I am a big believer in the NECESSITY of self-care for everyone. As a mom I feel like I need it now more than ever. That's probably due to how much I neglect myself since having Sebastian. Regardless, I feel that self-care is necessary for a person to be less stressed and overwhelmed. Self-care is something everyone NEEDS to be happier and less stressed, but does everyone know what self-care really is?
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
What comes to your mind when self-care is mentioned? Getting your nails done? Taking a hot bath? Treating yourself? It is so much more than all of that. Self-care is different for everyone, but here is a list of what self-care is (or should be) for everyone.
1. It is something that should be done daily. This means you will have to plan for it. It requires a conscious effort. It is meant to be done deliberately and with purpose.
2. It's a deep sense of self love. You have to acknowledge that you not only need, but deserve to care for yourself the way you do for others.
3. Sometimes it's as simple as self respect. Respecting yourself enough to not put pressure on yourself. Respecting yourself enough to allow yourself to skip things and not feel guilty. Respecting yourself enough to not be mean to yourself when you feel like a failure. It honors yourself, your accomplishments and your efforts no matter how small or unimportant you feel like they were.
4. It is something that you should look forward to.
5. It is about taking care of yourself and treating yourself with the same love that you give to others.
6. Self-care is the key to a happier, less stressed you.
7. It is self preservation.
WHAT SELF-CARE IS NOT.
Self-care won't be the same for everyone. When I ask if someone has made time for themselves today I sometimes get the response, "I don't really like yoga" or "I don't have any money". Somehow self-care has been mistaken for only yoga, meditation, or spending money. And while it is different for everyone here is what self-care is not (or doesnt HAVE to be).
1. Self care isn't necessarily splurging on a new wardrobe or a fancy new gadget. It doesn't have to involve spending money at all.
2. It isn't something that should happen by chance or just once in awhile. You need self-care daily.
3. It's not something you force yourself to do.
4. It's not something you don't enjoy. While I fully believe in trying new things, you shouldn't force yourself to do things you don't like.
5. It's not for when the tough stuff is over or when you earn it. Self-care is not something that needs to be earned or perfect. Don't feel as though you have to earn acts of self-care. It is for everyone, every single day. It's not based on how much or how little you did.
6. It isn't easy and won't just happen. You have to consciously plan to do it and sometimes it will take help from others. Sometimes you may have to be flexible or choose to neglect something to make it happen but it's worth it. YOU are worth it!
MAKING TIME FOR YOU!
So how are you supposed to find time for yourself when your daily life is already exhausting you? You have to MAKE time. You have to figure out what works for you! Put it in your planner. Write it on the calendar. Talk to friends and family if you need help. There's nothing wrong with getting help so you can take care of yourself. Start off with small things daily or every other day and don't give up. Ask for help but be flexible. Plan it around your schedule and deadlines so that you can really enjoy it, even if it's only 5 minutes.
The goal of self-care is to relax, refresh, and refuel ourselves. Don't let it overwhelm you or stress you out. That's not the purpose. It's a lifelong practice that takes time to create a habit of. So remember to be gentle and patient with yourself.