“Self-care” can be a bit of an elusive term. Wellness culture often markets self-care with photos of bubble baths, candles, or sitting in nature. But what does it mean to actually practice nurturing yourself, physically, mentally, and emotionally?
Below are some self-care tips, habits and mindsets to begin your self-care journey!
- Consider Your Schedule
Reflect on what you sacrifice when your stress levels rise. If you have a tough week at work, what do you forgo for yourself? Is it sleep? Is it meal prepping? Is it canceling your daily walk or skipping reading before bed to get more work done?
Try to re-order your tasks around a few small things that you know you need for your own sanity. For example, maybe meal-prepping and eating healthy is something you depend on to feel your best. So, on specific days early in the week you limit your availability past a certain time of the evening. Then, you designate that time, on those days, for prepping a week’s worth of healthy food. Or, maybe your phone goes on do-not-disturb an hour before bed regardless of what you have going on so you have time to wind down and get the full 8 hours you need to perform your best.
- Keep In Mind: You Are Important
Remember that other people’s expectations are not bigger or more important than what you need for yourself. In our day and age, technology has enabled a culture of availability. Quick, easy modes of communication have made us believe we must be accessible to everyone, all the time. This is not the case. To take care of yourself, your needs and relationship with yourself must be a priority. It’s difficult to deliver for others if you do not treat self-care as a worthwhile endeavor.
- Know Your Intangible Worth
Because “grind” culture messaging tells us that our worth is equal to our productivity, self-care can sometimes feel silly because it doesn’t “produce” anything tangible. But your energy levels and well-being, which you need for productivity, become increased when you build in time for relaxation or fun. Remember that productivity relies on building your stores of physical and social energy by spending time on hobbies or even time doing nothing. Doing nothing is so important sometimes, but very beneficial!
- Get organized
A clear mind needs clear space. If your things are orderly, your calendar is orderly, and you can visualize the days ahead of you, your mind will have more space for more things. Your capacity for tasks, conversations, and new opportunities will grow! See our article on decluttering your space here.
- Find your outlets
Each week, find a way to both be active and relax. Plan it into your schedule. Maybe it’s a walk or run and then a certain TV show, or a hike on the weekend and crafting one night after work. Either way, find one or two things that you can do during the week that you enjoy and slowly work them into your schedule as priorities. Hopefully, this will add some elements of joy and some important recharging time into your week.
Davis, Tchiki. “Self-Care: 12 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself.” Psychology Today, 2018, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/201812/self-care-12-ways-take-better-care-yourself.
Mental Health America. “Taking Good Care of Yourself.” Mental Health America, mhanational.org/taking-good-care-yourself.