Self-care is the ability to give yourself what you need, when you need it, so you feel fulfilled and energized to tackle the day. It’s the epitome of #adulting, and most of us are really bad at it.
We tend, myself included, to prioritize other people’s demands, before attending to our own basic needs like sleep and personal development. We find excuses to justify our actions:
- I’m too busy. Jr. needs help with homework, Fido has to get to the vet, there are deadlines at work and house chores are piling on top of one another.
- People need me. I promised I would do this before tomorrow.
- Or the more sarcastic, I’m fine, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
The truth is, deep down we probably think self-care is selfish or not as important as other stuff.
But guess what? You can’t give to others when your tank is empty. And even though self-care might feel like indulging, it’s essential.
Like anything else, taking care of yourself can be planned and organized so you actually integrate it into your routine.
It’s Valentine’s Day, so treat your loved ones, but also Treat Yo Self! Here’s how.
7 Self-care Ideas to Explore
2. I’m good at planning and organizing; that’s what I do for a living. Sometimes though, I get tired of planning non-stop at work, so I let things slide at home. It’s the case of the proverbial poorly shod shoemaker (Cordonnier mal chaussé en français). That’s why I love this statement by Annie Traurig from Live Simply: “From this day forward, consider yourself your own VIP client“; or in other words: Don’t give so much to others, that you don’t have any energy left for yourself. A simple yet powerful concept!
3. Take it from a successful entrepreneur and best-selling author Kris Carr, self-care can be planned and she has a planner to prove it. Take a look at how she lists what self-care is to her and what it isn’t. Writing down your own list could help you define what works for you, with the time you have and the energy you are willing to devote to yourself. See my own list below.
4. That said, self-care doesn’t have to be grandiose, especially if you feel overwhelmed. You can start with just a few minutes a day. Try one of these Tiny 45 Practices for a Healthy Life from Tiny Buddha.
5. Convinced it’s time to pamper yourself, but don’t have time or money for a spa-day just yet? Here are 10 Luxurious DIY Spa Recipes Using Things You Already Own from the Apartment Therapy (FYI only the first 8 links work).
6. However, if you want to ease into small changes, Marie Forleo has a few strategies to combat that sense of rushing through your life. She says: “Ask yourself – What can I change in my day to cherish life just a little bit more right now?“. Watch the video for ideas on how to flip the script.
7. One day a week, experiment with a Do-Nothing Day; clear your calendar and make space for what could happen. If that’s too much, start with half a day, or one evening. Check the story on NoSidebar.com.
Caroline’s self-care snippets
What self-care is to me:
- Going for a long walk with Dave and our dog, Penny
- Immersing myself in a great novel
- Eating fresh, homemade food
Self-care surely isn’t:
- Scrolling through my phone first thing in the morning
- Sitting all day in front of my computer
- Not planning for mental breaks
What does self-care look to you? What tiny step could you do today to take better care of yourself?