Self-Care can be a natural, unconscious practice much of the time, since pleasure seeking is an innate urge. But not every pleasurable experience is self-care or healthy for us. Practicing self-care on a conscious level allows us to be aware of our needs and our physiological and spiritual responses. Consider the last purposeful form of self-care that you carried out. How did you feel during? Afterward? Did it go as planned or was there an unexpected effect?
Mindfulness involves being able to identify moments that are stressful, and paying attention to any physiological response you may experience during that event. What thoughts cross your mind while you are in the midst of unpleasantness? What sort of self-talk do you use? Becoming more mindful can require practice. Journaling is an important technique that can get you acquainted with the process, in addition to being a helpful coping skill for many. Mindfulness can help us notice things that we weren't processing before, and can lead to acknowledging feelings and responses that may not be healthy. If you are aware of negative self-talk, for example, you can then be conscious of it when it happens in the future and start countering those thoughts with positive statements. A common practice in cognitive training is avoiding negative thinking traps (I never, I hate, I can't... etc). You manifest what you speak and you believe what you tell yourself! Yes, this is all self-care. Mindfulness practice is also great for those that struggle with anxiety. I will cover mindfulness as a whole in the near future, and will provide resources related to it. There's much to cover in mindfulness.
Make a conscious effort toward self-care and awareness. Self-care does not have to be the same repetitive form, and in some cases, it could be something you want to make a regular practice (ex: meditation before bed, carrying essential oils at work). Keep in mind that pleasure does not always mean self-care. Are you indulging in something that's toxic for you? Spending too much time with negative people? Self-care comes in many forms and has a whole-person impact; mind, body, soul. So take care and be mindful.
Here is an easily accessible and affordable book on Mindfulness: Mindfulness by Tessa Watt
Feel free to comment ways that you practice self-care and mindfulness.