I’m curious, what is your current definition of self-care? What is self-care in your mind?

According to Wikipedia, self-care, a term that’s often used in the healthcare industry is defined as any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated. This is definitely not what I thought what it means for self-care. Honestly, the first time I really start into digging more about-self care is about 3 years ago. Before that, I wasn’t very kind to myself. One time, one day after my ectopic pregnancy surgery, I was already back to work and led a styled shoot session for a project. On another time, a week after I deliver my son, I was already out for a networking event.

Only a year after having my son, I start thinking and asking myself, what is self-care? At that time, in my mind, self-care was to go to a spa or sauna. In early 2017, my mindset shifted from self-care as going to a spa, to a more refined and simple step of self-care, like not working on Sundays, indulge myself with a bath after a back-to-back meeting day, doing facemask and reading, or getting 8 hours sleep daily.

So many of us sometimes forget to take care of ourselves when we are so busy taking care of others, like our kids, spouse, family, or clients. Why is that? Why don’t we take care of ourselves first?

In my case, I was born and raised in Bali, Indonesia. Growing up, as a little girl I see all the female in the family are taking care of others, my mom, my aunt, my girl cousins, my grandmother, all of these female figures in my life are taking care of others in the family plus so many other things first. I hardly remember any moment where I see them taking a break for themselves in the luxury of practicing self-care.

The results, that translated in my mind into the exact same things that I should do when I grow up, when I become a woman or when I become a mother.

Take another reminder of putting ourselves first. Remember one of the Flight Safety Instructions that you’ve seen and heard so many times where it mentioned:

“Secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others!”

I remember the first time I heard that (this is when I was 20 yo), I thought, well, if I have a child with me, shouldn’t I be putting the oxygen mask for him first?

But now, I tried to keep reminding myself that “You can’t give to others if you don’t take care of yourself.”

And that is true. So, shouldn’t we start prioritizing ourselves first before taking care of others? I’m obviously not saying we need to have the world centered around us, I think that’s a different thing altogether. But really, if you think you’re overworked, think you’re having a burnout, losing focus on what you believe in either on your project or business. Take a break. Rethink of what’s important for you. Take a look at your health and be kind to yourself. It’s important for you to be kind to yourself and it will have a ripple effect on others. Right? Think about it, how many times when you are feeling stressed out that you’re just not in a mood to hear a simple joke? And how many times when you feel relaxed that you feel the happiest and content? You deserve to feel relaxed, and we all want to be happy.

Earlier this month, even the Girlboss.com created an exclusive podcast talking all about self-care called Self Service. The editorial director of girlboss.com, Jerico Mandybur said “It’s one thing to believe in self-love—and another altogether to practice it.” They also made this fun ABZ to self-care illustration that I feel like we all can incorporate to our day-to-day self-care routine.

Let’s take a look.

Out of all these? At most, how much time or money will you need to spend to do it 2-3 times in a week? It’s surprising sometimes to see how easy it is to NOT practicing it, especially when we have so many things going on, there will always be another deadline or more work, but will there be a time that you feel happy doing it?

So, what do you say? Should we start practicing self-care? Tell me how you do your self-care routine? Share it with us.