Today we are talking about self-care, what it is and isn’t. Ways you can practice self-care, why it’s important etc.
So, self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.
Taking an active role in protecting your own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
To break it down a little further:
Self-care is anything we purposely do to take care of our mental, physical and emotional health. It’s often overlooked which then affects our relationship with ourselves and other people. It can also be a positive band-aid solution for depression, anxiety, and other mental and physical ailments.
The reason I say "band-aid" is because you should still seek professional help when you can. But it can definitely help in the interim time when you aren't seeing a therapist or some other professional for your ailments.
So now for what self-care is not and I think it's very important to point this point out so that people are further damaging themselves in the name of Self-care.
So 1st and foremost self-care isn't a selfish act so don't let guilt deter you from taking care of yourself you can't pour from an empty cup. All in all, it should not feel like a sacrifice or having to choose between one thing or another. Self-care should be something that you always make time for.
Self-care also shouldn't be a burden it shouldn't be something that you have to drag yourself to do it should just be in your regular routine and for the preservation of your overall health.
Some easy forms of self-care that don’t require much thought can be things like:
Self-expression: singing, dancing, writing, painting, photography
You can also do things like making a healthy meal, meal prepping for the upcoming week, enjoying a Cup of tea, meditation, taking a nap, looking for reasons to laugh.
Self-care can also include making a list of habits that you'd like to change or things you'd like to stop doing because they don't serve you anymore. This could be things like not being on the phone after a certain time at night or not being on the phone or watching TV while you enjoy a meal, not staying up to ridiculous hours at night but I'm being hypocritical and adding this to the list because last night I was up till 3 am watching YouTube videos.
Now let’s unpack that. That's the perfect example of what not to do when trying to implement a self-care routine because while I enjoy watching YouTube videos and I enjoy the quietness of staying up late at night it’s not good for my health to not get any sleep.
If you dig further into this one, seemingly harmless activity. After staying up till 3:00 AM watching YouTube videos I then have to wake up at no later than 8:00 AM because my son is up and then I now have an attitude with my son and my cats for no reason other than that I'm tired because I chose to stay up till 3:00 AM watching YouTube videos.
OK so triggered, moving on: a few other things to add to your routine would be spending time with people you love, exercising and that does not mean you need to join a gym you can just take a walk around your neighborhood or at your favorite park go hiking do some yoga there are plenty of free yoga videos really great yoga videos on YouTube.
Also, self-care can include making and keeping up with your medical appointments. Constantly checking in with yourself and making sure you're not ignoring those little aches and pains.
Moving on to implementing, pretty much start with the idea that self-care is what's going to help you live a balanced life
First things first keep it simple. Make a list of things that already bring you joy but that aren't toxic.
From that list, you can start to form your own rhythm and routine and be able to implement it into your daily life.
You making that list is the first step to self-care because self-care needs to be something that you actively plan for yourself not something that just happens when you have some free time. While making your list be aware of how the activity is making you feel while you do it and how you feel afterward.
Lastly, consider the spaces that you spend the most time in meaning your home in your work.
If you live in an environment where you don't have much control over the design aspects any little thing helps put on a Himalayan salt lamp beside your bed a diffuser and diffuser favorite scent mine is lavender.
If you do have control, however, take some design tests online and see what aesthetic you want to create inside of your home.
For example, my room has a kind of bohemian vibe going there are tapestries everywhere, everywhere there are rugs all over the floor I have hella blankets and pillows my room is very soft and noise dampening and at night I rarely turn on the big light on the ceiling. I usually have my fairy lights on or some low light situation and I have my room set up in a way where I could have had the most stressful day ever but all I had to do was walk into my room and into instant weight lifted off my shoulders and then up with lavender in the diffuser and it's a rap and I'm good for the rest of the night!
Hopefully, this helps you make more time for yourself!