Caring for the most Important Person in Your Life; Yourself!
Self-care is extremely important because if you aren’t cared for, how can you care and do for those around you properly. Self-care is all about slowing down, and I don’t have time for that. I’m too busy trying to find my place in the world to pay attention to myself. With a husband, baby, and career finding time for myself seems almost impossible, but it’s something that I owe those around me. I know this sounds a bit “self-centered” but let me explain.
Self-care is supposed to help you balance your life. Working hard is necessary for a fulfilling life, but taking breaks at the right time is too. Run too hard and you’ll exhaust yourself. If you’ve ever seen anyone burned out, overly tired or resentful, they may have overworked themselves without allowing the breaks they so desperately need to recenter.
The thing about self-care is that the best way to do it is to design it around your schedule – build it in. So, I’m going to list some of my favorite techniques, few things I have enjoyed trying. Remember, this is to help you relax and improve yourself. Little incremental shifts towards more self-care will really create balance. It doesn’t have to be big things; the little ones add up. You’ll need to play around to see what works for you.
Take a soak. Slow down, run a hot bath, drop in some bath salts, and just breathe. Personally, I love Aura Cacia Lavender Foam Bath or SoapCreek’s Butter Bombs. Use this as a time to meditate and unwind. Don’t think about what’s gone wrong, or what you need to get done. Just exist. It’s okay to just exist. Put on some music if your mind is too noisy, or maybe listen to a podcast that reads stories, or even crack open a good book with a glass of wine or a beer if that’s your fancy.
People-watching, nature watching, or cloud watching. Go to your favorite spot outside and simply watch. You can also hit up a cool, nook of a coffee shop that you’ve been meaning to try out. Inspect the way leaves blow, how someone moves when they talk to another, how clouds morph into different shapes. Literally, slow down to smell the roses. The world is so amazing when you slow down enough to take notice.
I feel like as we grow up our opinion on the word “no” inverts. Children love to say “no.” Meanwhile, many adults have forgotten how, because saying “no” implies selfishness or weakness or not capable. However, it can be healthy to say “no.” If you say “yes” too much, you may find yourself floundering. Exercise your right to say “no.” If you don’t feel like doing something (and it isn’t important) then just say “no.” If you need an excuse, say you are full on commitments currently and to give the best you need to balance. You can also say you have an appointment, that appointment is with yourself.
We are social creatures by nature. So, you might feel a bit of a rush after talking to a stranger. It’s good for your mind and soul to make tiny connections with those around you. If you’re shy, start by just saying “hi” to a coworker you normally don’t talk to. Greet people you see, but don’t typically interact with. If strangers are still a bit daunting, try interacting more with your friends. Ask them for help and see how they react or have a compliment session where you tell each other what you like about the other.
Treat Yourself as a Friend
You live with yourself before you live with anybody else. So treat that person with a bit of dignity. Tell yourself that it’s okay. Look for the positives about yourself. If something happens, don’t judge it as yourself. Pretend that thing is happening to your best friend. You wouldn’t call them pathetic, would you? Take some time for yourself; plan an outing with just you, take yourself on a date, buy a little treat for yourself. Don’t feel guilty. You have to show you that you love yourself!
My take: I feel like this one is the most important on this list. I spend too much time judging myself for not being perfect. I’ve found that when I forgive myself, tell myself everything’s okay, I’m much less stressed. I need to work on being a better friend to myself.