Chances are you've heard the word self-care being tossed around pretty frequently on social media. We wanted a little clarification on how self-care and mental health relate so we turned to a professional. We sat down with Licensed Professional Counselor, Alexis Cameron. She answered some of our questions about self-care and mental well being. See what she has to say on the topic below!
Alexis, what does self-care mean to you? To me, self-care means taking time to do things that help improve overall wellness in your life. Self-care encompasses many different things and there are different categories of self-care: emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual. It's all about having a healthy and nourishing relationship with yourself. When we take better care of ourselves, we can show up and be present for other people.
Do you think mental health and self-care correlate? Absolutely! Practicing self-care helps your overall well-being. It's about taking care of your mental health in addition to physical health.
What are some tips you would tell someone who is looking to incorporate self-care into their busy routine?
Analyze your expectations of what self-care looks like and modify to make them more realistic. Identify what activities make you feel grounded and make time for them. If you have to schedule it out, put it on your calendar and make it a priority. It's important to be adaptable and flexible when it comes to scheduling self-care and remember that what works today, might now work tomorrow. Learning to say no and setting boundaries is a big part of self-care.
What are the biggest stigmas you see with self-care?
Thinking that self-care needs to be monetary and expensive. Self-care can look like boundary setting or scheduling time to focus on yourself and be more present. Other stigmas with self-care are that it's too time consuming, it's selfish or should include other people.
Are there personal or external barriers that could prevent people from practicing self-care?
Personal barriers that prevent people from practicing self-care can include anxiety, depression, low motivation/energy, poor time management, and thinking self-care is selfish or having guilt around taking time for yourself.
External barriers can be unrealistic expectations of what self-care means, guilt, change can be hard, mental/emotional health, daily life stressors
Covid, Family, Life, Foreseen + Unforeseen can be a barrier to self-care
What is your favorite self-care activity?
My favorite forms of self-care are boundary-setting, spending time with my cat, lighting a candle, reading a book, being outdoors, and meditating.
Pictured: Licensed Professional Counselor, Alexis Cameron