You probably read that title and yawned. The importance of self-care is preached pretty much everywhere these days, from Instagram to Buzzfeed to blogs. My favorite analogy for why self-care matters is the airplane crash concept:
You have to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.
Frankly, I’ve never come up with a good reason to not take care of myself. I don’t look at these articles and posts and think “That’s a terrible idea that I’ll never do because it’s not worth the time.” I look at them and think …how? How am I supposed to do this? How do I create something out of nothing, and supreme self-care out of a busy schedule that has me spinning my wheels? Literally, what is a step I can take to walk closer to this goal?
THE ACTION PLAN
The “how” things are done is a huge disconnect in the health world. We preach eating more vegetables and eating intuitively and taking more time for yourself, but we lack the actual roadmap to get it done. I spent too long looking for ideas on Pinterest that involved bubble baths (I don’t have a tub) and face masks (I literally always forget to do these) before realizing that really, self-care can be anything you want it to be (duh again). One of the best ways that I care for myself, for example, is by taking 5 minutes to walk through my room with a trash bag, pitch the clutter, and get things a little more in order. I have a running list in my head and on my phone now that I can turn to when I need inspiration, but really I think that finding how you best care for yourself is about paying attention to what makes you work, and what makes you feel good. It’s also easy to pin down your best self care by asking a few simple questions.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
The answers to these questions may not all be yes for every self-care practice, and you certainly don’t need to ask yourself every single one, but they can help get you started on deciding what works well for you.
- Does this make me feel energized?
- Does this make me feel more on top of things?
- Am I genuinely glad that I did this?
- Do I want to keep doing this in the future?
- Does doing this make my to-do list seem more possible?
- Does this make me feel rested?
And of course, since no post would be complete without at least a few lists, here’s some self-care ideas to try!
IDEAS FOR SELF-CARE
- Take a walk with headphones on
- Do a 10-minute yoga video
- Make a favorite recipe
- Take a stretch break
- Throw a dance party
- Go for a hike
- Try a new restaurant
- Clean your room
- Burn a scented candle
- Turn on a guided meditation
- Write out your week in a planner and get rid of unnecessary extras
- Phone a friend
- Turn off phone notifications
What makes you feel rested? Any tips for others?