Its really difficult to talk about self care generally because everyone needs something different, but I also think sharing self care experiences is a useful thing to do.
I would describe self care as a way of life. For me its not just, taking a shower or treating myself every now and then. Its the day to day moments. Self care is everything from being able to take a step back from my egoic self, and instead of feeling my anxieties and desires with full force, being able to mindfully and compassionately process the situations to make the best decisions I can.
Self care is being conscious of the situations I put myself in. Not jumping into every battle but instead, preserving my strength to prevent (emotional, social, physical) burn out.
Self care is knowing that I will always have my own back, even when I make mistakes. Knowing that getting down on myself for the past doesn’t help. Instead, I seek to be mindful of my interactions and impact on others and make notes for the future.
Self care is starting from exactly where I am, and instead of trying to change everything at once. Taking life step by step, and being proud of myself for even the smallest steps.
Self care is making sure I am hydrated, feed, and well rested.
Self care is celebrating the joys I have in life, not fixating on the negatives, and making sure that there is always something, no matter how “small”, to look forward to.
Self care is trial and error. Finding what works best for you and adapting as the times change.
I seek to make all my decisions with self care at the core of my intentions. Because by preserving my own health, I can extend my compassion and my love for the world to those that I care about. And ultimately, I will be far more capable, levelheaded and caring if I can maintain my own health.
I have lived my life with depression and anxiety for many years.
Despite the stresses of my life, I personally have been able to overcome a lot of the intense struggles recently, by limiting the amount of time I fixate on negative issues. I meditate in order to train my mind to detach from these thoughts and I listen to a lot of talks about self love, living in the present moment, etc.
such as this: http://www.tarabrach.com/learning-to-respond-not-react-audio-2/
(Tara brach has a lot of talks and guided meditations that I feel I have gained knowledge from.)
I also use this program called SuperBetter https://www.superbetter.com/
It encourages me to take care of myself and has taught me many techniques to overcome tough situations.
Both of these resources are free. I know that these programs may not be of interest to everyone but it has helped me reduce stress and I feel much more healthy: physically, mentally and socially.