Self-care is NOT all bubble baths and manicures. Self-care goes way beyond that, and this is the core piece.
Self-care is ultimately about living a life you don't need an escape from. A life where you are not dreading your drive to work, your job, your routine, your social life, your home, etc.
When you are living intentionally, it means you are taking advantage of all the moments in your life, including things like driving to work. It means you are embracing those moments as opportunities to be intentional and incorporate your values where they matter most.
A person who lives consistently with their values is someone who says no to things that aren't in line with their best life. It is a person who says no to social gatherings that don't bring them joy. A person who doesn't live on auto-pilot and doesn't waste precious moments of their lives on things that don't add value to their life or feed their spirit.
This type of self-care is DIFFICULT. It requires discipline and often it requires confronting pain that is ultimately better for you in the long run, even though it may not be easy.
Of course, this doesn't mean you always say no and will never have to do things you don't want to. It means intentionally making choices about your habits and behaviors and knowing that when you do have to do things you might not want to, that it is a part of the bigger picture and leads you to the things you value most.