As imperfect humans living in a world where every action and achievement is judged by some created standard, it's understandable—and somewhat healthy—to be self-critical. But under the guise of improving ourselves with self-criticism, we often end up doing more harm than good. While it can allow us to recognize our flaws and maybe even help us grow a little, self-care is still a much better and healthier alternative to achieving the same and more.

Self-care is for everyone: women, children and men; health and fighting. Whether it's a self-care journal you keep, or simply indulging in relaxing activities such as reading, listening to music and cooking, or having fun with the range of activities included in your self-care kit; it doesn't matter how big or small the initiative is on your part, it matters.

You are exactly where you need to be

One thing that people mistake for "self-care" is being overly critical of one's own shortcomings in the name of self-awareness. Setting unattainable goals is not the right path to success because success looks different for everyone. Beating yourself up for not being as good a musician as XYZ while overlooking your own artistic potential in other fields is not only ungrateful but also very damaging to your self-esteem.

  • How many times have you envied someone else's success, silently doubted your potential and wondered where you went wrong?
  • How easily do you fall into despair when faced with difficult times and wonder why this had to be your fate?
  • How many times have you questioned your abilities because you don't have a well-established career or a healthy relationship like your friends; still living in a cramped apartment when everyone your age owns beautiful houses?

Self-care is for everyone

Being too hard on yourself can be debilitating and counterproductive. Everyone needs self-care days where they can take care of themselves for their mental health without outside influence. Contrary to popular belief, self-care is age and gender-neutral. Women, men and children can benefit greatly from self-care activities. Unfortunately, a man's self-care is often underestimated, which greatly affects men's psychological stability.

Because self-care is for everyone, it can easily be turned into family time! Here are some fun activity ideas that you can enjoy yourself or encourage your family to enjoy too!

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  • Buy/Give a Self-Care Kit: A self-care kit can include all kinds of customized items including paint supplies, headphones, blankets, skin care items, healthy cookbooks, stuffed animals, fun DVDs, bath bombs and more!
  • Keep a self-care journal: Journaling has been shown to help increase feelings of well-being and counteract depressed moods. It's an easier and healthier method to relax and understand your feelings to promote self-awareness, as opposed to self-criticism.
  •  Exercise/Yoga and Meditation: Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, as is yoga and meditation. Even a walk with the family is a great activity to include in your self-care routine.
  • Self-care for men: Self-care for men doesn't have to be any different from self-care for women or children. However, they can include activities that better suit their personal interests for a better experience.
  • Affirmations: Positive affirmations are a great way to start your day. They help in self-improvement and are a good source of inspiration.

How to stop being too hard on yourself

In our struggle to be the best; In order to achieve perfection, we become our own enemies when we should be our body and mind's best friends. Sure, it can be hard to break the habit, but it's not impossible. It's actually very easy. Here are ways to stop being too hard on yourself and start showing yourself kindness and love, because self-care is for everyone!