Posted July 12, 2020 by Tiana Carlyle
What is Self-Care?
“the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” – Oxford Language
We all know how important our self-care routines are to living a healthy and fruitful life. However many of us let self-care take the backburner to life, work, kids, and other loved ones. There’s no doubt that we’re all busy and so finding time for self-care can be incredibly difficult. But have no fear! I’ve created the ultimate guide to integrating self-care back into your life, like today! You don’t need to do all of these things. But, incorporating some of these things into your self-care routine will help you in your journey to making self-care a top priority.
Things that get in the way:
“I do not have the time.”
You wake up with just enough time to brush your teeth, get dressed, and head out of the door for work. You sit at your desk all day, and then you spend your lunch eating and relaxing. Finally, the workday is over so you drive the 30-45 mins back home. You jump out of your clothes and get ready to run the kids to their extra-curricular activities. Somewhere in between all of that you throw a meal together. FINALLY, the day is over so you fall on the couch or bed and watch TV until you fall asleep. So of course it feels like you have no time. But there’s time in there and you have to find it! Because it is so VITAL that you make time for self-care.
“I do not have the money.”
Too often people equate self-care with luxury, which inevitably means expensive. This simply isn’t true. You don’t have to spend $60 on a massage or $100 on a mani-pedi to practice self-care. You can implement self-care from the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price.
“I do not know how to practice self-care.”
So many people don’t realize how simple and easy self-care can be. To their defense, there are not many resources out there that bring all the information to one place. Luckily for you, the reader, that is what Soul and Soma is all about…helping you understand how simple and easy self-care actually is.
While there is no doubt that self-care takes time and effort, there are ways to make small/gradual changes that don’t feel so daunting. It’s just important to start somewhere. I have compiled a list of easy, no-low cost ways to practice taking care of yourself.
1. Decide To Make Self-Care a Priority
This is the step that must be taken before anything else is possible. You need to make the decision that you will take better care of yourself, inside and out. You will need to acknowledge your bad habits and become committed to making better choices. This involves developing regimens and routines, and many times lifestyle changes. Because self-care does take require time, but it is also worth a life of health and happiness.
2. Show Yourself Love With Positive Affirmations
There are many ways to give yourself positive affirmations. You can stand in front of the mirror, look yourself in the eyes and say “I am beautiful”, “I am smart”, or “I am enough”. Or you can write things you love about yourself in a journal. You can even practice not being so hard or yourself whenever you get something wrong.
These sound easier than they actually are. But whichever method you choose, it is SO crucial that you do this. Because you really are beautiful, smart, and more than enough. But giving yourself positive affirmations is the only way you’re going to believe it yourself. Positive affirmations can help you to banish negative thoughts from your brain. There are tons of books and resources with examples of positive affirmations. Here are a few examples:
- I am confident in the presence of others(self-confidence)
- No one can make me feel inferior (self-confidence)
- I have the power to change my story (self-empowerment)
- I accept myself unconditionally (self-love)
- I deserve love, compassion, and empathy (self-love)
- I am persistent, focused, and will never quit (goal-setting)
3. Take Care of Your Body
We all the saying your body is a temple. It’s kind of cliché, but it’s also very true. We have to start treating our bodies well if we want to live a healthy and happy life. But taking care of your body seems like all work and no fun. Most people hate the thought of working out and eating healthy. But there are tons of ways to take care of your body. Here are some small changes you can make to incorporate in your daily routine:
- Take short walks
- Take a multivitamin
- Try to drink more water
- Make one meal a day your “healthy meal”
- Stretch before bed
- Go swimming
Taking these steps will help you feel better on the inside. But, let’s not forget that the outside of our body needs love too! Here are some things you could do:
- Moisturize your skin after you shower
- Remove hair from the
- Scrub that dead skin off your feet!
- Deep Condition your hair
- Exfoliate your face
4. Find a Hobby
Finding something you love to do is an incredible way to practice self-care. It doesn’t matter what it is. Learn to knit. Take an art class. Write some poetry. Make your own jewelry. Play a musical instrument. Start a garden. It doesn’t matter! As long as you find something for you. It is so important that we find things that remove us from everyday life, even just for a little while. Hobbies are great ways to relax, relieve our stress, express our creativity, and be even productive. So find yourself a hobby TODAY!
5. Read a Book
Pick up a book. Any book. And read it! There are so many benefits to reading. Reading strengthens your brain, prevents cognitive decline, reduces stress, and aids sleep…just to name a few. So if you do nothing else, please pick up a book and read it.
6. Treat Yourself
Treating yourself means something different for every person. But for the sake of this blog, treating yourself means doing something for yourself that you normally don’t have the luxury of doing. And it feels so great to treat ourselves from time to time. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or extravagant. Spend a day pampering yourself. Take a nice bath with some scented candles. Give yourself a manicure and pedicure. Buy something you’ve been wanting for a long time.
7. Spend Time With Loved Ones
There’s nothing better than spending quality time with your family and friends, laughing and loving each other. Sadly, many of us wait for funerals or the holidays for an excuse to spend time with family. We let life keep us busy and before we know it 6 months have gone by. This is not okay and we’re going to change that. So host a game or movie night, have a barbeque, or prepare a Sunday brunch. Get your family and friends together and spend good quality time. Studies show that people with social ties have longer life spans and improved mental health. So don’t be too busy to make time for the people you love.
8. Spend Time Alone
I know this is a direct contradiction to #7. However, we must have balance in our social life. It is great to spend time with family and friends. It is also true that you NEED to spend time alone. And that sounds so simple, but some people struggle to be alone. Spending time alone allows you to self-reflect. You get time to truly know yourself….and figure out who you want to be. According to Forbes.com, solitude increases empathy, productivity, and creativity. So it is super important that you spend time alone.
9. Visit Your Doctor
It is amazing how many people pay health insurance all year long and still don’t see a doctor. Dont wait until something is wrong to visit a doctor. I get it… going to the doctor is not fun at all. But going is such a critical part of self-care. It is so important to be in control of your health and to live a happy and healthy life. We all hate it, including me. So go see your doctor and take control of your life.
Rest is a vital part of self-care…. And also probably one of the most neglected. The body cannot survive without adequate sleep. We can’t function. We can’t think or operate properly without it. So one of the best ways you can love yourself is to listen to your body and get the appropriate amount of sleep.
I hope that you read this, and you feel inspired to start your self-care journey today. Make the decision today to improve your life for health and happiness. Decide to take small steps to treat you and your body better. Commit today to make your self-care a priority!