A buzzword of some sorts. Admittedly, a word that I did not consider until the last few years. I’ll credit approaching the big 3-0 for forcing me to understand the importance of “self-care” and how to make more of an intentional effort to achieve results for my life.

To me, self-care means intently listening to my innermost needs and wants. When I truly listen to them, I’m able to silence the noise around me and feed those desires and needs appropriately. Actively listening to my own thoughts has forced me to eliminate the context that surrounds me and tune into what makes me comfortable in my own skin. As a recent transplant to New York, the constant movement, noise and hustle of the city has required me to learn how to care for myself and make it unique to who I am.

Over the last year, I’ve discovered a few findings that have I’ve learned in my self-care journey:

1. Self-care is uniquely different to everyone

In a world of increased self-development, self-improvement and self-care books, tips and trends we all succumb to the latest and greatest of this popular industry. It’s imperative to your own methods in establishing a healthy self-care regimen. Tuning into your needs and silencing what’s around you will help steer you to your inner self. What works for one, may not work for you. It’s okay to establish your own unique routine.

2. Self-care will constantly evolve 

What I considered self-care at 25 is no longer what I would consider self-care at 29. As we mature, our innermost needs mature. My needs have become less superficial and in turn have evolved into  protecting my mental health, clarity and strength. Understanding this has allowed me to change the ways that I handle these precious parts of me. There are moments, even days when I need time to myself. Forsaking hanging out with friends to read, workout, journal; anything that allows me the freedom of just hearing my own thoughts. Evolution is a part of life and we owe ourselves the chance to even evolve in the ways that we care about our own selves.

3. Self-care is vital to your peace 

Over the last few years, my self-care has turned into a beautiful blend of both sacrifice and patience.  Sacrifice has afforded me the opportunity to learn self-discipline and patience has afforded me lessons in being kind to myself. We live in the age of all things social, all things media and all things comparison and it’s easy to get wrapped into the vortex. Unfortunately, the effects can be detrimental to your peace. Mental peace has become increasingly important to me over the years, where my self-care methods have to align to increasing it by all means. Whatever provides you clarity and a stillness within yourself, should be considered a vital part of your self-care.

As you continue to develop your self-care practices, remember to make them unique to who you are, evolving and instrumental in your inner peace. We are given one life and it’s our job to take the appropriate measures to ensure that we live it fully, joyfully and peacefully.