Updated: Nov 15, 2019
Self-care is a magic buzzword that you hear all the time nowadays. But what is self-care? It means taking time to do things that focus on and improve your own physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual well-being.
However, it can be hard to find the time to take care of yourself. So many of us are busy with work and family and friends that we forget having a self-care routine is just as important as taking care of others.
Is Self-Care Right For Me?
Have you ever flown on an airplane? Remember when the flight attendant tells you that if the little oxygen masks drop down from the ceiling to put on your own first? If an airplane is depressurized, you could pass out before being able to help others if you don’t put on your own oxygen mask.
This is exactly like self-care. If you are physically and emotionally spent, you are no longer functioning at your best. Self-care is for everyone and when you engage in a self-care routine, you build yourself up so you can take care of what needs to be done.
When you’re having a busy day, it’s easy to forget to take time for self-care. Luckily, there are many different ways to incorporate it into our busy schedules. Plus, self-care doesn’t have to look the same for every person. What makes you feel good may not work for others and vice versa.
How to Start Self-Care
It can be intimidating when trying to think about fitting another thing into your schedule, but self-care can be as quick or as time-consuming as you want it to be. The only important thing to remember about a self-care routine is that it makes you feel replenished instead of drained.
Take some time to think about what makes you feel good and then begin to make some time for those activities. You may think that you don’t have time to focus on yourself for even a moment some days, but keep in mind that when you take a little time for yourself, you come back stronger and more able to take on the rest of your day.
Seven Quick Self-Care Tips to Get You Started
Do a ten-minute workout. Get those endorphins pumping!
Go for a short walk outside. Being out in nature is proven to help lower stress levels and make us feel better.
Take a time-out. Time-outs may be hard for kids, but they can be a welcome break for busy adults. Go somewhere you can be alone and just breathe. Remind yourself how awesome you are and that you totally got this.
Just say no. Sometimes we overload ourselves with things to do when we don’t really want to or need to. Remember that it’s okay for you to say no.
Focus on the good. Constantly looking at the negative side of things can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. If you find yourself focusing on the bad, notice what you’re thinking and then make a conscious effort to shift those thoughts to focus on the good. If you can’t find any good in a situation, then don’t think about that situation. Find anything good, and focus on that instead. There is almost always something good you can find, such as some flowers you saw on your way to work, the smell of your favorite latte, or how cute your cat looked curled up in her bed. Find the good and focus!
Eat a salad. Eating nutritious, healthy food can make you feel better. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time or motivation to eat healthy, but even if you make one healthy choice, it can make you feel better physically and mentally and set you up for good choices in the future.
Treat yo’ self! It doesn’t have to be extravagant (or it can be if you’ve got the time and money!), but take the time to treat yourself. Buy some fresh flowers and put them on your desk or table. Take ten minutes to read on a book you enjoy or buy yourself a new one you’ve been meaning to read. Buy yourself a fancy coffee or a smoothie. If you have more time, get a massage, facial, or mani/pedi. Whatever you do, make sure it brings a smile to your face and some peace to your soul.
Remember a self-care routine is all about you! It’s what makes you feel good. There is no right or wrong way to do it and no time limits you need to impose. Including self-care in any way you can is a great technique to keep yourself going strong and being the best you that you can be.