Self-care is all the rage, right? Everyone is talking about it and you’re probably thinking about massages, bubble baths with a glass of wine in hand, vacations, and reading a book by the ocean. And how all of that sounds out of reach. Because in reality, you’re moving through life faster than you can blink and you barely have time to take a long shower.
I get it.
What self-care actually is and how it can be something you can realistically do on a daily basis.
“Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” – Psych Central
Self-care is intentional time for you. That’s it. For your mind, your body, and your soul. Today I’m going to give you five ways to take the first steps in incorporating self-care into your daily life that are realistic and can still feel a little luxurious.
Let’s first talk about the reasons you’ll say you can’t do this self-care thing.
1. You don’t have time.
Yep, it feels like we never have time for anything. Life is happening fast and we’re trying to get work done, not forget to eat, run every errand, take kids to events, and get a little bit of sleep. BUT, what if you did have more time than you thought? What if you started tracking your time? I know, one more thing. But this one can be done in the background. Insert Moment. Moment is an app that tracks your screen time. Not what you want to see, I’m sure. However, you’ll find that you’re spending a ridiculous amount of time – I’m talking hours – on your phone each day and you don’t even realize it. Once you know though, you can’t not know. It haunts you. It’s staggering.
Here’s the good news. You have time. You just have to prioritize it. We’ll talk about that in a bit.
2. You don’t have the money.
Here’s another often used excuse. But one you can also track. There are several money apps out there. I prefer Every Dollar by Dave Ramsey. Now, let me say this, I’m not the best at budgeting. It has never been my strong suit. However, once I started plugging in my expenses and seeing where my money was going, it was eye-opening. I didn’t even realize how much I was spending on groceries or coffee. And often times, we truly have no idea until we track it. The app is free but to link your bank account I think you have to pay. There are others, that’s just the one I use. I’m also currently trying to pay off all of my student loan debt so there’s another motive for me.
Here’s the good news. You can find the money for self-care. It takes some sacrifices or some small changes in the budget. It’s possible, though. Let’s get into it.
Figure out what makes you feel good.
Self-care is different for everyone. It’s what makes you feel nourished and fills your cup. It may be reading a book with a cup of coffee in hand on Saturday mornings, or massages, or exercise, or having a consistent routine. It can be anything. Don’t compare what makes you feel good to someone else’s version of self-care. You do you.
Spend some time writing a list of things that make you feel nourished. Examples: coffee once a month with a good friend, girls night with friends, alone time at the local library, a long drive, a massage, getting your nails done, a facial, waking up at the same time every day, working out three times a week, eating healthy meals. Whatever it is. Write it down.
Notice where your time is getting sucked up.
Are you continuing to click on the Instagram app and then 30 minutes go by and you get mad at yourself for wasting that time? Do you find that you stay up super late watching Netflix when you really wanted to be in bed by 10pm? Find those blocks of time that are being wasted and take note. Go into the Moment app at the end of the day and see how much time you spent on your phone and what specifically on.
Notice if you’re giving too much time to other people.
Ooohh. This one gets me. I’m an Enneagram 2 (a helper) so giving to other people is a natural tendency of mine, and also one I sometimes dislike about myself. I have to be very careful with how much I’m saying yes to other people and no to myself. How often are you honoring your commitments to other people and not honoring the commitments you are making to yourself? That workout you were going to do and you didn’t? That hour earlier you were going to get up and read but you hit snooze? That massage you were going to book but you talked yourself out of? Pay attention to that stuff. You are as important as anyone else. If you aren’t giving to yourself first, you shouldn’t be giving to anyone else. Yes, I said it. You’re better for pouring into yourself first. You are a better version of you when you do that. TRUST ME.
Go with the flo.
Literally. So, I’m speaking to women here, which I assume most (if not all) of you are. I recently read the book Woman Code and she talks about the concept of living in the flo. Now, stay with me here. I’m not going to get too hippie-dippie on you. This is important. Our natural cycles are designed by an incredible Creator that did that intentionally. While we often get very angry at that same Creator for doing this to us (no, just me?), it’s pretty incredible how the female body works and I believe we should honor that. Not go against it. If you want to know more, I highly recommend that book, but I’ll say this. Pay attention to your cycle and your energy level that goes along with it.
I use the Flo app to track it and I’ve also been noticing when I have more or less energy during my cycle. The book goes into detail about this so I won’t give it all away. Pay attention to when your best work times are, when you have more energy, if you are a morning person or a night owl, when you crave exercise and when you want to sleep longer. All of those things are important to your own body and your own cycle. You’ll be better for knowing these things and will be able to nourish yourself more when you have this awareness.
Go do the thing.
Schedule it. Create a routine. Start going to bed or waking up 30 minutes before you usually do. Choose one thing you’ll stop spending money on for a few weeks to save up for that massage. Pick an exercise class and sign up for it. Whatever your version is, take the step. And start with one. Don’t try to do it all next week. Start with what is most important for you right now and do that. You are worth this. It does take a little shift in your mindset, but you are worth doing this for yourself.
Those are my tips! If you have any questions or any tips you’d like to add, let me know, lady! I’d love to hear what helps you to feel nourished and well taken care of.