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What is the definition of Selfcare?
Selfcare is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept, in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Selfcare is not only for women but is for each and every individual.
Selfcare isn’t a selfish act either. It is not only about considering our needs which allows us to be able to take care of others. That is, if I don’t take enough care of myself, I won’t be in the place to give my loved ones the care they need either.
What are the symptoms of neglecting selfcare?
- Low energy
- Feeling hopeless
- Less patience
- Increased headaches, stomach aches, and other physical symptoms of stress
- Difficulty falling and staying asleep
- Challenges in choosing healthy food and urges to eat “comfort” foods
- Worsening mental health symptoms like depression or anxiety
- Feeling “burnout”
- Difficulty concentrating or suffering from brain fog
- Strain or distancing in the relationship with your spouse or partner
- Less patience with your children
- Reduced performance at work
- Less motivation to engage in social activities
It’s no surprise that when we neglect our own selfcare, it catches up with us. All of the above symptoms and consequences that happen when we don’t take time to better care for ourselves can add up quickly.
What are the best practices to ensure selfcare?
- Plan it out and mark it on the calendar.
- Add it in as part of the routine
- Don’t postpone it and say I just don’t have the time.
What are some selfcare ideas?
Think about your happiness and needs and put a plan in place. Even if it is 15 minutes a day for a month it is better then nothing. The key here is just to try. Are you going to do it perfectly every day? Of course not. Maybe you try one of these ideas below, and it just didn’t give you the peaceful boost you were hoping for. Then try another and keep trying until you find something that gives you the result you’re looking for.
Get a pedicure
You don’t even need to leave your home to get one. Do your own nails, have a friend come over, or let your kids do them. I am not guaranteeing that if you let a toddler do them that they will look amazing but it does make for fun. (Remember to put newspaper or something underneath to prevent ruining surfaces).
Give yourself a facial
You could do this and then act like the tickle monster to make it into a game, but you are reaping the benefits of having refreshed skin and boosting your mood by laughing.
Take a bubble bath or an Epson salt bath
Get a message either by your significant other or a massage therapist
Get your hair done
I absolutely love this because when they wash your hair they massage your scalp plus you walk out looking like a million bucks.
Make a gratitude list
You could even make it into a project as a family since Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
Listen to upbeat or relaxing music
Stand in the shower with the hot water pouring over your back
After a really long day, this tends to help me a lot even just to relax enough before bed. It helps to relax your mind and muscles.
Listen to a meditation (There are several FREE ones on YouTube)
Schedule a date night with your spouse, partner, or friends to connect without distractions
Enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee with your feet up and no distractions
Spend five minutes taking deep breaths
Turn your phone off for 30 minutes
Listen to an Inspirational Podcast
We all need inspiration from time to time when our spirits are low and the times are tough. A great way to uplift your spirit is listening to something inspirational. When you hear someone else talk, sometimes you could relate to that situation which is motivating, and it gives you hope knowing you can overcome any tough times.
Participate in a yoga class
Write in a journal
Writing can be therapeutic, making it an excellent self-care activity. Writing your short term and long term goals in your journal can make you feel confident and ready to achieve those goals. You can also schedule daily and weekly activities in your journal. Stress can sometimes be as a result of trying to accomplish too many tasks in a day. Schedule those tasks in your journal, so you reduce the stress of trying to achieve so much in one day.
Read a book for 20 minutes
Lifting weights or just taking a short brisk walk can do wonders. No one said you had to sign up for the gym. There are a lot of exercise videos you can watch on youtube. When exercising, you can even include your kids in those exercises to make it fun.
Learn a new hobby or restart an old one that you having been meaning to come back to.
You probably thought coloring was just for kids. Coloring helps reduces stress and anxiety making it an excellent self-care activity for moms. There are adult coloring books that are great to do in your downtime to get your creativity flowing. You can also include your kids in these activities, or you can do some coloring when you need a “me time.”
Cooking and Baking
This is one of my favorites in the fall and winter months. Trying out new recipes and indulging in the process will make you let go of those stressful thinking. Cooking is very therapeutic and can offer you the chance to practice mindfulness. Being aware of your surroundings when prepping the ingredients and chopping the vegetables.
Honestly, these are only short term selfcare tips that will have to be repeated daily or weekly. Furthermore, if you have toddlers or children like myself baths are very short for you because you are constantly getting pulled into a million different directions that it is the last thing you think about.
However, several of these I can easily implement into my daily life. Don’t you think you could do the same?
A basic checklist:
Although selfcare means different things to different people, there’s a basic checklist that can be followed by all of us:
- Promote a nutritious, healthy diet.
- Get enough sleep. Adults usually need 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- Follow-up with medical care. It is not unusual to put off checkups or visits to the doctor.
- Spend enough time with your loved ones.
- Do at least one relaxing and pleasurable activity every day, whether it’s taking a walk or any form of exercise, yoga or meditation, cooking or spending 30 minutes unwinding. In line with the self-care conditions, what’s important is that you choose a form of exercise or activity that you like!
- Look for opportunities to laugh!
- Allow yourself to enjoy each happy moment in your life.– Steve Maraboli
- And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.– John Steinbeck
- Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.–Deborah Day
- Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves.– Nathaniel Branden
- Self-care is how you take your power back.– Lalah Delia
- Take time to do what makes your soul happy.”– Unknown
Click here if you would like to download a selfcare checklist of ideas. I put mine on the side of my dresser mirror so I can accomplish one daily.
Set up a 15-day selfcare routine and see how you feel before and after. And never forget: As with everything, self-care takes practice!
I hope you enjoyed this and have a few ideas that may help. If you wish please comment below with your own self-care tip.
DISCLAIMER: If you are feeling overwhelmed in thinking about how to make changes to better prioritize your own self-care, seek help. Especially if struggling with mental health concerns, it can be really hard to start making changes to better ourselves. Seeing a therapist can help you break down your goals into easier, achievable steps, and support you in this goal of making yourself a priority.
Another Article you may be interested in: Therapists Share Their Favorite Meaningful Self-Care Tips