What do you think of when you think of self-care?
Most of us can agree that the self-care we enjoy most is a day at the spa with our besties, a nice bath with candles or finally reading that novel we bought three years ago!
But there’s also a different kind of self-care. The kind that involves doing work on yourself- discovering and unfolding the layers that make you-you.
I would argue that both are equally beneficial for our health, confidence, and relationships, so why do we find it so difficult to make the time?
Why don’t we make time for ourselves?
- It feels selfish
- We believe our needs are not that important.
- Saying “No” is difficult
- There is a fear about what will come up for us if we let ourselves be alone with our thoughts for too long.
- The belief that we’re weak if we need to take a moment for ourselves, let alone a few days.
- We don’t believe we’ve earned it or don’t deserve it.
- We tell ourselves that we don’t have the time to waste on ourselves.
How do we overcome self-care objections?
Overcoming difficult hurdles is not an easy task. But here are some tips to help you ease into more time for self-care.
If you would say any of the above (reasons we don’t make time for ourselves) to a friend or loved one. So why do we say it to ourselves?
Give yourself permission
To take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself like you would a loved one.
Remind yourself that the world will continue
We can lose track of ourselves while taking care of others and forget that the world will not fall apart if we take a time out. If we take a few days, a few hours or even a few minutes- the world will go on. At times, this may not be easy to do, especially if you are caring for someone who’s ill- but there are ALWAYS a few minutes in a day for you.
Decide that you are more important than anyone
This may be a hard pill to swallow- but hear me out. It may take years, months or days- but your body will eventually force you to take a break. We’re only human, in the end. And although our bodies are incredible -at some point- it will say enough. Don’t let it get to that point. Put yourself first so that you have the energy, the mental capability, the health, and the focus to help those around you.
Remind yourself that being selfish would mean NOT taking care of yourself
Ask yourself- without you, how many lives would be impacted?
Self-care doesn’t need to take a lot of time
Figure out where you can fit in the things you need. You may not be able to do everything you want, but you can start small, like taking a break every couple of hours.
Your self-care time in your calendar
Let loved ones know
That you need to take some time for yourself and that you would need their support.
Learn to say no
As much as we want to help everyone, do everything-we can’t. There have been entire books written on how to say “No”; that’s how hard this is for people. But the more you practice the above tips, the easier it will be to say no. Saying no is about setting boundaries for yourself. People won’t dislike you for saying no, and if they do- ask yourself if these are the people you want in your life.
Set a timer
Perfect for those where time is a factor.
The benefits of carving out time for yourself
If you’re still not convinced that carving out time for self-care is important, here are some benefits.
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Boosts your self-confidence
- It helps to avoid burnout
- Improves self-compassion
- Protects your mental health
- Can lead to better relationships
- Improve your overall health
- And so, so, so much more
Not sure where to start?
Here’s some inspiration.
- Journaling to reflect on your life.
- Cooking a healthy meal from scratch.
- Read a book on cognitive health that helps with negative self-talk.
- Try meditation.
- Exercise- including walking and hiking.
- Listen to an uplifting podcast
- Watch Netflix- yup… if you need to take a break from everything, get lost in a guilty pleasure show on Netflix
- Drink 8 8oz glasses of clean water/day (minimum)
- Sleep or nap
- Declutter and organize your living space
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