There is an awful lot of chat currently about ‘self-care’. What it is, why you should be doing it, how it can help you be more productive, or confident, or happy. Little luxuries that can make you fitter, healthier and more centred.

And self-care absolutely can be these things.

But it isn’t only those things.

You might be dealing with mental illness, or maybe you’re disabled, or from a marginalised community. You’re dealing with some disadvantages that those ’52 ways to practice self-care’ don’t account for.

This doesn’t mean you can’t practice self-care. 

It just might look a little different to the items on those lists.

Because self-care is individual and personal, and about what works for you. It might look like taking a shower today, or brushing your teeth, or changing your underwear. It might be getting a glass of water, making a healthy meal or reading a couple of pages of a book.  

Hell, it might even look like doing your taxes.

These small actions build on each other. That gentle act of caring can move you a step closer to finding peace with yourself and your situation. And here, I don’t mean happiness, necessarily. There is no pressure to be in charge of your happiness. 

Building healthy relationships with yourself and your obstacles (and even with the practice itself – taking care of yourself can feel really weird at first) is a gentler goal. 

This week, I encourage you to take a little time to check in with yourself and see what you need, or what you’re craving. Make a small move towards addressing that need. Try it now – settle, ask what you need and make a step towards it. 

And while you’re at it, get yourself a glass of water, too.

What I’m talking about here are tips, not solutions. Self-care isn’t going to change your life in weeks, or make you a ‘better person’ (you’re so wonderful as you are), or ‘more productive’, but it might mean you keep going with a little more ease and self-compassion – which is f*cking wonderful in a world that isn’t always on your side.

This post first appeared as a letter to my email community. Want more goodness like this straight to your inbox every fortnight? Join the community!

Pin this - What I mean when I talk about self care