Author: Beth B. from DIY Mommy
Over the years, “self-care” has become a buzz word. People are trying to figure out how, questioning if they truly need it (you do) or saying they don’t have time but it’s simple. Self care is not a new concept, it’s the act of taking care of your mind, body and everything else. If you’re worn out, sick and feel horrible all the time you cannot commit what you need to your career or family.
Self care is simply taking care of yourself. It’s practicing the basics that your parents have taught you from day one- eat healthy and balanced meals, drink a lot of water, skip out on pop (or practice moderation), take care of your skin, don’t smoke, get plenty of exercise and don’t sit around eating tons of junk food while doing nothing. Those are basics parents teach their kids from young ages but a lot of times it gets pushed to the side. You get married, get lazy, have full time jobs, kids, low energy for anything outside of what you have to do so your body is what gets pushed to the back- until you get sick. Once you get diagnosed with something like an Autoimmune disease and your research throws you down the rabbit hole you will find how important taking care of yourself is and should have been.
As working mothers, time can be limited. You have to make time in your days off to run the errands, take care of the boring stuff like paying the monthly bills and keep the house livable. With all the responsibilities, many people see self care and “me time” as being a luxury but it doesn’t have to be. You’re not required to spend a day at a spa or a weekend getaway with your spouse in order to be considered “self care.”
I have been married for almost a decade and have been making sure I always get a little time to myself, it helps me keep myself grounded and helps me feel more productive. In this time, I have been reading blogs and books about self care and doing my absolute best to always get some time in daily to unwind. It’s been easy for me some months, much harder others and there have been days I haven’t had any chance and I did suffer.
Here are some of the best tips I have found to practice some form of self care on a daily basis:
- Use the commute to practice mindfulness. If you have any form of a commute to get to work, put on music you really like (or turn it off completely) and focus on the present. Mindful meditation will take a little while to learn, but it helps you get into the present. Just listen to the sounds, watch the road and turn your thoughts down.
- Take a small walk during your breaks at work. Exercise in any capacity helps, so just doing some stretches or walking around the office can help you relax as well as help you with focus.
- Write small inspirational quotes on post its and stick them around where you’ll find them later. When you find one, take a few seconds to read it and try to think about it through the day
- Another way you could do quotes is to write them down, put them all in a bowl and pick one every morning when you wake up. All day, focus on that particular quote- meditate on it and think about it as you go to sleep. It takes 28 days to turn something into a habit, so if you can continue keeping positive thoughts for 28 days, you should start to find thinking positive is becoming more habitual.
- Take advantage of taking a shower- do some basic exercises like lunges or squats while washing your hair to add a bit of exercise.
- Instead of listening to music, find an audio book about relieving stress, success or any other self-help topic you could use some help with and listen to that on your commute to and from work.
- Play a meditation tape before you go to bed. Find a voice that you can tolerate because some of the voices won’t appeal to you but you’ll be able to find one app at least.
- Start skipping cake or cookies and go for fruit- it takes no time added to the meal and will still give you sugar.
- When you’re hungry in between meals, drink a glass of water- another thing that takes no extra time. Normally when we start to feel hungry we’re either bored or thirsty. If water fixes the hunger, you’re likely thirsty instead.
- Get a Crock Pot and plan out each dinner in the morning. When you get home from work, you have a healthy dinner.
Not all “self care” would be things to help relax or “me time.” Self care is taking care of yourself.
If there are toxic people in your life, find ways to slowly let them go. Find time to try to privately release negative energy from your life. One of the quickest ways to achieve that is to evaluate all your relationships and slowly sever ties with the ones who stress you out. Don’t make it into a huge fight, just let the relationship die a natural death by not making serious attempts to revive it. Other ways would be to evaluate your inner feelings and thoughts. Any toxic thoughts, make a serious effort to get over them. If you’re insecure about your weight, finding a good exercise routine along with a healthier diet can help, same with trying to embrace yourself when you look in the mirror and focusing on the things you (and your friends and family) like about you.
One of the best things you can do for yourself, body and mind is twofold- drink enough water to keep your body hydrated and get at least seven hours of sleep. If you can find a time you’re always able to go to bed and a time you’re always able to wake up, it can make a world of difference but also try to keep in mind- sleep cycles last 90 minutes, so 6 hours brings you to the end of 4 cycles and allows you to wake naturally feeling more awake than seven or eight but being woke up mid-cycle by an alarm.
It’s recommended to drink eight glasses of water every day. Staying hydrated ensures your skin doesn’t dry out, you refrain from getting dehydrated, it can help you slim down, control hunger and nothing tastes better than a cold water on a hot day.
Not every form of “self care” requires you finding time out of your schedule to actually do something. As mentioned above, water can be labeled self care because it’s taking care of your body and it requires no time, just carrying a bottle with you where ever you’re going so you always have some to drink.
Self care is basic caring for your body.
There shouldn’t be a huge market with a ton of people who don’t know how to do it around their schedules. The best ways to practice are what was taught from the time of being a kid- eat healthy, exercise, keep stress to a minimum and learn how to react healthily to stress, relax, drink a lot of water and get enough sleep.