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Let me get straight to my point today. Even though our schedules are full and our time is limited, self care is really NOT optional. Keep reading to find out all about self care: exactly what self-care actually is, why is not optional, and how to weave it into your day.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is an intentional act that you do for yourself. It is an act that you do to care for or improve your mind, body or soul. In other words, it’s intentionally taking time to prioritize caring for your physical, emotional or mental well-being amidst the demands of life.
It ‘could’ be a big thing- like a week vacation away in some remote place that is quiet and serene. But really, how many of us have time for that? Or the money? But honestly, it isn’t really about the big things. It’s about the little things. It involves little activities and/or strategies that help reduce stress (remember your stress bucket?), promote relaxation, and maintain a healthy mindset.
Thankfully, self-care can also be a little thing – like listening to your favorite Spotify playlist, 5 minutes outside to feel the sun on your skin, a warm cup of tea at bedtime while reading your favorite book, or many other possibilities. It’s really just about being intentional to do something for yourself that you need.
Why Is Self-Care NOT Optional?
It’s more than beneficial. Self-care is as important as nutrition, hydration and rest. Self-care is crucial – for YOU and for the others in your life.
If you don’t take time to prioritize time for yourself and care for your own needs, you are using up all of your time and energy on others. This leads to burnout. And you know what? Once you hit burn-out, you won’t be able to take care of others either.
Self-care is a lot like that oxygen mask they tell you about on an airplane. In spite of others needing you, you have to put your own mask on first. Then you are capable of helping others with theirs. Without it?
Those that do not make time for self-care tend to be more
- tired and fatigued
- constantly stressed
- burned out
- sleep issues
- likely to experience headaches and pains
- likely to have difficulty with focus and productivity
- likely to have trouble at work and at home
- likely to experience less patience with others
The value of self care is that it replenishes your mind, your body and makes you more apt to be the kind of person you really want to be.
25 Easy Ways To Weave Self-Care Into Your Day
Too busy for self-care? Here’s some simple ways to weave a small action of self-care into your busy, hectic day.
- Make a gratitude list – try writing just three to five things you are grateful for at the end of your day instead of letting negative thoughts flood your mind.
- Listen to upbeat or relaxing music for just 5 minutes.
- No time? Play your absolute favorite music while making dinner or taking a warm shower.
- Sing your favorite song out loud while driving to work or the grocery store.
- Take five minutes to sit down and drink a cup of tea or coffee while doing nothing else but being mindful of the delicious beverage and appreciating the moment.
- Go for a walk over your lunch break or after dinner.
- Establish a morning routine that includes prayer and a few minutes of something else just for you.
- Listen to a meditation (“Insight Timer” or “Calm” are two free apps for meditations).
- Take an Epsom salt bath with soothing candlelight or a favorite book.
- Schedule a date night with your spouse, partner, or friends to connect without distractions.
- Whenever you are able spend thee to five minutes practicing deep breathing.
- Get a manicure or pedicure. No time or money? Give yourself a short one.
- Take a screen break . With this intention, turn your phone off for 30 minutes.
- Participate in a yoga class or another class just for you.
- Write in a journal for five minutes.
- Read a book for 20 minutes or a time you can manage.
- Go to bed 15 minutes early.
- Schedule a daily workout time for yourself- even if it’s only 5 minutes.
- Allow yourself time to watch your favorite Netflix show at least once a week.
- Find time to walk in nature.
- Bake YOUR favorite kind of cookies. It’s okay if you share them – as long as you are picking YOUR favorite for YOU.
- Start a new hobby for yourself.
- Buy or pick yourself flowers or a new plant to keep somewhere noticeable to remind yourself you deserve self-care!
- Buy yourself new sheets or something to make bedtime more cozy and lovely.
- Take 10 minutes to call up a friend and reconnect (introverts can text instead if you need!).
Self Care Summary
In the event that you are feeling overwhelmed in thinking about how to prioritize your own self-care, I suggest choosing just one or two simple things from the above list.
Pick ones that are short and easy. Work on incorporating at least one of these into each day, picking a time that is a bit more flexible for you whether that be your morning, afternoon or evening.
Once you establish that time of doing just that one or two things each day, notice the difference that it makes. Then, if you possibly can, try to incorporate just one more into anther part of your day.
Feel free to improvise. Obviously not everyone can do everything on the list as written. Can’t attend a yoga class or spend 30 minutes? Spend 5 minutes at home with yoga on Youtube. Can’t buy new sheets? Buy a delicious chocolate bar at the beginning of the week and enjoy a small square each night before bed to reward yourself of even thinking about self-care. Improvise to your heart’s content.
Just do it.
I can’t wait to hear what tips you like, which you already practice and which you are going to try. Besides those listed here, if you have more tips, be sure to share with us in the comment section below!