Self-care is much more than simply pampering yourself. It’s you taking care of you. Think of all the things on a daily basis most of us do for others. Work duties, chores at home, family time… etc. Sure, the paycheck is probably important, but that report you run every week and turn over to upper management isn’t for you.
Taking care of a sink full of dishes or keeping up with the laundry isn’t exactly something most of us like to do either. Raising children and caring for family members is sometimes more like a job and less enjoyable at times as well.
Self-care is about you, but not only. Unless you are living on a desert island, almost certainly someone else, or many others, depend on you in some way for support. This may be very practical, as in physical or financial. Or it may be emotional or social support.
The point is, we cannot support others as we need to or would like to if we are struggling to keep our heads figuratively above water.
Self-Care Helps Reduce and Contain Stress
It’s during times of increased stress we absolutely cannot turn a blind eye to self-care. If we are sick, how can we take care of others? If we are worn out and exhausted from working 50-60 hours a week, how can we be productive in any other aspect of our lives? That’s not living; that’s existing.
And that is why self-care is extremely important.
When was the last time you did something just for you? Self-care is important during stressful time, as stated above, but we shouldn’t stop there. That’s like ignoring the temperature gauge on an overheating vehicle. If you wait too long to address the cooling system, the whole thing shuts down, the car overheats.
And you’re stuck on the side of the road in a cloud of smoke waiting for roadside assistance and a tow truck. Proper maintenance is key.
Simple Self-Care Ideas
This is a win-win situation here. In practicing self-care, you get to enjoy a little pampering, take better care of yourself (inside and out), and reap the many benefits like those listed above. There really isn’t a downside to self-care.
Here are a few simple self-care ideas to help you get started:
A walk, jog or run being mindful of being outdoors and all its beauty
A 5- or 10-minute morning meditation to get the day started on the right foot
Eat something green every day
Write in a journal
Read an inspirational book
Join a fitness class; yoga, Pilates, Zumba, spin, etc.
Get a massage
Get a manicure and/or pedicure, or do it yourself
Zone out in a bubble bath with candles and soft music
Listen to your favorite playlist, podcast or audiobook
Get out with friends for drinks and a painting class
Take a pottery class
Start and nurture a small garden; daily watering the plants, weeding, etc.
Self-care is limitless and it’s as individual as you. If rom-com is your thing and helps you stop overthinking and relaxes you, go for it. If you’d rather go hiking to get centered and feel like one with nature, be you. Whatever your heart desires. This is about feeding your soul so you can be the best version of you.