This seems like a repeat of yesterday’s self-care tip (which itself felt like a repeat of the previous day’s tip), but I think there’s a fairly substantial difference. They’re two sides of the same coin, at the very least. You do have to reject other peoples’ definitions of self-care, but you can’t just leave a void. You need to create your own definition of self-care in order to be able to find a way forward.

One of the questions I’ve been asked most frequently has been “What is self-care, anyway?”. Aside from the obvious “It’s taking are of yourself, duh!” answer, it’s kind of vague. Every human being has common needs — food, clothing, shelter, etcetera — but every person is different. We all live in different circumstances. Our ability to handle things, from the normal range of emotions to psychological trauma to physical injury, varies. We all recover at different rates. Not all of us have the same resources, and a lot of us are stumbling along trying to manage with inadequate amounts of time, money, and expertise to get what we need. So we have to devise creative, bespoke solutions to our own issues.

Create Your Own Definition of Self-Care

One of the reasons I wrote this series, and conducted the research that went into it, was to gather ideas. I knew that I needed to make time for self-care because I was burned out, but I wasn’t entirely sure what the meant. I had no idea what a healthy self-care routine would even look like. It got me thinking about the things that I already do, things that I could do a bit differently for better results, and things that I could add in.

Without figuring out what my core problems were, I couldn’t begin to contemplate what the solutions might be. Without understanding what my needs were, I had no idea what I might be able to do to fill those needs. I’m still figuring it out. I’ve only been doing this for about two months now, and it’s not a quick fix. It’s a process. It’s a journey. I want to thank you for sticking with me so far, and I hope than at least some of this rambling has been useful.

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