It seems only fitting to follow up my post about the glorification of being busy with a post all about self-care. Do you see a theme here? I think many of us would be much better off if we took more time to slow down and show ourselves some love.
I truly believe that self-care is incredibly important. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is. It took me a long time to really swallow this truth – if you don’t take care of yourself first, there is no way you can fully be there for others. Without filling up your own cup, you’ll never be able to give the best version of yourself to other people. I spent far too long always putting myself last on the list, but still never feeling like I was doing enough. I wasn’t happy. It wasn’t until I learned to put myself on that list as well that I was finally able to be the best version of myself, which in turn allowed me to have a much more impactful, positive effect on others.
Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated or extravagant. Sure, it can be something exciting like treating yourself to a spa day, but it can also be something incredibly simple, like curling up in your bed with a mug of tea and listening to a good song. It can be taking 30 seconds to close your eyes and breathe deeply. There’s no right or wrong way to do it – it’s just about finding what works for you.
That’s an important piece, though. Just because someone else says doing this or that is their favorite form of self-care doesn’t mean it has to be yours. Social media has glamorized self-care, but that doesn’t mean that the only way to treat yourself is by doing something you can take a pretty picture of. If that’s truly what you like to do, then go for it. If getting cupping done or taking a bath isn’t your jam, though, that’s okay too. The whole point is to do something that makes your soul happy, and your soul is different than anyone else’s. Because of that, remember that you can always think outside of the box. Maybe playing Nintendo makes you happy. Maybe cleaning makes you happy. Maybe wearing flannel pajamas makes you happy. There are a lot of things that people don’t think of as self-care that really are. I consider drinking out of my favorite mug to be self-care. Whatever it is that gives you good vibes, do it.
A lot of us feel guilty about self-care. Maybe we feel like we don’t have the time, or maybe we feel like we don’t deserve it. Maybe we feel like we have to wait for it. While it’s great to plan out some time for self-care in the future (weekend plans?!), why wait? Why aren’t we doing something to show ourselves love every single day? You don’t have to accomplish anything to deserve it. You always deserve to take care of yourself. Do something for yourself every single day.
About a year ago, I started writing that sentence in my weekly planner on my weekly to-do list, and it increased my happiness levels monumentally. “Do something for yourself every day.” Whenever I saw it on my to-do list, it forced me to remember to do something, no matter how “small,” for myself. Sometimes it was watching 10 minutes of a TV show, other times it was painting my nails, others it was going on a walk, and others it was just going to bed early. It taught me that I didn’t have to wait around for the weekend to put a face mask on. If I wanted to do it, I just did it – I didn’t have to “earn” anything or wait for it. It was one of the best lessons I ever taught myself, and I haven’t stopped that practice since.
My challenge for you is to do the same. I’m really excited because this week, a few other amazing bloggers and I are putting on a self-care challenge that we want everyone to join in on. All of the details are on our Instagram accounts, but here’s the gist. For the next 7 days, we are challenging ourselves to deepen our self-care practices, and we want you to do the same. Who doesn’t want to #sinkintosavasana?! Each day, one of us will share our favorite self-care practice to help give you some ideas of ways to show yourself some love.
We’ve also partnered up with some amazing brands to give away 6 prizes to 6 different winners at the end of the week. Saje Wellness, Franklin & Whitman, Asha Patel Designs, Samaya Life, Loving Earth, Addictive Wellness, and Happiness Planner are all on board with us, and it’s going to be amazing. To enter, you just have to share your self-care practice on Instagram during the week, tag the hosts, and use #sinkintosavasana. We’ll be reposting as many as we can! The full details are on all of our Instagram accounts, so be sure to check out all of the lovely ladies I’ve teamed up with on this – @justdimpleit, @laurenbonjiorno, @gofitjo, @veggiekins, and @omandthecity. They all have amazing tips to share this week, so I’m extra excited for the challenge to officially start!
We’re officially doing this challenge for a week, but the whole idea is to just get you started with a practice. A small step. We hope you try it this week, but continue it long after. Self-care should never end.
Even though I am a huge believer in self-care, I have to put a disclaimer on this. These self-care practices are only a stepping stone to something greater. Small acts of self- care won’t solve all of your problems or heal your life. However, self-care will teach you to value yourself, and it will slow you down enough to do something that makes you feel happy in the moment. It’s the little happy moments strung together that create an overall happy life.
Beyond that, it can also help you slow down enough to really reflect and realize what you truly need on a deeper level. Doing a face mask is a fun way to show yourself self-care, but it’s not really about the face mask itself. The point is taking the time to choose YOU. We tend to put others before ourselves. Choosing YOU in a simple way, like doing your nails or going on a walk, is a step toward making greater life changes where you choose yourself on a much deeper level. It’s easier to get a massage than it is to quit a job where you’re underappreciated and getting bullied by your boss. It’s easier to take a bath than it is to break up with a guy who you thought you loved but finally realized is holding you back. It’s easier to light some candles and play a good song than it is to admit that you feel like an outsider in your family. Small self-care acts are easier, but every little step counts. Your minute-long meditation might eventually turn into a 20-minute meditation that eventually gives you the courage to stand up for yourself when it really counts. You never know.
Let’s get back to the simple things. Recently, I literally put a sticky note up on my wall (because I create sticky notes for everything), and I titled it “Self Care.” I wrote down a bunch of things that I like to do for myself, so that whenever the moment strikes, I can just look at my list. I think that’s a problem many of us run into – we run out of ideas of things to do. I thought I’d share some of my favorite forms of self-care with you, just to give you some ideas of things that work for me. I’m sure you’re already used to hearing me talk about a lot of these, and I’ll continue to do them this week! Some might be a surprise, though…
- Daily strolls outside. Beach walks if I can.
- Daily affirmations.
- Cooking myself a nice meal.
- Watching a chick flick.
- Watching a no-thinking TV show.
- Reading a book before bed.
- Doing a face mask.
- Painting my nails or getting them done.
- Getting a massage and/or facial.
- Listening to a good podcast.
- Calling a friend.
- Wearing my Disneyland T-shirt and leggings.
- Wearing my silky red Christmas PJs (they are truly straight out of The Santa Clause.)
- Online “window” shopping (otherwise I would be broke!).
- Diffusing essential oils.
- Lighting a yummy candle.
- Listening to my favorite throwbacks. AKA, original Taylor Swift.
- Listening to / reading / watching Harry Potter.
- Throwing on a good song and having a quick dance break.
- Playing with makeup.
- Closing my eyes and breathing deeply when I’m stressed.
- Going to the movies.
- Perusing the grocery store for fun.
- Looking at restaurants on Yelp!
- Looking through old pictures.
- Having a warm mug of tea.
- Nerdy google searches on obscure nutrition topics.
To wrap it up, though, I want to share some new things I’m going to focus on this week to show myself self-care. These are things I want to work on, and I’m going to try my hardest to make it happen this week.
- Focus on one thing at a time.
- Only answer messages during dedicated times.
- Write in my self-awareness planner every day.
- Journal each night before I go to bed.
- Put away my phone an hour before bed.
Now, I want to hear from you – what’s your favorite form of self-care?