What is self-care really?

Self care is the intentional planning of activities and lives that create the greatest chance for joy. It’s taking care of yourself the way a best friend, loving spouse or good parent would take care of you. It is realizing you are worthy of being taken care of.

Self care, to me, is about living the way we are taught in both christianlity and positive Psychology. Positive psychology teaches about positive emotions, well-being, and optimal human functioning (Fredrickson, 2001; Parks-Sheiner, 2016). According to positive psychology, good self-care practices can lead to positive outcomes such as happiness, fulfillment, and life satisfaction. In this blog and podcast, we will explore the importance of self-care using positive psychology principles and Christianity and how they can lead to a more joyous, resilient life.

Self-care refers to the actions and practices that individuals engage in to promote their physical, emotional, and mental well-being (Neff & Germer, 2013). According to positive psychology, self-care is essential to being happy and maintaining a positive outlook on life. Engaging in self-care activities such as regular exercise, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and practicing mindfulness can lead to increased positive emotions, reduced stress, and improved overall well-being (Lomas et al., 2020).

Contrary to popular belief, self-care is not an extra or indulgent activity, but rather an essential part of everyday life (Parks-Sheiner, 2016). Positive psychology emphasizes the importance of incorporating self-care practices into daily routines to promote well-being and happiness. By making self-care a priority, individuals can improve their ability to cope with stress, increase their resilience, and experience greater levels of happiness and fulfillment.

Good self-care practices have been linked to better life outcomes, such as improved physical health, reduced stress, and increased life satisfaction (Lomas et al., 2020). Positive psychology emphasizes that taking care of oneself is not selfish, but rather an essential practice that promotes optimal functioning and well-being. By prioritizing self-care, individuals can experience increased happiness, fulfillment, and overall well-being, leading to a more meaningful and satisfying life.

Taking things one step at a time and celebrating small improvements in self-care is an important practice that can have a significant impact on overall well-being. The concept of Tiny Little Changes (TLC) emphasizes making small, incremental improvements in self-care practices and celebrating each one as a significant accomplishment (Moser, Schroeder, Hebinck, & Neufeld, 2021). By breaking down self-care goals into small, manageable steps, it can feel less daunting and more achievable. Focusing on the positive changes made, no matter how small, can help boost confidence, motivation, and resilience, making it easier to continue making progress towards larger goals (Hill & Huelsnitz, 2020). Incorporating TLC into self-care routines can lead to greater well-being, increased happiness, and a more fulfilling life.


In conclusion, self-care is essential to promoting positive outcomes such as happiness, fulfillment, and life satisfaction. Positive psychology emphasizes the importance of engaging in self-care practices as part of everyday life and promoting optimal human functioning. By prioritizing self-care, individuals can experience greater resilience, cope better with stress, and achieve greater levels of well-being. Incorporating self-care practices into daily routines is a key component of promoting positive outcomes and leading a fulfilling and satisfying life.


Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American psychologist, 56(3), 218-226.

Hill, C. L., & Huelsnitz, C. O. (2020). Sustaining self-care: A qualitative study of self-care behaviors among mental health professionals. Journal of Counseling & Development, 98(2), 170-182. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcad.12321

Lomas, T., Medina, J. C., Ivtzan, I., Rupprecht, S., & Eiroa-Orosa, F. J. (2020). Happiness interventions in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of happiness studies, 21(8), 3221-3250.

Moser, A., Schroeder, K., Hebinck, D., & Neufeld, M. (2021). Creating micro-moments of connection: A positive psychology group intervention to enhance self-care among caregivers. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 40(4), 358-365. https://doi.org/10.1177/0733464820946624

Neff, K. D., & Germer, C. K. (2013). A pilot study and randomized controlled trial of the mindful self-compassion program. Journal of clinical psychology, 69(1), 28-44.

Parks-Sheiner, J. (2016). Positive psychology: A framework for enhancing professional practice. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 23(1), 1-7.

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