Depending on who you ask, "self-care" can mean anything from eating greens to scheduling a regular mani-pedi — and neither of these definitions is wrong. While the definition of self-care varies, the purpose is easy to define. And Lisa Marie Basile, creator of Luna Luna Magazine and author of the upcoming Light Magic for Dark Times, encapsulates it beautifully.
"I think of self-care as the little things we do to nourish or sustain our mental and physical health," she tells Refinery29. "Being mindful about making a little time each day to destress and focus on self-development is so important on a physiological level. But it can also help us connect with our intuition, dreams, and goals."
Basile adds that, while relaxation is a valuable part of any self-care practice, regeneration, where we take steps to feel restored and determine where to direct our newfound energy, should actually be our goal. "Regenerative practices are all about shaking off the darkness and making new, amazing things happen — especially during times when you feel you’ve been kept down or silenced," Basile says.
An entire chapter of Basile's book is dedicated to regenerative self-care rituals detailing practices that anyone can adopt in order to restore their confidence, motivation, or sensuality. But, Basile is quick to add, the guidelines of each ritual are merely that — not hard and fast rules. As long as your intention is clear, that's what matters: "Ritualized self-care is like a secret little tool we always have, even when everything else feels stripped away," she explains.