What is Extreme Self-Care and What Does It Involve?
So, you've heard of self-care, but have you heard of extreme self-care?
Extreme self-care is a term that has been floating around for a decade or so now and refers to an extreme form of the self-care we have come to know and love. But what does it actually mean?
The art of extreme self-care came from a life-changing handbook written by Cheryl Richardson in which she detailed the steps you could take to practice extreme self-care every day, helping you to live a meaningful life. In the book, Cheryl Richardson teaches you to dramatically upgrade your self-care and take charge of your own life. The book is the result of her own personal stories of practising extreme self-care and has been covered widely since it was first published.
We've been doing some research on the topic and we've gathered all of the information we could find into this blog post. To find out what extreme self-care is, what extreme self-care involves and how you can practice extreme self-care, keep reading now!
What is the art of extreme self-care?
So, what is extreme self-care?
Well, extreme self-care is sort of like self-care's older, stronger brother. Extreme self-care isn't just about face masks, scented candles, and chocolate (though we still recommend them anyway). No. Extreme self-care is about changing the way you think, feel, and react. It's about becoming a person who can stick to your boundaries and truly commit to self-care.
Most of us claim to practice self-care these days. We spend half an hour on a Sunday evening reading a book and diffusing lavender oil and we call this enough. But is it enough? Is it enough if our only act of self-care is 30 minutes of time to ourselves?
Extreme self-care says it's not.
Extreme self-care is about making yourself and your health a priority. It is about ensuring that when you want to say no because you really don't have time, you actually say no, rather than saying yes and then admonishing yourself while you do it. It is about setting and sticking to boundaries and having the confidence and empowerment to not allow other people's disappointment in you to affect how you feel about your decision.
Extreme self-care helps you to build self-esteem and confidence. It teaches you to be emotionally strong and empowered. It helps you to become a decisive character - someone who can make a decision easily, based on your own health and needs, and then stick to it no matter other people's responses. And it supports you in becoming clear and honest about who you are and what you want.
Extreme self-care is about you as a person, rather than the little things you do to make you feel better a few times a week. It is about practising self-care throughout your entire life instead of once a week.
A sane and sensible program: What does extreme self-care involve?
So, we know what extreme self-care is, but what does it involve? How can we become the things that extreme self-care needs us to become?
Extreme self-care aims to support you in building self-esteem and confidence. This means you are able to make a decision and are able to feel confident in that. It involves becoming empowered and believing in yourself.
And this empowerment is key to extreme self-care too. Once you feel empowered, you feel that you can set your boundaries and stick to them, you will feel good about taking time out of your day for yourself, and you will feel that you deserve to be cared for too.
This empowerment should also lead to a new sense of decisiveness, and with this decisiveness, you should be able to make decisions more easily and stick to them. This will help you out as you set and stick to your boundaries.
And, all of these things push you to be more certain of who you are and what you want. Once you become aware of these things, you can understand what you really want from life and what you need. This will ensure you choose the right options for yourself and say no to the things you know won't help you out.
To find out more about how you can put these ideas into practice, keep reading our next section.
How can I practice extreme self-care?
So now we know what extreme self-care is and what it involves, we're going to look at how you can practice extreme self-care. We're going to look at how we can turn these concepts into actual habits that will help you to practice extreme self-care.
Let's get started now.
Make a list of boundaries
Writing down your boundaries is the first step to sticking to them. Putting your boundaries out into the world is like a small commitment, letting yourself know that you're serious about these things. In these boundaries, you should ensure you have a list of 'absolute no's' which is a list of things you absolutely have to say no to.
This may mean things that people frequently ask you to do that cause you anxiety, things you don't like doing, or things that cause you emotional harm. These things should be written down so that you know to stick to them.
Learn to and practice saying no
This leads straight on from the last step. Once you know what you're definitely going to say no to, you can practice it. Practice saying no when you know you can't do something. Choose the things you want to do and say no to anything that will be detrimental to your physical or mental health.
The art of extreme self-care means learning to say no and not being swayed by other people's hurt feelings and disappointment in your decision. The absolute no list may make people feel disappointed in you, but you are now making decisions based on your own wellbeing, not others.
Put yourself first
This one probably seems obvious. The art of extreme self-care is about taking charge of your life and this means you become your number one priority. In the original book by Cheryl Richardson, the idea was to break the endless cycle of self-betrayal, wherein you promise to do better and say no to things you can't do etc. but then you don't and end up burned out all over again.
In this new method of self-care, you're going to be committing to yourself. You're choosing yourself, your health, and your wellbeing over others needs. This doesn't mean never doing anything for anyone else ever again, but it does mean helping others out when you can and not giving so much you have nothing left for yourself.
Taking the time to reflect on your actions and understand who you are can help you to understand yourself and take the time to remove yourself from your busy life. It means taking the time to understand the things that have happened to you, things you have experienced and the way you experienced them.
Taking time for rest and relaxation
Like the original self-care, this part can include an eye mask and a good cup of tea, but you should be stricter about it. This means when you schedule in time to relax, you actually relax. It means not answering emails during your relaxation time or looking after your sister's kids during your vacation time. You can help others out in an enjoyable way, but if you've scheduled time in then you need to stick to it.
Taking the time to connect
When we talk about good mental wellbeing, we always talk about how socialisation is key. Spending time with others can help us to relax, feel connected to others, and take time away from our busy and chaotic life. Human connection is great for our well-being.
Schedule in time for connection and ensure you stick to it as well as you do your boundaries.
Have some fun
They always say that laughter is the best medicine and it really is. Taking time to do things that make you smile, whether it be volunteering and feeling like you have a purpose, growing a herb garden in your kitchen, or spending time with your family, taking time to have fun is essential for your health.
Like with the previous two steps, you need to schedule this and then stick to it.
The whole idea of the art of extreme self-care came from a life-changing handbook written by Cheryl Richardson and is a more powerful version of the original form of self-care. This method means following an action-oriented program of setting boundaries, building your confidence, and understanding who you are and what you want.
There are countless personal stories of success with this method of self-care and as such, it has become very popular. If you're interested in self-care, why not try out these steps and transform your life one step at a time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does extreme self-care look like?
Extreme self-care looks like putting one's own needs before the needs of others while still preserving important relationships and helping others out. You can be a supportive friend while still setting boundaries and this form of self-care teaches us this. This program helps you to transform your life one step at a time, helping you to build confidence and self-esteem, set boundaries and become more decisive, allowing yourself to put yourself first. This concept comes from a handbook written by Cheryl Richardson.
What is the art of self-care?
While many see self-care as face masks and massages, self-care is actually about setting boundaries and sticking to them. Self-care means understanding who you are and what you want and making your life decisions based on this. It means saying no when you can't do something and not feeling guilty when people feel disappointed in you. Self-care is about looking after your own mental and physical health.
Why is self-care important?
Self-care is important for mental wellbeing. It can help us to feel confident and empowered and allows us downtime to relax and rejuvenate. It helps us to set boundaries and ensure that we are not taking on too much. It can protect against anxiety and depression, helping us to take the time for our own mental health.