Self care. It’s such a trending, hot little topic, isn’t it? In essence, we all are self care-ers. Generally, as adults, we take care of ourselves. We bathe ourselves (dry shampoo totally counts here). We feed ourselves. We take the time to do things that we enjoy, that fuel our souls and our hearts and minds.
But how often do all of those things take away from our day, instead of adding to them? How often do those things add an extra layer of stress to our lives, even when, at the end of the day, those activities might help reduce our stress level, too? Let’s face it. Today, especially as women, our plates are so full and our to do lists are so long that taking even a few minutes to do something for ourselves (hint: a five minute shower doesn’t quite count) can fill us with guilt.
But here’s the thing. If we don’t take care of ourselves, the old adage is true – no one else will either. And it’s not because people won’t try, or because they won’t want to, but it’s because there is literally no one who can do something just for you, besides you. And in order to take care of others, we have to be in pretty good shape ourselves. We have to take care of ourselves. We have to be self carer-ers. And we can’t feel poorly about that.
I will be the first to admit that, historically, I am horrendous at self care. I was a workaholic. I never paused. I thought self-care was silly and unnecessary. I prided myself on being able to put everything ahead of myself. And let me tell you … that pride has cost me. Big time. Over the last few months, I’ve re-evaluated my definition of self-care, and what qualifies as such a thing. And it’s an ongoing lesson to let myself partake in them, without guilt.
Need some ideas of how to take care of you? Here’s what makes my list:
- A night of Netflix and dairy-free Ben & Jerry’s (even though it’s never on sale).
- Giving myself a manicure or pedicure, just because.
- Keep a list of “splurge” purchases that are just for me … My current list? Osmia skincare, this Lisa Leonard ring, Birdling bags – all things that I know will bring me joy, and will feel special to me.
- Take a long, hot shower, where I deep condition my hair and shave my legs. I might even go self-care nuts and do a body scrub too. And I follow every shower (long or short) with really, really good body oil and cream. Even when I don’t have time.
- Meditation. Don’t knock it until you try it. My favorite is right before bed.
- Face masks. Need a recommendation on some great ones? Let me know.
- Window shopping on Amazon and adding everything I like to my cart – but I usually don’t check out.
- Girls’ night, with my best friend. It generally includes pajamas and wine.
- Take a few minutes to look through printed photos with some mood reflective music playing and a good glass of wine. My favorite place to have them printed? Artifact Uprising, Parabo Press, or Social Print Studio. They’re instant heirlooms, and instant memories.
- Reading books that challenge my mindset and general outlook. Usually just a chapter at a time.
- Reading books that are absolute fiction, are generally chick lit, and let me escape.
- Doing my hair before I go to bed. It helps me wake up feeling pretty darn good about myself.
- Climbing into bed at 9am and snuggling my little one, regardless of whatever else I might have going on.
- Climbing into bed at 9pm and snuggling … myself. Under a heavy down comforter and with a good book. See also: Netflix. See also: Ice cream. See also: 9:35 bedtime.
- Eating my favorite food. By myself. With zero guilt (and zero sharing).
Now, there’s nothing glamorous on that list. And most of it is pretty cost efficient. Some of it takes a bit of time, but others? They take just a few moments. Just a few minutes. Just a minute.
And you, my friend, are worth minutes. And I am, too.