Self-Care (Not Just for Sundays)

In the process of writing another blog I went back through each of my blogs to find one on self-care. Surely I had one. Everyone and their dog is now a self-care blogging expert, right? Not me – it looks like I assumed everyone else had it covered.

On social media I see the hashtag #selfcare and #selfcaresunday a lot. On that note, here are some of my best self-care tips, rules of thumb, and ideas.

First of all, self-care isn’t selfish or rude. If you don’t take care of you, how will you care for others? Caring for others is the excuse I hear most often as a reason that there’s no time for self-care. If that’s your excuse, try this story out for size.

You’re on a flight somewhere with your children or your loved one. You know the speech they give you about the oxygen mask that will drop if there’s a pressure change in the cabin? That one. What do they tell you? To put your mask on first and then help others around you! Why do they tell you that? The airlines are smart. They know that you won’t be able to help others if you faint from helping one person first before your mask is on – meanwhile  if it’s in place you can help dozens or more get theirs operational if yours is on first. Pretty simple! This applies to self-care. You can’t help anyone if you aren’t properly caring for yourself.

Pick something out of the ordinary to use as self-care. I see a lot of bloggers and mental health pros advising people that hot baths and manicures and kale sandwiches are the key to self-care. I politely disagree. Self-care isn’t something that you have to do to maintain basic functions – like a bath or shower. Now, a bath with your favorite music or TV show playing from your tablet (at a safe distance away from said tub!) if that’s out of your ordinary hygiene routine, go for it. If you typically clip, file, and paint your nails every week as a part of your regular hygiene, it isn’t self-care so much as it is hygienic necessity. Pick something out of the ordinary to do for yourself.

Try these Self-Care Ideas from my personal vault:

  1. Cook a recipe that you’ve wanted to try.
  2. Notice when you’re tired on a day you aren’t obligated to the moon and back and take a nap for goodness sake! The world (and laundry) will be there for you to address when you wake. Too many people don’t take naps.
  3. Find a guided meditation on YouTube or check out one of Andrew Johnson’s off your smartphone’s app store. Listen and go with the flow.
  4. Go for a walk. Here’s another thing we’re missing out on (just like naps). We go to the gym, work, home, etc. – but we don’t get outside a lot. The Japanese call this Tree Bathing. Go outside and take a nature walk for an hour. Take your time. Stop and smell roses.
  5. Get lost in a great fiction book.
  6. Solo dance party! Throw on your favorite tunes and boogie.
  7. Stargaze or watch the clouds from your yard or a local park.
  8. Declutter a space in your home. I know this sounds like work, but doesn’t anyone else get the same “zing” I do after my garage is all sorted out and clean? Love it!
  9. Write for fun. Grab a notebook or your laptop and google creative writing prompts. Write for half an hour or more. You’ll surprise yourself.
  10. Pick up a coloring book, your favorite coloring supplies, and go to town.
  11. Go for an aimless drive. Do not go to the store. Do not pick up your dry cleaning. Just drive. Crank up the stereo and drive until you want to go home. Sing while you’re doing it. No one can hear you.
  12. Watch your favorite movie! I call my pile of favorites “comfort flicks”. Mine are Ghostbusters and Friday – movies from my younger years that still make me laugh.
  13. Plant some flowers. Get a pot, soil, and flowers from your local Lowe’s, etc. and make something beautiful.
  14. Get muddy. This is my favorite. When it rains (and sometimes I make my own rain with a water hose) I like to walk out into the lawn and squish around in the mud barefoot. It reminds me of my childhood and its great for connecting yourself to the present moment. Also – try wading in puddles that collect in the curb on your street.

Remember: Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is totally doable and you are worth the effort!

Whitney

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