Taking the time to connect with yourself and what you really need will ensure you get through the hard times.
When Socrates spoke about “care of the self” more than 2,500 years ago, his definition of self-care was one of “care for the soul”, the search for self-knowledge, and the understanding of ourselves beyond body, status, wealth, and reputation. As he explained: “Once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves, but otherwise we never shall.”
Our modern definition of self-care is very different. It relates to the deliberate maintenance of mental, physical and emotional health, especially in the context of handling stress. This has come into even sharper focus in the current coronavirus crisis where we are learning to be more deliberate in how we manage ourselves. Taking hand sanitisers, masks and physical distancing aside, we have become aware of structures that only in their absence show us how much we have been taking them for granted. These are constructs that go beyond those providing economic stability. They support us as social human beings and help us maintain mental and emotional health. Eating out in a restaurant, attending a concert, playing a group sport or working out at the gym … these aren’t merely self-care activities; they connect us with others and give our lives meaning.