March 1, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

4 Tips for Self-Care

If you think of self-care as something that people perform for their social media accounts or something that you have to have money and leisure in order to enjoy, think again. Self-care isn’t just an indulgence. It is a vital part of everyday life, and it’s worth thinking about how you can include it in your lifestyle.

Understand Self-Care

This is one case where the branding may have hurt rather than helped the concept it’s trying to describe. If the term self-care has negative connotations for you, think of it as something that you do that allows you to keep on plugging away at all the have to’s of life while also improving your overall quality of life. Understand that self-care is essential not indulgent and a part of your overall wellness. Getting enough sleep qualifies as an act of self-care because you ultimately can’t function indefinitely when you are sleep deprived. Better understanding the necessity of self-care, whatever it means to you, can help you prioritize it.

Financial Self-Care

Taking care of yourself financially may not sound like as much fun as some of the things that you see social media influencers get up to, but it’s one of the first steps in making sure that you have a firm foundation under you in life. There are many different elements to it. Do you have debt you’re trying to pay down? Do you have a budget? Are you putting money away toward retirement? What about family obligations? Are you familiar with filial responsibility laws? If you live in one of the states that has these laws on the record, you might be required to offer support to your parents. You can review a guide on these laws to see if they apply in your state and how. Understanding all of your existing and potential financial obligations is an important step in managing this area of your life.

Social Self-Care

This is another element of looking after yourself that is too often overlooked. Most people aren’t real hermits, even the most introverted among us. For the vast majority of people, maintaining social connections is important. If you’ve been neglecting friends and family, make an effort to create time for them, even if that means that you have to deliberately schedule it as you would other activities. If you lack a strong feeling of connection and community, think about how you could build it. Looking for groups related to your hobbies or volunteering are two ways of getting out and meeting more people.

Mental and Emotional Self-Care

There are a lot of different facets to this. Finding ways to keep yourself intellectually challenged and engaged can be tough if your job doesn’t offer that, but look for enjoyable ways to stay mentally sharp, whether it’s reading, playing games or using an app to teach yourself another language. This becomes particularly important as you get older. 

As for your emotions, this doesn’t mean that you have to stay positive all the time, but it does mean that you should try to be positive about yourself. Work on changing negative talk about yourself that runs through your head. When you are feeling overwhelmed by emotions like anger, fear or sadness, it can help to compartmentalize them a little bit. Give yourself a certain amount of time each day to indulge in them and then put them away so you can focus on other aspects of your life.

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