Welcome to Self Care Stories, a blog series showcasing how different people take care of themselves around the world. In our lives, we often forget to prioritize our own well-being. We hope that by reading these stories, you feel inspired to build your own self-care routines because your own care is important.

Meet Barbara!

What's your background?

I am a 29-year-old Chinese-American female, born and raised in Southern California. I am a pre-licensed psychotherapist.

What's your definition of self-care or what does self-care mean to you?

Self-care is different for everyone. Self-care can be sitting in silence for 30 minutes or can be 30 minutes of strenuous exercise. Self-care is a reminder that you are human and vulnerable. Self-care is acknowledging and embracing your struggles. We often are so involved in taking care of others that we forget to take care of our own needs. Self-care means time for YOU to reflect and recharge. Self-care is also giving yourself the chance to explore and discover different qualities about yourself.

Tell me your story. How do you practice self-care in your life?

I chose to study the field of psychology and mental illness to know more about my own struggles. I have anxiety and have a poor self-image, which is still something I continue to work on. Self-care, to me, is talking about my worries with a supportive family or friend. I surround myself with people I love. I am blessed to have an amazing support system that understand when I need to just express my frustrations and fears. They understand I need them to listen and help me process my emotions. Sometimes I just need to hear myself talk.  I also cuddle with my dog, cook, watch Netflix, and play video games to give myself a break from my daily responsibilities.

What makes taking care of yourself so important to you?

As a mental health professional,  regular self-care is critical to ensuring I have the emotional capacity to provide an emphatic space for clients. Outside of work, taking care of myself helps me continue to accept life's challenges gracefully, and appreciate all my nuggets of happiness!

If you had advice to give someone else on practicing self-care, what would it be?

Self-care shouldn't be a chore. Self-care you may already be doing but may need more intent. Self-care does not have to be something that takes up a lot of time.  Again, self-care is different for everyone, and while someone may say yoga is great self-care, you may find taking regular strolls to be more YOU.

This series was created in collaboration with Self Caid. To find out more information on how to build a self-care routine, check out them out here.

Jed Chun