What’s Your Definition of Self-Care?
A study in everyday escapism
You know that special feeling that comes over you when you pop the button of those too-tight jeans after a big binge meal or the sense of relief that washes over your system the moment you unhook your bra and lose it on that final stretch of the journey to your bed? That’s what it feels like when I go through the motions of my self-care rituals—only it feels like I’m experiencing these sensations over and over like a short film on loop.
The concept of self-care has only recently gained traction in the mainstream, but it’s been a staple in the modern human’s way of life long before it even became a widely recognized “thing.” That two-day Netflix sesh in bed? Self-care. That end-of-week massage you find yourself looking forward to? Self-care. Quiet weekend mornings spent digging your spoon into a bowl of chocolate cereal? That’s self-care, too.
The beauty of the buzzword lies in the fact that each person lives it out differently. By definition, self-care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress,” but its manifestations are different all across the board. Scroll ahead to discover a variety of self-care rituals and how they deliver us a slice of nirvana between the bustle of the everyday.
“I spend at least an entire day alone in bed watching TV.
I ignore all text messages until the next morning.”
– Kei I.
“Staying in, taking a long bath, reading a good book,
or playing an intense video game. It’s what fits my personality.
Socializing is not something I participate in a lot because it drains me.”
“Self care to me is doing my skin care routine every night.
At around 3am I start gathering everything
I need in the bathroom and I bring my phone so I can
listen to music that makes me happy while doing my routine.
It’s been making me really happy. ”
– Habibah A.
“Subscribing to a *reasonable* skincare routine—
the operative word being reasonable (there is no self-care
in winding up broke). When my self-care ritual has to take
the backseat for an extended period of time,
I do feel bad. Like I don’t have things under control
and I’m neglecting giving back to myself.”
– Nicole B.R.
“I never liked the idea of reaching for my phone the moment I wake up,
so every morning, the first thing I do is read a [physical] book.
I usually do it in the living room since it’s quiet and
there’s a lot of sunlight, and I’m usually alone, which is what I prefer.”
– Ticia A.
“Cooking a meal with a complex recipe (like butternut squash soup
where you roast, saute, boil, blend things) by myself
and listening to podcasts or music. Cooking requires your full
attention and the more intricate the recipe, the less time you have
to think about anything else. Doing this takes all
of my attention away from anything that’s bothering me and it
makes things feel lighter after i’ve stepped away from it all for a bit.”
– Izzi G.
“Usually alone, I set aside time to do things I normally don’t do.
For example, I put on a movie and completely do my nails
or sit down with a book and a cup of tea for hours.
I often destress through the internet, by watching on YouTube, Netflix, etc.,
but often times that feels more like a temporary fix.
Whereas when I purposefully decide I am going to take time
and really love myself, I feel more healed.”
– Bri A.
Art Alexandra Lara