What comes to mind when you hear the buzzword “self-care”? You might picture a relaxing bath, an uninterrupted nap, or even a grocery store run WITHOUT kids after a long day. There isn’t anything wrong with doing these, but they actually aren't self-care.
Self Care happens before you are worn out, before you've hit the wall, before you feel like locking yourself in the bathroom for an hour to escape little people climbing all over you.
Self-soothing has it's place. We need to take time to unwind after a hard day, to go for a walk to get away from the chatter, to hide in the closet with a cup of coffee. And right now with more kiddos home more often due to school not being full time, self-soothing will be more needed some days.
But don't confuse that with Self Care.
Self Care is eating nourishing food that makes you feel good.
Self Care is drinking your water.
Self Care is writing in your Gratitude Journal.
Self Care is a quiet time in prayer or meditation.
Self Care is taking that walk because you've set the time aside on purpose.
Self Care is preventative, not reactive.
Ideas to practice self-care
Turning off the television and social media
In order to take better care of yourself, you need to disconnect every once in a while. Watching the television or scrolling social media can be a fun way to relax at the end of the day, but regularly trade this for something more self-care-focused like the following list.
Get some sunlight #vitamind
According to a Healthline article, Vitamin D can help fight disease, reduce depression, and even help you to lose weight. The best way to make sure you are getting enough of this vital nutrient is to be out in the sunlight. Have you noticed how good it feels to be out on a warm Spring day? Try to keep getting that #vitamind in the winter by going outside if the weather allows and sit by your window often, soaking up those rays.
Getting up early and going to bed early
You’ve heard Benjamin Franklin’s rhyme “early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”. This still applies in the busy 21st century and is backed by science. Getting those z’s helps you to deal with negativity, enhances your chances of success, keeps you healthy, reduces stress, and makes you happier.
- Take it one step at a time. Like all habits, this will take time.
- Create a schedule and stick to it
- Stay away from bright lights from your TV, phone, or computer for at least an hour before bed.
- Set the mood by making sure your bedroom is dark and between 60 and 67 degrees.
- Avoid alcohol and eating before bed
- Exercise during the day
- If you are struggling with falling asleep due to a racing mind, try “brain dumping” before turning out the lights. This helps get all the thoughts and obligations in your mind out of your head and onto paper.
Setting time aside to be quiet and still
With our busy lives, do we take time to pause? Most of the time, the answer is no. It’s amazing what can come from setting aside a few minutes here and there to be still. Journaling, meditation, and practicing positive affirmations are a few great places to start.
Make a vision board
What do you want for your future? Who do you want to become? A great way to get this out of your head and onto a visual is to create a vision board. These aren’t meant to make you feel bad about where you are in life, but make you inspired for the future and its possibilities!
If you want to practice more self-care, include quotes and photos of your favorite methods of self-care. If you want to work on being more healthy as a means of self-care, include motivational quotes and photos like yoga, nature hikes, and anything else that inspires you.
There are a lot of ways to create a vision board but we’ll focus on the main three.
- A Digital Vision Board is accessible from technology and easily editable from whatever software you use. Canva is my favorite, user-friendly option.
- A Physical Vision Board is perfect for people who love scrapbooking or having physical reminders. If you’ve enjoyed using my charts, this would be a great option for you.
- A Pinterest Vision Board is just like it sounds. Create a board on your Pinterest account that is dedicated as your vision board. If you come across anything that is relevant to your vision for your future, add it and watch the board easily grow.
If you take time to regularly care for yourself, you can avoid burnout and find you don’t need to self-soothe as often. This will have an impact on your mental and physical health, as well as that of your spouse, friends, and children. In order to show up as the next version of yourself, self-soothe when you need to, but please don't forget self-care.
Have you tried any of these methods of self-care, or have any to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!