This “self-care” stuff is getting a lot of attention lately, and I couldn’t be happier about it. And just because it may appear “trendy” doesn’t make it less valuable. I hope it gets more attention, gives people more ideas and makes it feel possible when we see our community and friends joining in! It’s helped keep it more top of mind for me, since honestly, self-care tends to fall by the wayside when it isn’t the basics of hygiene because I GET BUSY! And I know we can all fall into that sometimes. But, by prioritizing self-care slowly but surely, it’s majorly improved my health and sanity so I’m sharing my favorite self-care activities with you and hope it inspires you to try something new.
Self-care is a way to take time for yourself and to take part in any activity that makes you feel happy and relaxed or positively stimulated, and by practicing this regularly – it helps you with stress management/reduction, and to generally feel happier and healthier. This is nothing new, and it’s been around forever! Saunas, baths, and other self-care rituals can literally be traced back over hundreds of years into the beginnings of civilization. It’s not necessarily indulgent and certainly doesn’t have to cost money, but it does require you to put some time aside to really take care of yourself so you can take care of everything and everyone else! Sometimes it might be seen as selfish but I argue that without a healthy balance of self-care in your life, you’re simply not as equipped to be selfless for those around you. Think of it this way… if the plane loses pressure, you’re instructed to do what? Put the oxygen mask on your face FIRST before helping your neighbor. This is because if you pass out, there is no helping your neighbor.
And I find that for those who spend a ton of time working, taking care of others, or who simply aren’t comfortable with taking time for themselves… they need it the most or they only tend to do it when they’re at their most desperate. For example, I used to get massive shoulder pain from my desk job, poor posture, and overall working myself into a stressful state constantly. So only once it was finally unbearable pain, I’d run to get a massage, which only helped for a few hours before the pain returned. Only once I started implementing more self-care, walks throughout the day, a standing desk here and there, and some regular baths or sauna sessions did that pain really go away. I now see it’s because I let it get so bad and de-prioritized myself for so long that it needed to be integrated more regularly to actually make a difference. Self-care is the opposite of a magic pill, it’s a practice and is totally custom and personalized to everyone, and can constantly change based on your needs or preferences.
Timing-wise, I’d say everyone is different. Look at your schedule and determine how you can fit in a few minutes each day or more! And then perhaps weekly there’s something you can do for longer (like that bath or sauna sesh!). The more regularly we can incorporate this, the more balance we can strike with all the running around and stress we have constantly from our daily lives. It’s only fair, right? These things add up, so start small as comfortably as you can and identify what you’re already doing that counts as self-care! If you must… add time to the calendar, block it off, and that’s a great way to make it a priority and make sure it happens. Perhaps one day it won’t have to be as rigid or planned if you don’t like doing it that way, but if you’re struggling to get it in… it’s not a bad place to start.
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