Here’s How Self-Care Should Be

It’s Not What You Think

Alexandra Negulescu
6 min readApr 10, 2023
Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

I love a Balinese massage at a spa, especially after a retreat (which is an activity that requires so much of my energy).

I love a bubble bath. At least, I used to because I don’t have a bathtub. I only have a shower in my apartment.

I love the sauna. Much more than you can imagine.

But none of these activities are available to me every day.

I used to think that self-care is something you take when you’re tired or overwhelmed.

It’s something you’re doing outside of your working hours.

But what if we don’t have to consider self-care a reward?

And instead, look at it as how you treat yourself every minute of the day.

As I’m navigating the times of simplifying my life and business to work smarter and create time for my personal life, I made some changes that made me rethink self-care.

Here’s what self-care turned out to be.

Saying NO

You respect your time, energy, and resources when you say no.

Saying no was the biggest and most challenging thing I had done this year.

When I started saying no, I felt I was disappointing others or not delivering my best.

Considering my goal of simplifying my life and business, I must make choices in my best interest.

I need to say no to say yes to deep work — the place where I’m creating most of the results.

Saying no also shows respect for the other person by being honest and upfront about my limitations. It allows me to communicate my boundaries and avoid overcommitting or letting people down later.

And that’s the kind of person I want to be.

The best part comes from not creating feelings of overwhelm and frustration. Because when I’m done with my most important tasks, I can take of other things but from a place of satisfaction.

Defining what success looks like for you

When you define success for yourself, you stop comparing yourself with others and instead focus on what truly matters to you.

Success can mean different things to different people, and it’s important to recognize that there is no one “right” definition of success.

The first thing I said seven years ago, when I left my corporate job, was that I was opening up a blog.

I wanted to write.

Of course, over the years, I wrote from time to time on my blog but never went full-on with it because I got scared. I started comparing myself to people who have been doing it for God knows how many years.

Writing is part of how I define success for myself. I write mainly about my experiences, what I learn, and how I see the world. They are my unique qualities.

Instead of comparing myself with others, I’m focusing on the journey of sharing my experiences.

And it feels great to work on your goals from a place of clarity.

The best part? The grass in other people’s gardens somehow is not greener than on my side.

Getting the right people around you

Those that lift you higher.

Okay, nobody what’s to do an inventory of the people they have around.

But those people positively impact your mood and motivation?

They uplift and encourage you to follow your dreams?

Are they your biggest supporters?

Do they challenge you to be your best self?

If you answer yes, please keep and nurture your relationship with them. They’re gold in your life.

But if they bring you down and drain you of your energy, you need to take a closer look.

When the wrong kind of people surrounds you, you’ll make poor decisions, you’ll miss opportunities, they’ll have a negative impact, and you can’t grow around them.

You deserve a strong tribe.

Moving your body and getting enough sleep

Powerful tools for taking care of yourself.

Firstly, moving your body doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon or spend hours at the gym every day. It can be as simple as taking a walk, doing some yoga, or even dancing around your living room to your favorite music.

On the other hand, getting enough sleep is crucial for allowing your body and mind to rest and recharge.

I can’t underestimate the power of moving your body. It will impact your sleep in a big way. Oh, how you feel after working out is the cherry on top.

But we’re used to taking bodies for granted. They help us move around, do chores, and create mainly everything we want.

So why not show our respect for it?

Our bodies are not created for sitting all day long. They crave moving. It’s the language they speak.

Find a physical activity you love and move your body.

You’ll thank yourself later.

Not letting work define you

Work is only one aspect of your life.

I chased my dreams like nothing else was more important in the last years.

And you know what?

At the end of the day, when I put my head on the pillow, I know I’m human like everyone else.

I have dreams, but I also have a personal life and need to care for myself.

Today, I know that balance is a word. We’ll never be in full balance. There’s always either more focus on work (if a big project is coming up) or more free time.

But having an awareness of seeing your life as a whole and knowing that work is just a part of life makes all the difference.

Our worth can’t be only about the goals we achieve, the position, or the salary we have. A healthy way of looking at it is to distance yourself from your success at work and know you’re worthy, either if you achieve your goals or not.

Life is about learning and growing through all our experiences.

Asking for support

You don’t have to do it alone.

“You can do everything by yourself. No one else needs to know what you’re doing.”

That’s something I’ve inherited from my family.

I feel butterflies in my stomach just thinking of it.

But today, it’s not serving me anymore.

I’m an adult. I’m a life and business coach. I love helping people reach their goals and potential.

So why wouldn’t I ask for help?

Asking for help, it’s a sign of strength, not weakness.

You can talk to your friends about your life to deepen your connection with them or ask for professional help if some things are not feeling good.

I started therapy last year from an impulse of curiosity. I do many things from pure curiosity, but therapy has helped me understand my past and how it impacts my current life.

I’m on and off a coaching relationship. A coach is an excellent support in helping me become who I need to be to reach my goals.

I can tell you one thing.

It’s great to have support. It’s great to have professional people in your corner rooting for your success.

Before you go

Remember the following:

  • It’s important to recognize that you can focus on your needs and say no to requests that don’t align with your values or goals.
  • By defining success for yourself, you can stop comparing yourself to others and instead focus on your journey.
  • The people you surround yourself with reflect who you are and what you value, so choose and invest in relationships that bring out the best in you.
  • Taking care of yourself starts with these essential habits: moving your body and having a quality sleep.
  • Reaching out for help is a sign of self-awareness and self-care.



Alexandra Negulescu

The Multi-Passionate Person | Yoga Teacher & Mindset Coach | I write about entrepreneurship and personal growth. Join 2,2k readers here →