It feels to me as if the term “self-care” is being tossed around a lot these days. It’s “trending”, which I take to mean the concept will, before long, peter out. It will lose it’s meaning, it’s importance. People will tire of it, finding ways on social media to mock it and render it irrelevant. They’ll find another term to latch onto.
Ironically, I just googled “self-care” and on Merriam Webster, front and center, there is an icon of lightening next to the word “trending”. My point is thus proven.
Before this concept is indeed no longer trending, I’d like to add my two cents about self- care. I can only speak from my own perspective of course, recognizing that many people in the world are struggling mightily to survive another day, physically and/or mentally, so finding the time and energy to even ponder what self-care means let alone practicing it eludes them. Which really is a damn shame.
Bottom line: I am grateful that I have enough quiet time to myself, along with the mental energy to both identify what self-care looks like to me and the physical and intellectual ability to regularly engage in the activities that promote it. Especially during those times, like right now, when those people near and dear to me are experiencing life challenges that are weighing on my mind and heart, causing me to feel utterly helpless.
I think that in order to practice self-care in any sort of meaningful way, it’s necessary to define for yourself what it specifically looks like to you. However, taking the time to recognize why practicing self-care is beneficial for you should be your first task. My personal theory is that if I choose to not practice self-care, my ability to be emotionally present for my loved ones will be dwarfed. I will feel put-upon, frustrated, tired, and stressed out. By not practicing self-care, I will lessen my ability to find the silver linings in things as well as hindering my ability to be the best version of myself. By regularly practicing self-care, my chances of being effective at providing emotional support to those I love greatly increase.
Now, while I am admittedly an over-thinker, I cling firmly to the K.I.S.S. mantra (the Keep it Simple, Sister version) when it comes to what self-care looks like for me. I don’t believe any self-improvement endeavor is worth much if there are too many steps.
Let me share some of the self-care tactics that work for me. I urge you to consider what yours are and then share them with me and our blogging friends here in the comments, if you feel comfortable doing so.
- I keep a regular sleep schedule and make it a priority to get enough sleep (8.5 hours per night has proven to be ideal for me).
- I listen to my Soul Song and other playlists daily as they bring me joy. I find that listening to my music each morning puts me in a positive mindset for the day ahead.
- Regular grooming of fingernails/hands and toenails/feet. As in, at home manicures and pedicures. Taking care of my physical appearance in this way boosts my confidence as I am out and about in my day to day life. And it’s a very relaxing activity for me, especially when I’ve got my favorite tunes playing in the background.
- I regularly make to do lists, which gives me a sense of order and purpose. This tactic calms my anxious brain and is a valuable tool that boosts my focus on my priorities for the day, or week. I also get a little kick every time I check something off on my to-do lists.
- I lay out my yoga mat and stretch my body and do a few strengthening and toning exercises every single morning. I follow that up with some prayer time. Expressing gratitude and connecting with the Spirit helps me clear my head and gives me good mental energy for the day ahead of me.
- I ignore people that only have negative things to say as much as I possibly can. You know who they are in your own life. We all do.
- I strive to remain mindful as I go through my days. For instance, really listening to people instead of thinking up responses to what I think they are going to say. Also, limiting the amount of times I check my cell phone throughout the day allows me opportunities to see and experience what is going on in my environment. I think it’s healthy to keep FOMO (fear of missing out) at bay.
- I mentally pull out a phrase or mantra that speaks to me if I’m feeling stressed, such as “This too shall pass”, or “Let it Be” of course in song version because that is how my brain works.