#192: Conversations on Self-Care in English [Phrasal Verbs, Idioms, & Collocations]
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.
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Hi Annemarie, Thanks a lot for your weekly lessons. At the beginning of the lockdown, when we were not even allowed to go out for a walk, I became almost unable to do it, due to severe backache. So, over the last six months, I’ve started to prioritize self-care by including 30 minutes a day in my schedule to do exercise series or, altenatively, going out for a walk. This commitment has improved not only my physical state but also my mental health. One of the decisions that I made intentionally and that I’ve never regreted for, is to unplug… Read more »
Thanks so much for sharing, Carmen! I’m very glad to hear you’ve found ways to take care of yourself and I loved the examples you shared with vocabulary from this lesson. Nicely done!
Hi Anna- Thanks for the good video on selfcare.
my favorite verb is – technology detox.
So glad you’ve learned something new!
Thank you for your time and of course lessens:).
My favorite idiom – to spread my time too thin.
Glad you found a new idiom, Anna!
My favourite expression is ” worn down”.
I work as an early childcare and I love my job, I start every day full of energy and happiness, but at the end of the day I always feel worn down so I take an hour of self-care doing yoga at home.
Hi Sonia, I’m glad you found a new phrasal verb and you used it perfectly.
Hi AnneMarie, Thank you for today’s lesson. Here are my answers to your questions: 1) I’ve lost my job due to the pandemic. I’m currently utilizing my time to do some online courses to improve my business skills, brushing up my English language fluency by watching your videos and I’ve started practicing meditation regularly! I feel a lot more peaceful, calm and mindful of my thoughts and action. There’s been a significant improvement in my overall well-being and I’m better able to manage the day-to-day stress. 2) I’ve yet to try a proper digital detox! However, I’ve intentionally put my… Read more »
Hi Siti, what wonderful examples!! It sounds like you’re making the best of a bad situation and have found multiple ways to practice self-care. I’m so glad to hear that and that you’ve found a more calm, peaceful mindset. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks Annemarie, I really appreciate your effort in making so much needed videos such as this one.
I have been taking advantage of the quarantine and learned my self how to schedule some me time and it incredibly helped me to love my self also protected me from spreading my self too thin as I used to do.
Hi Nada, I’m so glad to hear you’ve been able to create a self-care routine during quarantine. It definitely does help to boost our spirits.
Hi Annemarie, Thank you so much for your great video. it comes just on time and makes me want to do the “digital detox’ more and more..
Thanks for sharing your experience xox
I’m glad it was a helpful lesson, Omnia. Have you tried a digital detox yet?
Thank you Annemarie for your excellent video, very helpful lesson as always.
For years I spread myself too thin, till I got worn down. Now I’ve an endless laundry list of obligations.
I started exercising twice a day, since the pools are closed now. I unplugged myself from TV.
Instead I’m concentrating on my studying to be on the top of my game. I’d like to manage my time and prioritize my tasks. Also I’ve some ‘me’ time for myself to FT my children and my grandchildren.
Thanks again for your time and patience. God bless.
I’m thrilled this lesson was helpful, Nasrin. And good work with some of the next language such as ‘spread yourself too thin’ and having “a laundry list of obligations.’ I hope you find some opportunities to practice self-care!
Hi Annemarie. Thank you not only for your effort to improve my poor english, but also to take care of each of us. I often feel worn down, but it is right and beautiful to believe in one’s own means to bring something new to the world
Hi Tommaso, I hope you’ve found ways to take care of you, especially when you’re feeling worn down!
Thank you very much Annemarie, this lesson is so helpful. What interesting and current climate topic ? 1 )After years of working overtime, i was feeling worn down ,so in 2020 I made a breakthroug and i started a self routine. Every morning i practice face’s yoga and work out, it allows me to boost my well being and feel relaxed . 2) Unfortunately i’ve never taken time to unplug from technology (even for 48 hours) because my familly live abroad. But i sinserely believe that benefits might be incredible : well-being and especially reconnection with yourself. 3)To be on… Read more »
I’m thrilled that you found this lesson useful, Yaroslava, and I love your examples. It sounds like you have some good self-care routines in place and you’ve found ways to prioritize ‘me’ time.
Thank you so mach for sharing with us this video. I think after Covid 19 people are all feel worn down and need self care. I can not practice technology toxic because I live abroad, and this the only way to contact my family.
Hi Zeinab, I’m so glad this lesson was helpful. And you’re right, we really need to find ways to take care of ourselves right now. Like you, removing technology from my life is difficult. But I’m learning to reduce my social media time and time spent reading the news. Have you find ways to practice self care?
Hi Annemarie. What’s the difference between these two phrasal verbs–worn out and worn down? How to use these in a sentence? PLease help. Thanks!
Great question, Katherine. There are very similar and could even be used as synonyms. However, in my opinion, I consider ‘to be worn down’ to be a stronger feeling of fatigue.
To feel worn out might be to feel tired after difficult work out or a long day at work.
However, when I hear that someone feels worn down, it seems more significant. A fatigue that comes from weeks and weeks of difficulty, fatigue, etc.
I hope that helps.
Hi Annemarie, Thank you for being on top of your game again! I think I’m a person that can boost my well-being, however, I haven’t made any conscious efforts to do it. Over the last few months, being locked down, I prioritized self-care by doing more yoga practice and meditations, so I managed to schedule my “me” time. Moreover, there appeared to be so many negative inputs that should’ve been reduced. Personally, I’m not good at spreading myself too thin but I’ve experienced having an endless laundry list of to-do items, and then I felt eroded/worn down. Unfortunately, I have… Read more »
What a kind comment. Thank you, Gherghana! I’m glad to hear that you’ve found opportunities to prioritize self-care recently with yoga and meditation.
With family living abroad, it would certainly be harder to give up technology because it’s always what brings us the joy of staying in touch. I hope you’ll continue to find other ways to create some ‘me’ time for yourself.
Thank you Annemarie and your whole team for this amazing video, and the idioms and phrasal verbs you’ve shared with us. They are so useful. You know, in early 2020, I had a laundry list of desires, plans, and things I wanted to do this year. In fact, I used to spread myself thin, thinking I could do it all. 😁 But, as we commonly say, nobody knows tomorrow and this pandemic came around and definitely tried to wear us all down. Thankfully, I believe with self care and prioritization of what should be our credo moving forward, we will… Read more »
What thoughtful comments, Junior! Thanks for sharing.
Like you, so many of us have felt our lives upended by the pandemic. But there will be an end to it and I’m certain you’ll be able to continue moving forward on your goals and dreams.
I’m glad you’ve found new ways to occupy your time and do things that you enjoy.
Thank you for this lesson, i love it!
Self care is the most important action that we get in our life.
Until 10 year ago, I prioritized my ” me time” and in particullary, from genuary 2019.
Infact, i introduced in my life a amagic morning routine with jogging, meditation and writing a gratitudine diary.
The beneficts of this practice are: resilience, precence and best performance in my game.
Hi Cinzia, I’m thrilled to know you enjoyed this lesson and are passionate about self-care. If you’ve been following a specific routine since January 2019, then you definitely have a strong practice in place! And I love the words you’ve identified as positive benefits, such powerful traits!
i am regularly following your vlogs….they are very helpful thanks
Glad to hear it, Irfan. Thanks for watching.