Self-care is so important whether you are healthy, stressed, anxious, chronically sick or have 8 fingers on one hand! As someone with a chronic illness I’ve noticed what a difference self-care makes with my health, but in a busy life it can be hard to make sure I take the downtime that I need to make sure that I continue healing. I continually have to remind myself that I can do anything, but I can’t do everything. I am of no help to anyone if I don’t take care of myself first and make sure that I’m doing alright. A burned out Jen is just a cranky buttmunch and definitely zero fun to be around. So remembering that I can say no to some things or that I can ask for help is super important.
When I first started to practice self-care it wasn’t very hard because I had been so sick for awhile that I had very few obligations besides work, but once I started to feel better I felt like I wanted to do EVERYTHING because I finally could! I could make plans to go on vacation with my boyfriend, I could sign-up for a weekly yoga class and I could make lunch dates with my friends again. I quickly burned myself out because despite feeling somewhat better I still didn’t have the energy that I used to have and it impacted my health big time. Now if I know I’m going to be busy I make sure to schedule in my self-care time with my trusty planner. Everyone teases me about having an actual physical planner and not just using an online one, but the beautiful art on my Erin Condren planner and being able to make it creative with stickers and fun pen colors makes me so happy!
Self-care is not just a one and done thing. Find some self-care options that you love and make sure you’re setting time aside for yourself each day. It may seem impossible, but I promise even the busiest person can fit 10 minutes of self-care into their calendar. After awhile it becomes a habit. Plus, it will make you more productive! Below are some fun ways that I use to practice self-care and I hope you’ll love as well!
Sometimes you can kill two birds with one stone and practice self-care while getting a workout in. Taking care of your health is so important for your well-being and the endorphin rush isn’t anything to shrug at either. Fitting a good workout in can make you more productive and doing it outside reaps even greater benefits. Whether it’s going for a walk or lifting weights in the gym you can use exercise as your me time to get your heart rate up and reflect on the day. My mother practiced this as one of her self-care methods when I was growing up just to get away from everything for awhile and you could definitely tell the difference!
It doesn’t matter if it’s at home or in an actual spa, just spending some time on pampering yourself is great for your mood. Light some candles, drop in a bath bomb from Lush and grab a book while you relax in your tub. I have some great book options right here! I usually add some meditation music to the background as well. Another option is to go get a massage because lord knows nothing relaxes me like a great massage. Releasing the tightness in your body and feeling the touch of another human being is a great way to instantly enter that relaxation mode.
Doing one of my various hobbies is one of my favorite ways to just shed away the stress from the day and focus on what I’m doing. I can read anywhere and everywhere and there’s nothing like getting lost in a good story while sipping on some delicious tea. I also love painting with water colors and I love that I’m not good at it because there’s no expectations to create a masterpiece. I can just paint what I’m feeling and get it out on the page so it’s no longer trapped inside of me. Some other things you can try are singing, listening to music, cooking, baking or learning something new. Pretty much any activity that you enjoy can be self-care if you make sure to carve out that time for yourself.
Get your pretty on-
Nothing makes me feel better then when I know I look good. Getting my hair done or my nails painted makes me feel like a million and one bucks. Even simply putting on some makeup and picking a cute outfit out of my closet does wonders to lift my mood. Wear whatever makes you feel happy and it will do a lot to improve your mood. Every morning I make sure I’m dressed to impress because it’s definitely worth having to get up in the morning just a little bit earlier. I have my daily makeup routine down to about 10 minutes and I think about what outfit would make me happy today while I shower. It’s a quick and easy way to fit in some self-care that pays me back all day long! My boyfriend practices this my picking out his clothes the night before.
This is one of the easiest ways to practice self-care because you can fit it in anytime with the myriad of apps that are out there now. Have a spare 10 minutes? Fit in some meditation. It’s a great way to center yourself, ease stress and become mindful of the world around you. If you want to learn more about meditation check out some info here.
Clean and decorate-
Yes, yes, I’m aware that cleaning can sometimes feel like a chore, but I know I always feel 10x better when I’m surrounded by a clean, well-organized room. I naturally tend to be a messy person so making sure everything has a home to go back to and putting it there once I’m done with it is so important. Once stuff starts piling up it feels like an unsurmountable mess to get through. I want my home with my boyfriend to feel like a reflection of us and a welcoming and calm place to be. It’s always a work in progress so finding the perfect new pillows, a gorgeous bouquet of flowers or a great piece of art for the walls makes our home feel more homey! For me self-care isn’t just caring about myself in the moment, it’s about doing something that I know will make me feel better in the long run.
These are just a few options that are out there, but I hope you found something you like! Eating healthier and practicing a self-care routine are hands down two of the best things I could have done for my health to support my healing while my doctors do their work. We live in a world where we think bragging about how jam-packed our schedules are is a good thing or we go about touting our own horns for how many hours we put in at the office this week. There is no amount of money that can buy you your health back or the quality of your life. Be your own best friend and take care of yourself!