How To Practice Daily Self-Care
What thoughts come to mind when you hear the words "Self-Care?" Perhaps eating a meal chocked full of fresh fruits and vegetables, a relaxing massage, or a challenging workout? While the majority of us are aware that taking care of ourselves physically is an important piece of a healthy lifestyle, it's also incredibly important to take care of ourselves on an emotional, mental, and spiritual level.
I'll admit, I used to think of self-care in just a physical sense. I also thought the only ways to relax and unwind were to take a vacation or visit my massage therapist. And while I believed those forms of self-care were extremely necessary, I also thought of them as a luxury, only reserved for celebration of a monumental accomplishment. Because of this thought pattern, I often felt exhausted, unfocused, less present, and finally, burned out. This made it almost impossible for me to live my life in a way that aligned with my vision.
Self-care can absolutely include things like massages, mani-pedis, a weekend wellness retreat, and last but definitely not least, vacation (can I get an amen?). All of those things are amazing, and in my honest opinion, worth every penny. However, if those things are your only ideas of self-care, it will be difficult to create a weekly, or even daily habit of carving out some much needed time for yourself.
Cultivating a regular practice of self-care is essential to your health and your overall sense of happiness, which in turn will allow you to better care for those around you. In order for us to make daily self-care attainable, we have to broaden our view of what activities apply. Self-care is defined as the actions that people initiate and perform on their own behalf in maintaining life, health, and well-being. So it's not just about your physical wellbeing, but also your surroundings, being able to balance family, social, and work life, spending time in nature, and participating in activities that you simply enjoy.
So what are you needing right now that will allow you to feel your absolute best mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically? Let's have a brainstorming session: Set your timer for 2 minutes and write down on a notepad, or in your phone, any and every activity you enjoy that helps you feel energized and full.
- Hiking with Luna.
- Listening to good music while making a healthy meal with Eric (preferably breakfast for dinner).
- Eating a delicious breakfast outside on my balcony.
- Starting my day with meditation and prayer.
- Listening to my favorite songs on the way to work.
- Taking photos of food, nature, or Luna.
- Going for a run.
- Meeting a good friend for a cup of coffee at a favorite coffee shop.
- Going to a yoga class.
- Relaxing by the pool (or a fireplace) with a good book.
- Lighting a candle and writing in my journal.
- Buying fresh flowers for my home.
Taking time for yourself so that you can be at your very best doesn't have to take a massive chunk out of your day. It could be a 10 minute walk, 5 minutes of meditation, stretching before bed, or slowly enjoying a quiet cup of coffee in the morning.
What is one thing you can do today that will help fill you up? Put it on your calendar and treat it like the most important appointment you have on your schedule!