The Journey to Self-Care: Beyond Bubble Baths

The Journey to Self-Care: Beyond Bubble Baths

At 25, I stumbled upon a concept that was foreign to me—self-care. My initiation into self-care wasn't through a profound revelation. It was through the gentle nudging of a partner who saw the weariness in my bones before I could acknowledge it myself.

He introduced me to the self-care rituals. Bubble baths, solo dates, and even the cathartic release of journaling. This made me realize I’d never taken an actual break in my life until this point. Over 13 years later, my understanding of self-care has evolved. It is not a mere indulgence, rather a vital practice of rest and clarity for my mind, body, and spirit.


What Is Self-Care, and Why Is It Critical for Your Well-Being?

Self-care is the intentional practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's health. It's a deeply personal journey, varying greatly among individuals, especially those navigating the complexities of BIPOC and neurodivergent experiences. It's about delving beyond surface-level indulgences to meet our profound needs—physical, emotional, spiritual, and cognitive [1].


What Does Self-Care Look Like?

Self-care is not a monolith but a spectrum of practices that cater to different facets of our being. It's not a one-size-fits-all practice. Here's how it has manifested in my life, offering a holistic approach to nurturing well-being:


Emotional Rest

The world often feels too loud, so finding emotional rest has been crucial. It's about setting boundaries and seeking peace amidst chaos. For me, this means limiting my exposure to distressing news and allowing myself the space to breathe and reflect.


Physical Rest

Learning to listen to your body's cues for rest is a journey of self-respect. It's choosing activities that replenish rather than deplete, recognizing that rest is not laziness but a form of self-preservation.


Spiritual Rest

My spiritual self-care has been about connecting with something greater, finding solace in meditation each morning. It's a practice that grounds me, reminding me of my place in the universe and the interconnectedness of all things.


Cognitive Rest

In an age of information overload, cognitive rest is revolutionary. It's about giving my mind permission to pause, to engage with the world around me without the constant chatter of digital distractions.


Sensory Rest

As someone who is neurodivergent, managing sensory overload is a daily negotiation. Creating environments that soothe rather than stimulate has been key to my sensory self-care.


Social Rest

Navigating social interactions as an introvert means understanding my limits and honoring my need for solitude. It's about quality over quantity, cherishing close connections that nourish rather than drain.


Creative Rest

Creative burnout taught me the importance of stepping back, of allowing my creative well to refill through rest and engagement with diverse forms of art.


Embarking on Your Self-Care Journey

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Starting a self-care routine is about acknowledging your needs and setting achievable goals. It's making self-care a priority, integrating it into your daily life as a non-negotiable practice. Reflect on your needs, set clear goals, and create a plan that encompasses various aspects of self-care. Remember, the journey is as unique as you are.


Why Is Self-Care Important?

Self-care is not just a personal indulgence but a necessity. It enables us to show up fully in our lives, to engage with our communities with authenticity and compassion. A study revealed that 86% of those surveyed said that self-care helped them combat burnout, with benefits including relaxation, mood boost, reduced stress, lowered anxiety, and increased happiness [2]. Self-care practices have also been linked to reduced stress, improved mood, and a higher quality of life [3].

Self-care is a journey back to ourselves, a path paved with the understanding that to nurture others, we must first nurture ourselves. It's a practice that demands patience, persistence, and most importantly, compassion. Let's embark on this journey together, embracing the myriad ways we can care for our multifaceted selves. 



[1] TED Ideas. (n.d.). The 7 types of rest that every person needs. Retrieved from TED Ideas
[2] Advanced Dermatology. (n.d.). How Americans Make Time for Self-Care Study. Retrieved from Advanced Dermatology
[3] National Library of Medicine. (2018). Engagement in self-care activities among US medical students. Retrieved from National Library of Medicine