I am, without a doubt, a noob at this self-care thing. I am totally the type of girl who will work for hours on a project until it’s done the way I want it. I’m not a true workaholic (I don’t think…), but I’m definitely in that spectrum.
I get it from my dad. I grew up with a dad who was at work a lot. We did a lot together, just him and me, but on many occasions, we’d have to cancel plans due to his work. I definitely cherish the time we had together – our vacations, love of amusement parks, and movie dates. But I wish that we had more of that. It’s just not the example I want to set for my children someday. The most important thing is being there. It isn’t money and it certainly isn’t material things; it’s time.
If I want to NOT be a workaholic and be a better-functioning human being, I have to take care of myself. That might come off as a little selfish, but taking care of ourselves is so crucial to our well-being! Think about it, though. How many times a day do you get so stressed out and overwhelmed that you can’t even think straight? Do you skip lunch because you’re behind on paperwork? Do you skip the gym because you’re too tired from working like mad all day? Or do you consistently work 50-60 hours a week and never feel like you have a break?
Self-care helps prevent burnouts and reduce stress. It also allows you to refocus. When you’re able to get away from a task that you’ve been working on for ages to take a walk, don’t you always come back feeling refocused and centered?
What are you doing to take care of yourself?
If you really aren’t sure what self-care looks like or where to start, then keep reading!
Make Exercise and Eating Healthy a Priority for Self-Care
Guys, this is HUGE! Huge, huge, huge. If you want to function properly, your body requires activity and nourishment! I know that we sometimes think that a handful of Oreos (why do I always use Oreos as an example? I really don’t even like them that much!) is treating ourselves, but is that really treating our bodies properly or just satisfying a craving? Make the time to eat healthy. Stop and take a lunch break and focus on feeding your body the nourishing foods it really needs. Or take a little time to cook something healthy for dinner and enjoy it without any distractions. And really take that time. Actually sit down, away from your desk and your computer, to enjoy a healthy meal.
The same rule is applied to exercise. Make time for it! When you make time to be active, you’re actually practicing self-care. Our bodies were made to move! We were created to run and jump and be active. Treat your body by incorporating exercise and a healthy, wholesome diet.
You heard it! Treat yourself to something special, something you don’t typically do. Whether that’s a hot bath or a coffee date with yourself, a good book, a massage, beginning to practice yoga, or painting pottery – take some time to take care of your body in ways you normally wouldn’t.
You will not die if you go without Instagram or Pinterest for a few hours. I solemnly swear. Actually, the last couple weeks I’ve been so busy working on projects at home that I’ve been leaving my phone somewhere random (like the bathroom counter?) for hours without touching it. I hadn’t noticed it at first, but once I located my phone again, I realized it feels SO good to let the electronics go for a while! It’s so freeing and refreshing to just get rid of social media and scrolling for a bit and give yourself some breathing room.
I am so thankful for a ridiculous amount of things each and every day. I keep a gratitude log in my journal and leave space to jot down two things I’m grateful for each day. It keeps me in the habit of seeking out the good in everyday life. A gorgeous sunrise, my health, my career, this blog, my girlfriends, freedom to worship God… so much to be thankful for!
I love having a journal. It’s a hobby I had as a child that I gave up on in my high school years. I thought it was a waste of time back then, and that all my friends would make fun of me, but I was so wrong. I started journaling again about a year ago and it’s amazing! If I don’t have anything to write about, I follow journal prompts I found online.
Getting your thoughts out on paper is such a great way to relieve stress and let your emotions really come through.
Create a “Me” Space
My favorite place in our home is my bed. I love cozying up in my bed, buried beneath heavy blankets with a mug of hot coffee and a good book. Favorite. Ever. Make a spot for yourself where you can go to relax and get away from the stress of life. That might even be your local coffee shop! Wherever you feel best, get away for some YOU time.
Feel Your Feelings As They Come
In other words, pause for a minute and ask yourself what am I feeling and why? All too often, we stress out and become incredibly irritable, but don’t stop to think why we have those emotions. If you find yourself anxious and stressed out, just stop for a minute and sort those feelings out thoroughly. Just breathe for a minute, dig through your feelings, and figure out the root cause of it all.
To not let those negative feelings build up is actually practicing self-care.
Yep, that’s right. Go spread your talents, gifts, and time to those in need. By helping those in need, you’re actually giving your own mood a boost. Now that does NOT mean just volunteer because you want to feel good about yourself. Volunteering should be a selfless act, one that you perform because you truly desire to help others less fortunate than yourself. This could be as simple as serving at a soup kitchen, helping with your church’s Vacation Bible School, or a mission trip overseas to an impoverished country. Whatever you choose, volunteering is by far the most important way to take care of both yourself and others. In finding ways to care for yourself, do not neglect the need of others. Go! Go now!
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care? Let me know in the comments!