Self-care is a big deal right now.
A really big deal.
Every day it seems like more and more people are realizing (and talking about) the importance of taking time for themselves.
So, with the overabundance of information out there, I'm sure you already know and understand the importance of finding time to de-stress. I'm positive that at some point, you've come across and read several articles about practicing self-care.
Making sure you take time to relax and recharge is so important. But it's also important to have balance in your self-care routine. You need to practice the right kind of self-care.
When I first started researching self-care and creating my own routine, I thought the only thing I needed to do was take a bubble bath a couple times a month.
Seriously, I thought that was all self-care meant.
I've learned since those early days that there is so much more to taking care of yourself than just pampering yourself a little bit.
There are actually 5 different facets of self-care, and it is important to have a balance of them in your life.
This one seems obvious.
Of course you need to take care of your body. That's part of staying alive.
Practicing good self-care is going to involve doing things that are good for your physical health. The first thing you might think of is exercising or resting when you're sick, but it doesn't stop there.
But practicing physical self-care doesn't necessarily mean you need to adopt an elaborate workout routine (because that's hard and sweating is gross). Physical self-care can be as simple as eating more fruits and veggies or getting enough water during the day.
Keeping yourself healthy is so important and should always be a priority.
But physical self-care doesn't just have to be keeping yourself healthy. It can also include things like getting your hair done, painting your nails, anything like that.
This is a big one! Maybe the biggest.
The more I think about it, emotional self-care is often what I focus on the most. I spent a very long time being super stressed out and that can really take a toll on your emotions.
Taking care of yourself emotionally could involve things like keeping a journal, watching a sappy moving and having a good cry (never under-estimate the power of having a good cry), or taking a nice, long bubble bath to de-stress at the end of a long day.
This is an area that is often overlooked.
We all know that our bodies need exercise to stay fit and healthy, but we often forget that so do our brains!
My favorite way to practice intellectual self-care is by doing puzzles.
I love puzzles!
But I know puzzles aren't for everyone. Other practices to exercise your brain can include playing a musical instrument, learning a new skill, just learning about a new skill, reading a book or articles online....
Really, as long as you're not just vegging out in front of the TV or taking internet quizzes to find out what kind of pizza you are, you're probably doing something to exercise your mind.
Just like the areas we've already talked about, spiritual self-care can take a lot of different forms. Anything from spending time practicing your religions, meditating, or just spending time outside.
The point is to focus your energy and attention on something that's bigger than yourself.
This is so important because focusing on something bigger helps take our focus off ourselves.
Now, most self-care practices are all about you, they let you take time to focus on yourself. But when you take the time to take care of yourself spiritually and focus on something bigger than yourself, it helps to keep you grounded and get a clearer look at what things are important.
For example, when I spent a lot of time really stressed out, I tried really hard to take care of myself. But since I was so focused on myself and getting rid of the stress, that's all I was thinking about.
My problems were my whole world, which made them seem so much bigger than they were.
But when I made an effort to take a step back, it helped put things in perspective.
This is definitely the hardest part of self-care for me to practice.
Because stranger danger is real.
I'm very introverted and, by nature, I prefer to spend most of my time by myself. But, even though time alone is important, going through life all alone isn't always a good thing.
(But just sometimes)
Building relationships is so important, for extroverts and for introverts!
Our friends and our families are the people we lean on when times get hard. They're the ones we go to for support, the ones we share our lives with.
Having healthy relationships can really benefit your emotional and mental health. And spending time with friends and having good conversation can be very relaxing.
Now, this doesn't mean say yes to every social function that comes up. You don't want to end up draining yourself. But the key to this form of self-care is to have meaningful interactions.
14 Day self-care challenge
With so many types of self-care, it can often be difficult to find a good balance. Having a self-care routine can be incredibly helpful. It's so important to take time for yourself and shed the stress. An hour a day can make a huge difference.
If you're struggling getting into a good routine, I've put together a 14 day self-care email challenge! Each day you'll get an email, tips of how to practice self-care, and a challenge activity for the day.
It's a great way to stay motivated and take time for yourself every day!