Be Empowered, Blog

A Practical Word about Self-Care

Greetings all! I hope this finds you well, and choosing to live today with a plan, your mind intent on your purpose for the day. I’ve enjoyed trying this new exercise in the morning, and have found it to be a great way to change up my morning routine.

I’ve found myself focusing on one particular thought throughout this week, the idea of self-care. There’s an article on the site about this practice as it pertains to holidays, which you can read HERE. In it I talk a bit about the idea of self-care, and today I want to explore some more.

As much as I’ve heard about “self-care” very few people talk about what exactly it is. Sure, the basics are pretty obvious, it’s caring for yourself… So like, brushing your teeth? Making sure your outfit matches every day and you always have a stash of snacks to stave off hanger? Shopping dates with yourself? Massages? Honestly, I’ve never had a great grasp of what the heck this is. I know I’m supposed to do it, and I can give a few ideas when my supervisor asks what I “do for self-care”, but until quite recently self-care was just a term given to “the stuff you do when you’ve had a crappy day, and you can barely cope anymore”. So like, Little Debbie snacks and Pringles in my pajamas in front of a BBC romance? A’ight. I’m nailing this “self-care” thing.

Guess what. This isn’t actually taking care of yourself. I know, I was surprised too.

Self-care is the stuff you do to keep from getting to the meltdown on the couch phase. It’s the stuff you do that keeps your mind sharp and refreshed, the things that help you to breathe easier. Caring for yourself is nourishing yourself, it’s providing for your own needs, and making time to spend with others. A self-care practice is a reward for having an incredible day, it’s a treat for keeping your cool in a challenging situation, it’s the things you do to keep yourself in a mindset that you can keep your cool. For days when you barely have energy to wake up and days when you are a rampaging conqueror mastering all your goals. Honestly, self-care is a life practice for every phase of the day, and season of the year.

Now that we have a super firm grasp of when  self-care is important and why, you are already thinking of the things in your life that are caring activities that you do for yourself. Cooking, running, taking a bath, jamming out on your commute, reading Elle, hopefully your life is full of self-care!

For the days when you need a little pick me up, and the weeks when your usual activities just aren’t doing the trick, check out this conveniently organized, not-quite exhaustive list of

 

Self-Care Activities-

Care for your Body:

  • Take a bath.
  • Get a massage.
  • Find a high-quality face mask and get your spa on!
  • Do a high-energy workout.
  • Find a yoga practice that addresses a concern.
  • Go for a run.
  • Get a friend to join you in a workout. If you’re bored with yours, join whatever they’re doing.
  • Walk in the woods.
  • Sit in the sunshine.
  • Put on your favorite music and move your body. However that looks, whatever feels good.
  • Find a physical outlet for your feelings; do a happy jig or wail on a punching bag.
  • Speak some affirmations about your physical self.

 

Connection with others:

  • Call or text a friend; your bestie, or just the last friend you saw.
  • Send a Facebook message to someone you miss.
  • Tell someone that you enjoy their social media content.
  • Find a like-minded new friend to follow on Instagram.
  • Ask your partner/best friend/parent/auntie for something that meets your love needs, whether that’s a hug, a coffee date, a favor, or simply a kind word.
  • Go to your favorite store and compliment the fashion sense of someone else shopping there.
  • Buy a bunch of all-purpose greeting cards and brighten a friend’s day.
  • Make plans with someone you love for a get-together in the next month.
  • Send a thank you note to someone for their friendship or support.
  • Ask somebody on a date. Someone you’ve just met, or the person you’ve been with for years.
  • Tell someone what you admire about them.

 

Working out your mind:

  • Journal your thoughts and feelings about the day.
  • Spend time in meditation. Guided about a specific challenge, or let your mind go!
  • Listen to some relaxing music or sounds.
  • Paint something that makes you smile.
  • Get to the ocean and let your mind work and relax while you listen to the waves crash.
  • Find a coloring book and a pack of markers/pencils/Crayola 65 (or heck, 96 if you can swing it!).
  • Try creating something in a new medium.
  • Do some yard work.
  • Write your story, write what inspires you. Tell the story of your favorite people or your favorite place.
  • Spend some time speaking truths over your life. Affirm the things you are working toward.
  • Make a plan; for the next day, the next week, and next month and next year.

 

And now, the food related ones:

  • Make your favorite meal, or hey, order it from someone else!
  • Bake a new dessert.
  • Try a recipe you’ve always wanted to make but have been too intimidated to try.
  • Meet a friend for coffee or dinner. (It’s still self-care even if it takes a month to schedule.)
  • Make a list of new foods you want to try.
  • Indulge in a favorite snack from your childhood.
  • Make the meal that makes you feel the healthiest.
  • Buy a new tool for your kitchen.
  • Read an in-depth article about an interesting cooking technique.
  • Find a new recipe book.
  • Explore a food related shop, an ethnic one or maybe your local Williams and Sonoma.
  • Watch someone make a delightful meal or dessert on YouTube or Instagram.
  • Try a food from a different culture.
  • Bake something you know will brighten someone else’s day.

 

Whatever you do, however your self-care looks, remember: self-care is not about indulging at the end of a hard week, or hiding your emotions in binge shopping. It’s about front loading your days with the things that make you happy, give your life meaning and bring you fulfillment. ❤

I’d love to hear from you 🙂 Leave a comment telling what you do to take care of yourself and I’ll add it to the list!

 

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