Self-care is a topic that everyone is talking about. Whomever you talk to will have their own ideas about what self-care is and what you should be doing and why. However, if its not authentic to you then it defeats the purpose of self-care.
Self-care is easier said than done, especially for women and caregivers. Remember that if you aren’t taking care of yourself you can’t show up and take care of your team, family, friends, spouse etc.
What is self-care and why is it important?
Self-care is the simple taking care of yourself. This is activities that you do to fill your cup back up. How do you take care of yourself with the same passion and dedication as you do those around you. It is about finding pockets of time to prioritize yourself.
Self-care helps your overall mental and physical health. It can help relieve stress and anxiety and increase your energy. Practicing regular self-care can also help with your productivity and patience.
When you aren’t making time for self-care you may find yourself getting burnt out. This can affect your personal relationships as well as your professional life. Yes, sometimes it feels selfish to take time for yourself when there are things to do like laundry, dishes, email inbox clean up, etc. It’s time for a reframe.
Those things will ALWAYS be there! In fact, my biggest UGH is that no matter when I do laundry it’s never done. 😂 So let some of it go and make time for yourself.
What types of activities are considered self-care?
Here is where things get fun. Anything can be self-care if it refuels you. Of course people will have their own suggestions, even I have shared some in the past.
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made over time is that I’ve put self-care items on my list because gurus or people ahead of me have said that they have helped. This includes things like meditation, going to the gym or taking long walks, these don’t work for me. I know there is power in these things but for now they aren’t thinks that light me up.
I also haven’t given myself the permission to change what’s on my self-care list! Different seasons, different levels of stress, different periods of busy mean different levels of self-care. Ensure that you are changing up your self-care to meet you where you need it to.
How can you find the right self-care activities for you?
The first thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong when it comes to self-care. It’s about what gives you energy and fills your bucket. Personally, I always found that the big self-care items were easy for me but harder for. meto make time for. The quicker elements that I could do in the small pockets of time were harder for me to identify. I realized that if something wasn’t top of mind or in my face I would forget about them in the moments I needed them the most.
Here’s what I did.
I had a self-care sheet on my desk and my bed. These are the two places that made the most sense to me in my life. Anytime something popped into my brain I wrote it down. I gave myself a few weeks and just kept a running tab.
Then I took that list and got real with myself. Anything that I looked at and said. Ididn’t really want to do that I put a big ol’ fat red sharpie line through. Wasting your time on self-care that doesn’t fill your cup is totally the opposite of the point. Then Ibroke it down into the time that it takes to accomplish. Some items were big like spa days, date night, etc. Some were easier to do like play the piano, cook a fancy meal, or play a game for 15 minutes.
This allowed me to have activities that I could pull out when I needed them vs those that needed some additional planning.
Making time for self-care.
Regular self-care is critical. For me it falls into a few buckets. Time that is regularly scheduled to ensure I have built in time and activities that I can throw in in a pinch when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
My in a pinch list lives by my desk for me to reference at a moments notice. These are things that come out on days when I’m feeling overwhelmed and need to take a breath. This includes things like:
- taking a lunch break and eating away from my desk.
- laying on the ground on my back for 5 minutes.
- play a game on my phone for 15 minutes.
- play a song on the piano.
Scheduling time is also important and mom guilt is a real thing. This is what typically stopped me from taking time for myself. Have a conversation with your partner and let them know what you need, and let them know that carving time out for themselves is also a priority.
Figure out what works for you and put it on the calendar!
- time for the gym.
- monthly massages.
- weekly date nights.
- bi monthly girls night outs.
What gets scheduled gets done and that includes self-care!
The moral of the story is to do what works for you! Self-care is all about you and what you need to be the best version of yourself. Remember that its a practice so give yourself grace. Make it a priority and see how it impacts your productivity, mental health, and anxiety.