• Mental Health

What is self-care? And how do I apply it in my daily life?

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Is your diary jam-packed with appointments and tasks every week? Does your life feel full obligations that you feel you have to meet or are responsibilities and chores weighing you down? Does your week consist of rushing from one appointment to the next?

Trying to fit in everything into your schedule and juggling your daily duties can result in you burning the candle at both ends. You may be able to cope for a few weeks, but this doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Stress piles up in your body, you become less resilient and before you know it everything feels too much. It’s like you’re on a speeding train that you can’t get off of. You feel like your life is flashing by, but what have you actually accomplished?

We hope that the above doesn’t describe you. Hopefully, you’ve already started practising self-care and are taking good care of yourself by incorporating ‘me time’ into the hustle and bustle that is day-to-day life. If you do recognise yourself, we hope these tips will help you get started on your self-care adventure. Self-care is about being good to yourself and giving yourself loving attention. It’s about putting your well-being first instead of putting others before yourself and ignoring your own needs. Investing in self-care doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Our tips are easy to incorporate into your daily routine and will have a huge and positive impact on your health. All the more reason to get serious about self-care today.

Five tips to kick-start your self-care routine

Tip 1:

Write down five characteristics that you’re proud of Be grateful for who you are. Writing down good things about yourself is one of the easiest and most powerful forms of self-care and will help you achieve a more positive mindset.

Tip 2:

Incorporate ‘me time’ into your schedule Just as you would schedule any other errand, responsibility or appointment, you have to schedule time for yourself. By planning a daily or weekly ‘self-care moment’, you’re making a conscious effort to put yourself first. ‘Me time’ can be anything from reading a book, taking a walk or just doing something you like to do.

Tip 3:

Learn to say ‘no’ more often Take control of your life and try to say ‘no’ to things that drain you or don’t really matter to you. Saying ‘no’ is a powerful way to set personal boundaries. You will find you’ll have more energy to do the things you enjoy doing. This will help you lead a happier and more enjoyable life.

Tip 4:

Develop a positive attitude towards life Start the day with some positive thoughts. What do you see when you look in the mirror? What do you like about yourself? What are you proud of? Challenge yourself to add a positive thought to your list each day and repeat your list out loud daily. Expressing what is positive about yourself will help you look at yourself from a different point of view and build up your self-confidence. As a result, you’ll feel stronger and better about yourself.

Tip 5:

Don’t be so hard on yourself Everyone has an inner voice that whispers doubts, fears or insults. It’s time to tell that critical inner voice to lay off. Cut yourself some slack. We tend to be much harder on ourselves than on others. Don’t be too demanding of yourself. Know that you are doing the best that you can and be satisfied with that. Forget about zero tolerance, you are perfect as you are.

What counts as self-care?

The above tips will get you started on your self-care journey. However, what exactly is self-care? Can habits such as binge-watching TV shows while munching on chocolate and popcorn be considered self-care? The truth is it can be quite difficult to figure out what counts as self-care because everyone has different needs. What is relaxing for some may not be for others.
Self-care involves listening to your needs and engaging in beneficial, energising activities. Spending the evening on social media comparing yourself to others is probably not the kind of experience that energises you.

Of course, you can eat as much popcorn as you like. That’s perfectly fine. But if you can’t stand the sight of yourself in the mirror afterwards, then that’s not fine. Self-care can be defined differently from person to person. What is important is that you take the time to care for yourself in whichever ways work best for you, without distractions, and to rest and be mindful of what your mind, body and spirit needs to thrive.

Is your mind too busy to sleep, or do you have difficulty sleeping due to stress? Then we recommend that you seek help from a professional. At Dokteronline.com, you can book an online doctor’s consultation safely and easily.


(2018, 11 May). 13 x zelfliefde en self-care voor dit weekend. (13 x self-love and self-care for this weekend.) Consulted on 16 January 2020 on https://www.trendalert.nl/13x-zelfliefde-en-self-care-voor-dit-weekend/

Bulderij, A. (2019, 1 June). Selfcare is het woord van 2018 en dit is waarom. (Self-care is the word of the year and here’s why.) Consulted on 15 January 2020 on https://holistik.nl/selfcare-is-het-woord-van-2018-en-dit-is-waarom/

Happinez. (2018, 27 August). Self-care: zo zet je jezelf op nummer één. (Self-care: how to put yourself first.) Consulted on 16 January 2020 on https://www.happinez.nl/groei/self-care-zo-zet-je-jezelf-op-nummer-een/

Hermus, J. (2017, 9 February). Wees Minder Streng voor Jezelf. (Don’t be so hard on yourself.) Consulted on 16 January 2020 on https://sochicken.nl/wees_minder_streng_voor_jezelf

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