What Does Self-Care Actually Look Like?
Self-care is important. But what exactly is self-care? We live in a media focused world, that portrays self-care as soaking in a salt bath, getting a mani-pedi, or retreating to a spa for a weekend. And although these are all really great things to do for ourselves, self-care stretches far beyond a weekend getaway.
Self-care is something that should take place on a daily basis -- not just when you finally find time for it in your schedule once a week. It means having time to yourself, even if just for a couple minutes, each day to reflect upon yourself. What do you need? What do you want? What is your heart tugging at today? What do you find yourself gravitating toward lately?
That being said, here's how to show yourself a little more love each day:
Take some time to journal.
Self-Reflection is a huge part of self-care. Journaling really forces you to look inward and reflect upon who you are and what you value. Our values are what ultimately drive us. They're a huge factor behind each of our decisions - no matter how big or small. Recognizing what means the most to us helps us not only prioritize our to-do list, but also impacts the way we see ourselves, each other, and the world.
Get enough sleep.
Sleep is essential to productivity, better health, and better attitudes. My freshmen year, I was averaging 5-6 hours of sleep each night. Two years later, I'm averaging 6-8 hours and the difference is quite noticeable. It's much easier to get into a work flow and maintain it throughout the day. I've also been able to take on more daily activities and responsibilities with clear thinking, and I think a huge part of that is attributed to a stronger rest schedule. I'm also a huge advocate for small naps throughout the day. I find that a nap or two during the day for 20 minutes - 2 hours can help me restart if I find myself completely bogged down.
This is something I also need to work on as well. Running around being productive can really take it out of us, so it's especially important to replace the hydration that we lose each day. The better we feel, the more productive we can be.
Get rid of toxins.
Relationships. Friendships. Activities that weigh you down. Whatever is burdening you too much and putting you in a bad position, get rid of it.
Tell yourself some positive affirmations.
Whether you think them to yourself, write them down, or say them out loud, positive affirmations help a lot. Over Thanksgiving Break, my friend and I were climbing a small mountain. I was wearing Vans because I wasn't anticipating having to climb anything (great shoe choice, right?), and there was snow and ice on the sides of the rock. I was honestly trembling with fear, because I thought I was going to slip and fall down the side. Because there wasn't really anyone near us, I felt like it was okay if I yelled positive affirmations to myself as I climbed, or rather crawled on my hands and knees, up the side.
"Yasss! You go girl! You got it. Yesss, look at me climb this mountain!" were among a few of the things I yelled as I crawl/climbed and I couldn't stop simultaneously laughing and crying at the same time. It made for quite the memory, but I made it to the top and I'm still here so I mean that's a win...
But as for daily affirmations, I think that just a quick reminder in the morning or throughout the day can go a long way. I find that when I wake up, I let myself think about how productive and capable I am going to be each day. At night, I think about all that I have done that day and it helps me realize that I'm more productive than I feel sometimes.
Living our best lives entails expressing gratitude. You could keep a gratitude journal if you want. Or maybe text/call a friend and just let them know how much they mean to you and that they're in your thoughts. And remember how blessed you are to wake up each morning with the opportunity to do great things.
This one can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. Maybe you want to treat yourself to a new pair of shoes, a mani-pedi, or even just a nice dinner to yourself. Maybe it means treating yourself to a warm bath. Decide what your soul needs to relax and feel great, and treat yourself.
Feel like treating yourself to a shopping spree? I've been shopping online in the comfort of my own home at Mad Style . I love their most recent winter items! Here I'm wearing a scarf cardigan, a black shawl, my new favorite black hat, and a really nice faux fur jacket. Click here if you're interested in checking out their new arrivals!
What do you like to do to take care of yourself?
Let me know in the comments!