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    Until very recently, I did not realize that you can work hard and practice self-care at the same time. I had the misconception that self-care connoted indulging in rest or laziness all the time. I was so, so wrong!

    I now know that self-care means self-love. It can mean anything from getting enough sleep to calling your mom. It can mean finishing your homework. It can mean fighting your depression and getting up to go to work in the morning. It can mean taking a shower. It can mean pushing through anxiety to do what you love. It can mean staying home and resting your body instead of going out with friends. Or, it can mean, inviting friends over to avoid isolating yourself. I practice self-care in all of these ways and more. And oftentimes, these simple acts are harder than I would like to admit while battling mental and chronic illnesses. But, they all have one thing in common: they make me feel better.

    For me, the only requirement of self-care is doing something to show myself love. To take care of myself as if I were my own best friend or sister or daughter. My current goal is to be consistent with my self-care, and not just save it for a special occasion. We live in a work-driven society that can lead to burn-out and ignoring our basic needs. So it's my goal to make sure my top priority each day is to love myself in some way. And self-care not mutually exclusive from working hard. It allows you to be the best and healthiest version of yourself. To be balanced and even happy. Self-care is helping me to do that.

    In light of worsening chronic fatigue in recent months, I have been struggling with my mental and physical illnesses more than normal. Though being mentally and chronically ill is always a challenge, the past couple of months have been particularly difficult for me. To sort of off-set or remedy this struggle, I have challenged myself to one self care act a day. Follow me on Instagram (@dineo_b) to see my daily "stories" of self care! I am also a lot more active on there than I am on my blog, so I hope you check out my Insta to get to know me and keep up with me better.

    What are your self-care tactics? And how do you make sure you care for yourself enough, even when the going gets tough? I would love to hear your thoughts!