All You Need to Know About Self-Care (Plus 17 Ways to Get It)

fresh bouquet for self car

That’s right! You’ve got to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others. Think about it, if your well being is compromised, then you’re not in the right position to provide help.

It’s so common to push ourselves to the limits, try to be everything to everyone. Anticipate and meet all the needs. We lose sleep over it, skip meals over it, forgo hair appointments over it.

Keeping a household in line, progressing in your career, raising kids, interacting with family and taking care of your own needs is rewarding yet woefully draining at the same time. You don’t have to feel guilty for thinking so. You’re not ungrateful for feeling overworked, or selfish for wanting to take a moment for yourself. You’re human, and you need a break.

Every time you stop and spend a little time on yourself, you improve your output and longevity. You increase your mental and physical strength by making time to heal, even in the smallest ways. This is called self-care.

Self-care is when you intentionally do something for yourself that improves your well being in some way. It’s making time just for you.

You, you’re the star of the show! If you want the performance to run smoothly, you have to take the time to care for yourself.

Self-care is not selfish. It’s honorable.

Self-care is not about other people. It’s not about pleasing people, feeding people, entertaining or running errands for people. It’s about stopping dead in your tracks and making the concerted decision to do something for you and only you. Did you know that? You and only you. It’s a foreign concept to many of us.

While it may bring you joy to please others and check off the to-dos in your life, if you don’t stop and refuel your tank, being overburdened catches up and fills you with stress, anxiety, weight gain, hair loss, dark circles, or loss of motivation.

When you do for you and intentionally take the time to spend it on things that recharge your life, you’re a better performer overall. Your glow comes back and your self-esteem improves. You get that pep in your step.

Self-care is deciding to make yourself a priority. It’s carving out time to take care of you.

It’s something that someone who runs on autopilot can overlook. I’m right here with you. As a dr., mom, wife and businesswoman, it can be so easy to get lost in everyone else’s needs. But when I take a moment to do something to make me happy, I feel loved by the most critical mind of all, my own. The acts of kindness you do for yourself support the very thing that keeps you healthy —your mind, body, and soul. Having a solid self-care routine helps make you a rock for the people you love. It keeps you balanced.

There’s something about taking care of yourself, feeling beautiful, prepared and indestructible, that shapes your day and makes you beam with excitement. You can conquer the craziness when you’re confident and grateful. Your determination to climb high mountains soars when you’re refreshed and ready to take on the heavy load of life.

Self-care takes many forms. Everyone resets differently, but there are so many things you can do. I recommend choosing a few that are right for you and literally penciling them into your day.

If we don’t plan ahead and instead shoot from the hip when it comes to making time for ourselves, it’s easier to put the desire to do so on the back burner when something ‘more pressing’ comes along, like tidying the overflowing toys in the living room.

Pencil it in. Make self-care goals—little things you can do for yourself.

How can you fill your self-care cup?

Based on your taste, there are many outlets for wholesome, feel good, self-care. I like to think of my self-care goals broken down into 3 parts.

  1. Spiritual
  2. Physical
  3. Social

Spiritual

You don’t have to be religious to find relief in spirituality. If you’re not religious, you can find solace in the earth, inner peace, quiet and meditation. My Apple watch occasionally reminds me to take deep breaths, and for so long, I ignored it. But now, I actually stop for the 1 minute of required time. …And just breathe.

I love factoring spiritual self-care into my morning routine. I take time at the beginning of every day to express gratitude for the goodness in my life and set my mind straight for the day. When you acknowledge ahead of time the joys and obstacles to come, you’re more appreciative and less annoyed.

Physical

Get active and push yourself. Breathe fresh air. Take walks.

Your physical being encompasses anything from your exterior appearance to your interior health. Get to all your doctor appointments. This is a big one. It’s so common to skip the yearly check-ups for yourself but make sure everyone else in the fam is up-to-date. Schedule it and keep it. It’s for your health.

It’s incredible how easy it is to just ‘let yourself go’ when you’re too busy to care—so shower up in the morning. Get dressed in proper clothes. Sweats are totally fine some days, but when it’s been consecutive, pick yourself up, head to the shower for a refresher and get on some daytime clothes. It changes your whole attitude.

Don’t feel pressure to aim for perfect just aim for pampered.

Social

Get involved. Isolation is so typical of busy lifestyles. Self-care can be as simple as scheduling a coffee date with a friend. Laughter and besties do great things for the spirit.

Communicate with your partner, family or physician. People want to hear how you’re feeling. They want to help if you’re low. It’s also a significant 1st step of saying it out loud —acknowledging that you need more.

Lift your mental state: 17 ways to practice self-care

Sometimes it takes a full-blown explosion for me to realize my brain is maxed out. Kinda like I’m the Incredible Hulk busting out of his shirt. And it’s like, “Wo, did that come out of me?!”.

It’s at those moments I realize something’s missing.

Things you can do to lighten your mental load…

  1. Lighting your favorite candle can reduce stress levels. Try it in your bathroom as you get ready for bed. It feels like a little special treat you’re giving yourself.
  2. Jam out to uplifting tunes or relax to calming music to reduce your stress levels.
  3. Pop in some headphones and put on your favorite podcast.
  4. Sit and watch a whole movie. Set time aside to reduce your busyness.
  5. Schedule in time to not be productive and feel good about it. Take a Sunday off, no matter what.
  6. Make the photo book you’ve been meaning to do. Zoning out and working on a project you’ve wanted to do is fulfilling.
  7. Put your phone down. Disconnect. Stop scrolling. When we’re on social nonstop, we inadvertently begin comparing ourselves to everyone else. It’s just not healthy.
  8. Skip the news for a day or two. Tragedy and negative news breeds fear and uncertainty. Give it a rest for a few days to remove unnecessary toxicity from your life.
  9. Work out for 20-30 minutes/day to relieve stress, refocus your thoughts and so much more… An active brain feels empowered and builds confidence.
  10. Hire help to take some things off your plate. When you hire a sitter to watch your kids so you can go to your dr appointment for the check-up you’ve rescheduled three times or get your hair done, those are things necessary for your well being.
  11. Try on your sexy dresses and wear one to dinner, even if it’s at your own house.
  12. Straighten your hair or put on makeup. It’s amazing what earrings and mascara will do for you.
  13. Take a nap. A catnap can improve your mood and performance.
  14. Get yourself a new do. You know how fresh you feel walking out of the salon with new hair. And if you can’t get to a salon, see if they can come to you.
  15. Treat your skin to a hydrating face mask. Rejuvenating and brightening your appearance boosts confidence and gives you a youthful glow. Let’s face it, we all want some of that!
  16. Paint your nails or get a pedicure, massage or facial. Gussy yourself up or let someone else do it for you.
  17. Tell yourself kind things in the mirror —just as you would a friend or your child. You wouldn’t dare say the same nasty things you say to yourself to a gal pal, amiright?!

If you leave with anything today after reading, I hope it’s knowing how important you are. You’re the foundation for the success of things around you.

Life blooms when you tend the garden.

Follow me on Instagram and comment below if you have anything to add. I’d love to learn more self-care techniques for my arsenal.

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