In all the hustle and bustle of our busy world, it’s easy to forget about ourselves. We get so concerned with everyone else, with the current state of the world, with what we’re going to make for dinner than we neglect to take care of ourselves. And eventually that really starts to take a toll.
Some days are easier than others to stay positive. I totally get it. Trying to stay positive is a choice, and sometimes it feels easier to either not care at all or actively decide to stay in a negative funk. Does that sound familiar to you at all? If so, keep reading.
You’re responsible for your feelings, actions, reactions, thoughts, emotions, etc. No one else. And you need to take care of yourself.
I used to think taking care of yourself sounded like a silly idea, but it really is crucial to your overall well-being. If you don’t take care of yourself, then what’s the point?
I used to berate myself constantly with bullying and rude remarks. I was a miserable person, and by repeating that cycle, I basically just stayed miserable. But guess what: I’m not miserable anymore. I started to try to take care of myself, and eventually it got easier.
Whether it’s choosing not to engage with a person fighting about politics on Facebook or having a second cup of coffee in the afternoon, we need to get better about listening to ourselves and what we need or want to do. It takes practice. And some days will definitely feel like an uphill struggle. But the more you practice taking care of yourself, the easier it gets.
I asked my friends on Facebook what self-care meant to them, and I got a variety of responses:
- Self care to me means doing what I need to keep myself operating at 100%, which usually means more sleep and time alone. I always make sure I have space in my calendar each week to be alone and recharge. It’s my introvert self’s favorite thing. Also treating myself to something delicious to eat. #treatyoself
- I may be outgoing, but I need time alone to recharge!
- Making time for me, emotionally, mentally and physically. So building time into my days/weeks/months for Journaling, self reflection, goal setting (both as an individual and for my marriage), doing therapy, having fun and relaxing (bubble baths, Netflix and chilling), and eating well/exercising (though for me that just means simple stretching and pilates).
No matter what self-care means to you, practice it daily. There are many different ways to care for yourself, but here’s a list to get you started:
- Make/listen to a new playlist.
- Go somewhere different for lunch or dinner.
- Avoid Facebook for an hour, a day, a week, a month.
- Have a dance party, by yourself or with friends.
- Play laser tag or mini golf.
- Explore a museum.
- Unfriend people on Facebook with whom you no longer share the same values. Do the same with Twitter and Instagram.
- Start following new people (not literally).
- Browse around the library or a bookstore.
- Go to the spa or make your own spa day at home.
- Look at old photos.
- Watch a movie you haven’t seen since you were young.
- Write a letter to yourself (past, present or future).
- Go to a karaoke bar.
- Put on socks and slide around the kitchen floor like you’re a figure skater. Or Tom Cruise from Risky Business.
- Take a deep breath. Or 12.
- Take a long shower.
- Do a face mask.
- Research travel destinations you’ve always been curious about.
- Make a bucket list.
- Start a new book or read a magazine.
- Sit and do nothing, even if it’s just for five minutes.
- Take a nap.
- Lip sync your heart out (dance moves optional, but encouraged).
- Watch a Netflix or Hulu marathon.
- Make sure you’re drinking enough water.
- Organize something, whether it be your desk, closet, living room, etc.
- Paint your nails and sit still long enough for them to actually dry.
- Buy yourself something nice, whether it’s a sweater for fall or a new pen.
- Most of all, be kind to yourself.
How do you practice self-care? What would you add to this list?