Self-care is a tricky thing. I’m not talking about general hygiene type stuff, I’m talking about taking the time to slow down and take care of our bodies and minds. Allowing them to rest so that we can recharge in order to be the best version of ourself. Most of us understand how important this is, but somehow lots of different things still get in the way. Some of us end up feeling guilty if we’re doing nothing. In a world where everyone is go go go, it’s easy to feel like we’re lame if we aren’t doing something productive or “cool”. When we look at relaxing in this way, we can never fully enjoy it and experience the benefits. Some of us are just so incredibly busy that we use our spare time to hang out with family/friends, run errands, or get extra work/chores done… never stopping to breathe.
This is exactly why I wanted to write a post on prioritizing self-care. We know what it means to slow down and take care of ourselves… the problem lies in the fact that we often fail to make time for it. It seems weird, putting so much thought into something as simple as relaxing. But the more intentional we are about it and the more we prioritize it, the more ‘productive’ our times of self-care actually get and the better we end up feeling as a result.
Find out what brings YOU peace and rest.
Before you can start making time for self-care, you need to know what it’s going to look like. Take some time to think about what leaves you feeling the most peaceful, rested, and re-energized. Remember that this looks differently for everyone! Below are a few examples you might find enjoyable. If you aren’t used to prioritizing self-care, try out a couple and see which ones you like best!
- Read for an hour in a cozy spot. Burn a candle, grab some tea.
- Go for a walk without your phone.
- Spend some time binge-watching your favorite show, and don’t feel guilty about it.
- Take a yoga class.
- Sleep in!
- Go to your favorite place (the beach, your front porch, a restaurant) and just sit. Observe. No phone, nothing!
- Say “no” when someone asks you to do something, and instead spend time alone.
- Bake or cook while listening to music.
- Take a hot bath. Add epsom salt or essential oils to the water for extra benefits! Enjoy some wine or tea & your favorite snack.
If you choose one of the things above that you think is “cooler” than the others, you aren’t doing it right. You won’t reap as many benefits as you will if you pick the one that does the most magic for YOU. What’s relaxing for one person might not be as relaxing for someone else.
Set aside time for self-care.
Actually write it out in your planner or calendar: Sleep in on Saturday. Yoga on Monday at 7:30pm. Read for an hour Thursday night. Whatever it is, schedule time each week that is specifically for these things that make you feel relaxed and happy. And whether it’s the same day and time each week or different, be sure to set yourself up for success. Choose a time when you’re less likely to be interrupted. Stick to it, for yourself. Prioritizing self-care will actually help you be a better friend, mom, daughter, employee, whatever. As we hear all the time, we have to love ourselves (which requires taking care of ourselves) before we can fully love others.
Remember it’s ok to start small.
You don’t need to have an hour or two of down-time in order to focus on self-care. Don’t put that pressure on yourself! Self-care is in the little things too. Taking even just 10-15 minutes a day to slow down will really pay off. Sit down and enjoy your breakfast or coffee without distractions. Take 15 minutes to read each night before bed instead of scrolling through social media. Small changes can have a huge impact!
Set some intentions for your chill time.
Decide what the intent of your relaxation activity (or non-activity) is going to be. Before you jump right into it, think about what the purpose is behind it. Are you wanting to use the time to completely shut-off all worries from the outside world? Or are you wanting to quietly brainstorm for a project you’re working on? Maybe you want to pray or meditate. No matter what your intention is, just try your hardest to stick to it. Stay mindful and keep your thoughts calm, focused solely on what you’re doing.
Making time for self-care can be extremely hard when we live busy lives. Remind yourself daily of how important it is and don’t forget to set aside time to chill.
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