One of the best pieces of self-care advice that I can give is to ignore conventional self-care advice. In researching this month-long series I found a lot of repetition. There were tons of suggestions that boiled down to little more than common sense. Quite a few things were, due to the nature of the internet, either flat-out wrong or backdoor pitches to buy some sponsored goods or services.

We all know that we need to get regular sleep. No one needs to tell us again that we should drink more water. Everyone faces the constant struggle to eat healthier food. Very few of us get as much exercise as we should, and we know this without having to continually be told.

All of this is surface stuff. If you’re looking to create and maintain a self-care routine, the first question you need to ask yourself is why you don’t already have a self-care routine. What’s holding you back? What’s stopping you from doing what you know you need to do? Is it that you don’t know how to find the time? Do you lack resources, like money, equipment, or other materials? Are you ashamed, or fear that you will be shamed by others?

Ignore Conventional Self-Care Advice

Figuring out why you’re doing something — or not doing it — is in itself an act of self-care. Never do anything mindlessly. You should absolutely listen to expert suggestions on things that might work for you, and how to do certain things safely and effectively. But you need to know what your needs are before you can set out to fill them. Otherwise you’re just throwing mud at the wall and hoping something sticks.

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