What does self-care mean? This question has haunted me for a long time. A simple google search says it is a practice of preserving one’s well-being and happiness. Examples include dancing it out, meditating, yoga, detoxifying, and whatnot. When I asked, “How are you practicing your self-care today?” I got similar answers. I realized I tend to do many of those, whether not worrying about deadlines or having a good sleep, or dancing it out. And yet, I have wondered time and again, have I practiced self-care today?

It’s not just the self-care practices though. I remember watching a motivational video where the narrator asked when was the last time you took a day off for yourself or your family. And when was the last time you did something new or remembered to be present? I realized I have been doing these all the time. I am always trying to learn new things and push myself beyond my zone of writing. I make sure I stay in touch with my friends and cousins, spamming them with my smoothie bowl pictures or curled hair after a shower.

Yet, I keep feeling I am not doing enough. Or at other times, I feel like I have overdone them. After watching that video mentioned above, I told Niko that instead of a video that motivates people to relax, I need a video that motivates me to work more. Even though I am happy with the amount of work I am doing, there are times when I feel guilty about it. While my friends work for 8 hours a day and even on weekends, I work a lot less than that. But financially, because I don’t have to pay for food or room or even medical bills, whatever I earn now is enough for me. And I wonder if that’s why I am not working more than the many people in my age group. Because I don’t need to.

Half the time, I keep debating with myself regarding this and I get swayed away from the real self-care practice. That is to be present and enjoy what you are doing, wherever you are. And then I scrutinize myself for not doing it, which is probably another big no in self-care. And thus, I keep finding myself in this loop of paradox. Of practicing everything self-care yet failing in the most important and simplest practice.

Hence, I keep wondering, have I practiced self-care today?