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Put Yourself First: Making Self-Care Your New Healthy Habit 

You’ve probably heard the term “self-care” before, be it from your super chill aunt, your BFF, or even your favorite celebrity. But what is it, really? Just as you might expect, “self-care” is to take care of oneself, in order to improve oneself.

It consists of deliberate and purposeful actions that are meant to maintain and improve an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Although many mistake self-care as a selfish concept, the habit can not only make you a better individual, it can also equip you with the necessary tools for helping other people.

Still confused? Many have likened self-care to the flight safety instructions about oxygen masks: Put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others. This is because you need to help yourself first before you can help other people.

It’s not about being selfish—it’s about being at your best physically, mentally, and emotionally for the benefit not only of yourself but of the people around you.

The tricky thing about self-care is that it looks different for everyone. While indulging in a DIY spa day may sound relaxing and fun for some, others may find it boring and too much work. That’s the cool thing about self-care: you get to decide what it is for you.

But remember, self-care isn’t just about enjoying yourself, it is also about centering and improving yourself, so no, binge-drinking and gossiping doesn’t count. It’s still entirely up to you how to build your own self-care routine, but here are a few tips to get you started:

Start small.

start small

It’s a common misconception that you need time and money to practice self-care. While it will help to have both, they’re not entirely necessary.

Work with what you already have. The stack of unread books you have? Finally reading those can be part of your self-care. You don’t even need to spend your entire day reading it, even just 20 minutes can make a difference.

Be grateful.

No matter how crazy life can be, there are still some things to be grateful for. Acknowledge these little things—don’t consider anything to be superficial.

Be grateful for another day of living. Be grateful for your friends and family. Be grateful for another season of your favorite TV show. Be grateful for a reliable internet connection.

However, be careful of straying into the world of toxic positivity. Be grateful but acknowledge that life is not perfect. There will always be things that will make you sad, angry, and stressed, and that’s okay. The key is being thankful for the good while acknowledging the bad.

Take care of your body.


This means eating healthy, exercising, and getting the proper amount of sleep. You don’t need to be overly ambitious and become a vegan gym rat all of a sudden—maybe just cut back on sweets and junk food, take walks when you can, and try to sleep even just one hour earlier than usual.

As you get used to these changes in your routine, gradually make your habits even healthier. Don’t overdo it though—leave some room for a little indulgence.

Know when to say “no.”

As much as we’d like to foster better relationships with the people around us, sometimes it is better for our physical, mental, and emotional health to refuse other people.

Refuse the invitation to get pissed drunk. Refuse that extra responsibility at work if it will mean unnecessary overtime and that your other projects will suffer. Refuse to get sucked back into the drama that you decided to stop being part of a long time ago.

Don’t feel guilty about saying “no” to keep yourself healthy, happy, and sane.

List your accomplishments.


Actually noting down your accomplishments can help you see how far you’ve grown and improved. It doesn’t have to be as big as getting a promotion at work (although that counts, too)—it can be as simple as waking up before your alarm goes off or finally learning how to cook your favorite dish.

Whenever you feel down, read all that you’ve listed for a quick self-esteem boost.

Spend time with loved ones.

Spending quality time with your family and friends can help you reconnect and recharge. How you do it is up to you. You can host a movie marathon in your living room, hold a trivia night via video conference, or even just have lunch or dinner together.

Just make sure everyone participating is onboard with the plans. No need to force someone to be part of it—they need their self-care, too.

Schedule me-time.

me time

Whatever you do with it, it is important to find time to just be by yourself. Use this time to relax and for some introspection. Meditation works for some people, but you don’t have to do this if you’re not excited about the idea.

Take a long walk outside and take in the sun and the breeze. Work on finally beating the final boss in your favorite video game.

There’s even no shame if you want to go the cliché route and just simply contemplate while taking a hot bath. But maybe hold off on the wine. Reflection is best done sober.

Looking for more adventurous options for self-care? Check out these beauty and spa options at Traveloka Xperience for more ideas.

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