Self-Care Done Right: Learn What Makes Italian Self-Care So Effective

Self-care is all about looking after yourself and staying healthy, both physically and mentally. When you take care of yourself, you become more productive and confident. You also tend to be happier and more optimistic, allowing you to live in the moment and truly enjoy life.

For Italians, the phrase is la dolce vita, which means “the sweet life.” They believe that taking the time to enjoy things is vital in maintaining a happy existence.

In this post, we’re covering some self-care practices that the Italians observe and why they’re so effective and popular. Read on to learn what makes the Italian lifestyle such a timeless trend.

self care habits // prioritizing myself + nourishing my body by alia zaita

The Italian Wellness Philosophy

Italians have always known and understood that self-care is a necessity rather than a luxury. It’s that clear awareness of life’s need for balance that allows them to live well. This mentality ultimately runs through all aspects of their lives and activities—from wine drinking to socializing and, of course, leisure.

Learning From the Italians: 8 Self-Care Tips

1. Eat (and cook with) natural ingredients

Italians are generally known to eat and cook fresh, natural ingredients. They prefer to prepare homemade meals rather than order takeout. The flavor that stays with you after consuming an Italian dish comes from the skillful blend of authentic recipes harmonizing together to give you a blast of the Mediterranean diet.

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2. Drink your coffee in moderation

In Italy, a “coffee” is what others would call espresso—a tiny shot of black coffee. This contrasts the triple, soy, venti, no-foam lattes one might get at a regular coffee shop, which offers enough caffeine to feed, say, a group of six people. For Italians, moderation is key, and living is about enjoyment, not excess.

3. Savor some wine

There’s a famous Italian expression: il vino fa buon sangue. Literally translated, it means “good wine makes good blood.” Wine is not just considered a drink in Italy—it’s a part of the Italian culture. That’s why it’s common to see Italians savoring a glass or two during lunch and dinner. 

Although no research has established a cause-and-effect link between drinking alcohol and better heart health, several studies have found an association between wine and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

4. Take a walk

A cultural fixture in Italy is the principle of lo struscio, which means “the art of slow living.” It can refer to simply taking a walk, which is an art in itself in this European country.

In the evenings and on weekends, the main strada (or street) is closed to traffic so that people can stroll, enjoy the outdoors, and let go of the day’s worries. Lined with cafés, shops, and often a central park, the street itself becomes the social hub. Everyone comes out for a walk, stopping to have a chit-chat or grab an espresso. 

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5. Give leisure time a priority

In Italy, leisure time is taken very seriously. The average Italian puts in 36 work hours per week. National laws limit labor to 40 hours per week, with no more than eight additional overtime hours. Italians also get four weeks of paid vacation time per year, affording them enough time to relax so that they’ll come back feeling reinvigorated.

6. Get enough sleep

Italians practice getting a full night of beauty sleep. With complete night rest, the body gets the chance to recharge and repair damaged cells. If you can’t squeeze in the recommended 8 hours, find a moment in the day to slow down. The key is to pause and rest for a bit, just like what the Italians do.

7. Adopt a minimalist beauty routine

When it comes to skin care, Italians take a minimalistic approach and practice healthy habits. They stick to the essentials and ditch the 10-step regimen. They choose products that contain high-quality botanical ingredients, preferring those with oils that nourish and hydrate the skin.

8. Practice digital detox

There’s a reason digital detox was invented. In a society where technology and online information are making constant noise, going on hiatus mode is good for the soul. It gives you an opportunity to meet people, make new friends, and enrich your relationships—something that rarely happens if you’re always glued to your devices.

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Italians are not generally known to be big on social media. They put their phones away to connect and interact with the people around them. After all, a person who isn’t crouched over their device is easier to talk to than someone who is. 

Self-Care is a Necessity

Italians regard godimento or enjoyment as an essential part of life. They take the time to socialize and have fun because self-care is a necessity and not a luxury for them.

In dealing with day-to-day life, we can learn from the Italians. It would be nice to make it a habit to take a break and slow down for a moment. This is the secret of Italian beauty—learning how to have fun and live in the present