Self-care is SO necessary, but definitely is NOT one size fits all. For many, it can be as simple as taking a night off to sip wine in a cozy bathrobe. But the reality is that self-care can be a little more complicated than that. All of us have different parts of ourselves that we need to nurture (and therefore need different methods of carrying out this care). One size doesn’t (and shouldn’t) fit all.
Not Just a Face Mask
I’m not sure when “self-care” became synonymous with “face-mask”, but I think many of us tend to think of the cliche bubble bath, pedicure, face mask, or other stereotypical things we have seen in media. In reality, self-care doesn’t have to be anything like this!
To me, self-care is something that you can do to form a better relationship with yourself and to cradle and nurture your soul and spirit. It’s being a good friend to yourself and to your inner child.
While face masks actually do help me to personally wind down and take the time to relax, I wanted to offer you a few more ideas that can help you with your relationship with yourself— these are some of my faves:
+ go for walk around a different neighborhood
+ listen to a podcast and educate yourself on a new topic!
+ make a new recipe
+ work on a home project
+ learn a new skill on YouTube
+ take a class— art, language, dance, pottery, etc.
It’s Okay to Say No
I’ve always had the type of personality to put others first and struggled when I realized it’s important to sometimes put what you want ahead of what others want from you. I know I’m not alone in this. Self-care might also mean setting boundaries, and learning that it’s okay to say no to requests you aren’t comfortable with (or don’t want to do). It can also mean saying yes to new experiences and expanding yourself outside of your comfort zone.
In the past year, I’ve really prioritized my mental health. In doing so, I learned the power of saying “no” to plans or requests when I just don’t have the energy. Just because something is on your to-do list, doesn’t mean it necessarily needs to get done right this second. It’s a hard lesson to learn, especially when you have an entrepreneurial spirit. For my small businesses, there’s really a never-ending list of tasks to get done and in the past, I’d forego my self-care to get things done for my businesses.
The Power of Rest
But I’ve really realized in the past few months, that often the most productive and best thing you can do for yourself is rest. Our culture will tell you that rest is the absence of work but I believe that could not be further from the truth. Rest is an essential component of working well and smartly. Recuperate and return to your tasks when you feel up to it. And this includes social plans, too! As the world seems like its opening back up, don’t feel pressure to expend energy if you’re just not interested. It’s not selfish, or rude… but rather a way of protecting your boundaries, energy levels and taking care of YOU 🧡
Creating Routines as an Act of Self-Care
The human body thrives on routine. Whether you like to admit it or not, your body craves repetition and regulation. One of the best ways I’ve found to practice my self-care is to add journaling and meditation to my morning routine. I wake up and, before checking my phone, am able to make myself feel happy, balanced, and stress-free before I begin my day. If journaling and meditation aren’t for you, consider other options for your morning routine. Movement, making your bed, a skincare routine… anything and everything that makes you feel your best before diving into your day!