Is life feeling dull, chaotic or just plain stressful? As we begin edging back into our on-the-go, “normal” lives, it can be easy to fall back into old traps of busyness that keep us from living a life that feels inspiring and supportive. Your life to the fullest!
Self-care is a genius strategy for creating a healthy life that you love! So why do so many of us skip it? Maybe you think…
- “I don’t have time for that”
- “It’s selfish to take time on myself when my family needs me”
- “I don’t have extra money to spend on myself right now”
I get it—taking time for yourself can seem like a luxury. But guess what? Self-care isn’t as complicated as you might think. It can take very little time, cost nothing and benefit not only you, but everyone around you. Joy (just like negativity) is contagious!
Why Self-Care Matters
You deserve to feel good so that you can enjoy your life to the fullest! It’s not right that so many of us feel stuck in a quagmire of endless tasks. Without integrating joy, renewal and FUN into our lives, we put ourselves at risk for burnout and disease. Not to mention, it can make life both boring and terribly stressful.
Self-care creates space for more energy, a greater sense of self-worth, better sleep and healthier stress management.
And the best part? You can weave self-care practices directly into the activities you are already doing.
“People assume they have to do [self-care] as a separate activity….We all sleep and move and eat and have ways of addressing stress in positive or negative ways that come up every single day, so the most important part of self-care can be built into a routine habit that you’re already spending time at,” says Wayne Jonas, M.D., a researcher, family medicine physician and expert in integrative health and healthcare delivery.
For example, you have to eat, why not prepare a meal that makes you feel good?
You have to move your body so why not take a Zumba class because it’s more fun than dragging yourself onto the treadmill?
You have to sleep so why not create a bedroom environment with soft pillows, cool sheets and cozy blankets that you love to fall asleep in each night?
What is Self-Care, Exactly?
Self-care is about nourishing your mind, body, and spirit.
Self-care is about taking pleasure in an activity without any particular goal or planned outcome in mind.
Self-care is about giving yourself permission to do something just for you.
If you aren’t sure what self-care might look like for you, ask yourself questions like:
- What activities do I like?
- What makes me feel good?
- What makes me feel special?
- What gives me a sense of renewal?
- Very simply, what puts a smile on my face?
Take a Creative Approach to Self-Care
I’m taking a 12-week course through Central Exchange based on the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. WOW! This powerful course has helped me look at my favorite activities in a different way and discover some new hobbies that bring me joy and contribute to my self-care routine.
For instance, my husband and I have always enjoyed hiking together, but now I notice textures and patterns in nature that I’ve never noticed before.
I’ve also taken up gardening. I’ve always enjoyed plants and have many throughout my home, but I’ve never grown my own vegetables. My backyard is not conducive to a garden, so I got creative and decided to plant veggies in large pots on my back porch. The lettuce is growing like gangbusters!
How did I incorporate this self-care time into my life? I scheduled it on my calendar. I made it a priority. I know I deserve some time to myself to recharge my batteries and put a smile on my face!
Want more ideas? Check out my article about self-care with a recipe to make a simple sugar scrub and easy quinoa salad. I also love this list of 51 self-care ideas by Wholefully. Her ideas are either free or relatively inexpensive.