#192: Conversations on Self-Care in English [Phrasal Verbs, Idioms, & Collocations]

by | Nov 4, 2020 | 22 comments

If the ongoing pandemic, talk of new lockdowns and second waves, or news of protests, elections, fires, and more has you feeling overwhelmed, then it may be time to prioritize self-care.

I’m certain you’ve had conversations with friends and family members on how to cope with anxiety and stress. In today’s Confident English lesson, I want to help you successfully talk about self-care in English with the same phrasal verbs, idioms, and collocations you might hear other English speakers use.

Now more than ever self-care is a hot topic of conversation and a matter of urgency.

To best care for ourselves and the people around us, we need to take care of our emotional, mental, and physical health. And that is what self-care is all about.

In this lesson, you’ll gain advanced-level vocabulary to successfully talk about:

  • What self-care is and what it means to you
  • The benefits of self-care
  • How to develop a self-care practice
  • When to know it’s time to prioritize self-care

After you watch, I’d love for you to practice! In the video, I have 3 questions for you. You can share your answers in the comments section below.

Conversations on Self-Care in English — Advanced Vocabulary

Including Self-Care in Your Daily Life

Review and practice the following collocations used when talking about starting a self-care practice. 

  • To practice self-care
  • To develop a self-care practice
  • To be intentional/proactive about self-care
  • To take care of yourself daily

Highlight the Benefits of Self-Care

  • Boost your well-being
    • Well-being is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and the ability to manage stress
  • Reconnect with yourself and with others
  • Reassess what’s working/not working in your life
  • Reduce anxiety and tension/increase joy
  • Reduce the pressure to always be on top of your game
    • To be on top of your game is an idiom used to express the ability to always perform at your highest level.

How to Implement Self-Care into Your Routine

  • Make a conscious effort to do things you love/that bring you joy
  • Reduce negative inputs (news, social media, etc.)
  • Unplug from technology 
  • Do a digital detox
    • Digital detox: a period of time during which a person stops/avoids using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.
  • Take a self-care or mental health day
  • To schedule some ‘me’ time
  • To create a no list*

*Learn to Say No Politely, Without Feeling Guilty

How to Know When It’s Time to Prioritize Self-Care

  • You’ve spread yourself thin. (Idiom)
    • This idiom means to try to do too many things at the same time so that you cannot give enough time or attention to any of them.
    • Example 1: After years of spreading herself too thin at work, she finally decided to resign from the company rather than continue to put her health at risk.
    • Example 2: Next week I’m taking a couple of days off work because I’ve been spreading myself too thin over the past month.
  • You’ve worn yourself down. (Phrasal Verb)
    • To wear down is a phrasal verb that means to erode, to weaken, to fatigue.
    • Example 1: After several weeks of working overtime, I felt worn down.
    • Example 2: Many of us are feeling worn down by the COVID 19 pandemic and are struggling to prepare for another lockdown.
  • You have a laundry list of obligations.
    • To have a laundry list of something means to have a long list of to-do items
    • Example 1: One benefit of self-care is the ability to better handle a laundry list of obligations.

In today’s lesson, I asked you 3 questions. I’d love for you to practice.

1. In 2020, have you started a self-care routine? If so, how have you prioritized self-care?

2. Have you taken time to unplug from technology or do a digital detox? If so, what were the benefits?

3. What is your favorite new collocation, phrasal verb, or idiom from today’s lesson? Try using it in your own example.

As always, you can share with me in the comments below. It’s the best way to practice, get feedback, and learn from others in the Confident English Community.

~ Annemarie

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