Why You Need to Practice Active Self-Care in 2023
Active self-care!? Isn’t it just self-care, full stop? Well, we’ve been doing our homework and it seems like there is actually a distinction when it comes to the types of self-care. For simplicity, we like to think of them as ‘active’ and ‘passive’ self-care, and here’s why you need to focus on active-self care in 2023.
First, let’s look at passive self-care, as most of us are familiar with this type. This care is synonymous with self-pampering or restorative care. Generally, it happens when we are reaching our breaking point, and are feeling exhausted. It includes activities like massages, a girl's night out, or long hot baths. Passive self-care helps replenish our energy stores and reinvigorate one's spirit, so we can show up as a better version of ourselves. Many companies have created products that help us practice this type of care - think scented candles and face masks, and for good reason! This care is vital in providing us with luxe moments of loving care for our bodies and emotions. But these activities are temporary, and often we aren’t really doing the deep ‘work’ that comes with active self-management.
Introducing active self-care. This self-care routine is purposeful, ongoing, and ever-evolving. It is a commitment to working on our inner selves and giving our bodies, minds, and spirits what they need in order to get the most out of life. It is not easy, it can be uncomfortable, and it doesn’t happen overnight. For example, passive self-care could look like taking a night off from the stresses of cooking and treating yourself to a meal out at your favorite restaurant. Active self-care would be the daily commitment you make to eating a healthy diet and choosing whole foods that nourish your body (ie. choosing the roast chicken with a side of perfectly steamed veg over the rich, saucy, cheese-covered pasta). In this example, our daily commitment to our diet is just one way we play an active role in ensuring we care for ourselves fully, not just to put a bandaid on our stress.
Ok, now for the good stuff. Here are our top active self-care ideas you can action in 2023!
- Create and enforce boundaries
- End toxic relationships
- Invest in therapy or coaching
- Set achievable goals and persist until you achieve them
- Identify limiting beliefs and work to heal from them
- Work on your mindset. What role do you play in your life? Are you the creator or the victim?
- Focus on adequate hydration and a healthy diet
- Incorporate movement and exercise into your weekly routine
- Work to recognize bad mental habits and emotional patterns that keep you stuck
- Set clear priorities
- Improve communication in your relationships. Learn how to say what you actually mean, or learn to listen instead of offering unsolicited advice
- Explore a passion
- Learn to say ‘no’
- Let go of old baggage that weighs you down
- Notice how you talk to, and about, yourself and work on using loving and kind language
- Declutter. Donate, sell or discard any items that do not bring joy or do not serve a specific function in your life
- Celebrate your wins. Big or small
We could go on. The important takeaway is that both types of self-care are valuable. We restore our energy through passive self-care so that we are able to embark on the long-term journey of growth through active self-care. We are all busy, complicated beings - so be kind to yourself, practice patience, and rest when you need to. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
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