Self-care is a buzzword these days.
But like media representations of magic, representations of self-care can be confusing.
What exactly constitutes self-care?
Is getting a mani-pedi or a new handbag actually self-care, and if not, what is?
Simply put, self-care is any activity that you do deliberately to take care of your mental, emotional, or physical health.
Magic dovetails perfectly with the concept of self-care because magic is about listening to what’s inside you and the messages the Divine and nature have for you.
Being in the moment in this way opens you up to an intimate world of information that is supportive of your well-being.
Magic and self-care make excellent partners on the road to leading a balanced, fulfilling life.
The point of self-care isn’t just about giving yourself a break.
It’s about becoming skilled at identifying your needs by listening to your mind, body, and spirit.
Magick self-care is not just long-term needs, but also immediate needs, the needs you have at this very moment.
How hard can it be to listen to yourself?
Particularly difficult, apparently, because a staggering percentage of the population has difficulty sleeping, anxiety issues, depression, and an ongoing feeling of failure.
Taking care of yourself is more than inputting food and making sure you have a roof over your head.
It means treating yourself with the kindness you extend to everyone around you.
It means supporting yourself the way you support people who are dear to you.
Women in particular struggle with this self-care issue, although it’s not a woman-exclusive problem.
Women are socialized to care for the people around them by denying or minimizing their own needs.
This leads to an erasure of self-worth and a constant putting-off of rejuvenation or addressing the woman’s own needs for support and nurturing.
This in turn can lead to anger and resentment.
Self-care means considering yourself a worthwhile person and presenting yourself as valuable, capable, and deserving.
In other words, self-care seeks to redress an imbalance that develops when you don’t take proper care of yourself, whether by inattention or by choice.
Self-care also doesn’t have to involve big, splashy undertakings.
In fact, self-care works better if you do it in regular small doses, because it helps keep you from reaching a level where you are in desperate need of something big to make an impact on how you feel.
This sort of incremental self-care is also beneficial because small gestures don’t take a lot of time, so there is less of a sense of stealing time from other responsibilities or other people.
It can help avoid the sense of selfishness that sometimes accompanies self-care activities.
Often selfishness is at the root of self-care stereotypes.
Magical work is excellently poised to fight this feeling because it generally works on an unseen, inner level where others cannot judge.