fact, it’s the opposite. The more you take care of yourself, the more available you are to those around you. It’s also not doing things you don’t like. If you don’t like to run, don’t do it. Find another type of exercise. Maybe taking care of your emotional well being means saying no to certain events, not checking email constantly, or not staying up late like other friends.

Self-care will look different for everyone, but there are basic ideas we all should follow.

· Get exercise. We all need to move our bodies for our physical and mental health. Exercise is proven to increase serotonin levels in your brain, which leads to increased mood and energy.

· Get sleep. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep. Don’t skimp on this. Go to bed earlier if you need to, but get in those regular hours.

· Know yourself. Say no to things you really don’t like, and yes to those that you do.

· Eat well. Diet effects your overall health, and sugar is known to increase anxiety.

· Spend quality time with people you love. We were made to have relationships with other people; no one is meant to be alone. Invest your time with people you enjoy.

· Do something fun every day. It doesn’t have to be a big time investment. Read a fun book, play a game with the family, work on a hobby, or watch a favorite TV show.

Getting more support in self-care is as easy as reaching out to schedule an appointment. Lime Tree Counseling is here for you and can provide anxiety counseling.