Updated: Jan 12
Is everyone tired of hearing about self-care, especially after 2020? Probably. But it’s incredibly important, and the reason we heard so much about it during lockdown is because there are so many physical and mental health benefits to taking some time for yourself. We are going to look at some reasons to engage in a regular self-care routine, as well as some easy ideas to get you started. Like anything new, self-care can be daunting if you have never taken time specifically for yourself. It doesn’t have to be.
First and foremost, self-care does not necessarily mean mani/pedis and face masks. It can mean those things, but it doesn’t have to. Self-care is anything you do to nurture yourself. Maybe that means cancelling plans after a busy week and spending the night in your favorite pajamas, eating your favorite ice cream. Maybe for you it does mean putting on a face mask and dancing around your house to your favorite music. While anyone can offer up ideas, only you can decide what is going to be beneficial for you. But why bother? Self-care does have many proven benefits.
Manage Stress Regularly practicing self-pampering routine can reduce stress levels. It makes sense. If you are taking the time out for yourself and relaxing, your levels of stress will naturally fall. If your long-term stress is being managed over time, it may have implications for good overall health.
Raise Self-Esteem So many of us have issues with self-worth and self-esteem. Practicing some self-care is a great step towards raising self-esteem. By its very definition, you are taking the time to love yourself (which as someone with lower self-esteem, you probably don’t do often enough) and the more frequently it is practiced, the easier loving yourself will become. The more you carve out time to enjoy yourself, the less willing you will be to give of yourself so freely.
Reduce Anxiety In addition to managing stress, regular practice of self-care can help individuals with anxiety. It may even help with some depression symptoms. Self-soothing techniques and meditation are excellent ways to practice self-care in a way that could improve anxiety.
Provides A Reset If you are indulging in some sort of self-care routine at least once per week, you are allowing your brain to have some much-needed down time. We all rush through our days with a million things on our minds. Enjoying some “you” time provides your mind an opportunity to just, be.
Raise Self-Awareness Particularly if you are practicing an exercise like journaling, self-care can lead to learning more about oneself. Meditating can provide the same sort of awareness. The more time you spend with yourself, the more you will get to know yourself. The more you get to know yourself, the easier it will be for you to become the best version of yourself possible.
After seeing some of the benefits to regularly taking part in a self-care routine, let’s now look at some examples of what that may consist of.
· Journaling We posted a blog about journaling not too long ago. Regularly keeping a journal has its own list of benefits. Making it a part of your daily/weekly self-care routine could be beneficial on multiple layers
· Meditation You don’t have to sit cross legged with your palms up to meditate. It helps! But it’s not necessary. Some people meditate by listening to the sound of rain. Others may choose a guided meditation (which can be found on YouTube by searching “guided meditation”)
· Reading/Listening to an E-book/Podcast Kick your feet up and listen to or read something just for fun!
· Bubble Bath This writer believes if you’re going to do a bubble bath, do it right! Add candles, aromatherapy, soft music. make it an experience
· Shower Same idea as the bubble bath; make it a moment. You’d be surprised at what some little tea light candles can do to a seemingly drab bathroom.
· Enjoy a hobby When was the last time you took time to draw, or write, or play golf? Whatever your thing is, go out (or stay in) and do it! This is your time. If you don’t have a hobby, maybe you can set some time aside to learn a new one.
A Note from The Writer:
One of the keys to reaping the rewards of self-care is consistency. Make a routine of it. I have come up with a routine that I like to call “Self-Sundays”. Lately, that looks different each week, but one thing remains consistent: for one hour, I will take care of myself. Sometimes I lock myself in the bathroom with my favorite playlist and some candles. I put on a face mask, hair mask, and fill the tub with bubbles. Sometimes that means I light some candles, listen to a sound bath, and write in my journal. Each week is different. But I always make sure to give myself a minimum of one hour. There have been times when I have given myself the entire day – but I also had the entire day to spare. For me, the important aspect is repeating the act of setting aside time every single week.
Have fun with it! This is something you are doing for you .Don’t overthink it. Just carve out the time for yourself and enjoy it. And don’t be afraid to try something new!