Let’s talk about that wellness industry buzzword that, let’s be honest, we’ve probably heard too many times to count: self-care. It’s been all the rage for the past few years, and it’s no secret that social media has curated some unrealistic expectations for what this should look like. We’ve seen the exotic trips, green juices, fancy spa days, the insane yoga poses – and while I’m sure these things were created with the intent to inspire us to want more for ourselves, the sad truth is that a lot of times, these same things create insecurities and self-doubt. We compare ourselves to that stranger’s life on social media intentionally or unintentionally and think we’re doing it all wrong.
While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little ‘treat yo-self’ every now and then, I think there is so much more at the core of truly taking care of ourselves. What if we actively tried to notice the things that we need on a daily basis before we reached the point of burnout, exhaustion, and self-doubt? Because the truth is, self-care is about daily, consistent, intentional care, not ‘special occasion-drive yourself into debt-once every few months’ care. You can’t run yourself ragged all month, and then book one manicure and hope that will fix everything – sure, it may for a moment, but it’s not a long-term solution towards a journey of becoming better.
I have learned this the hard way many times. I didn’t know burnout was a real thing till I actually experienced it firsthand, and I couldn’t believe that something that started as simple as “just a stressful day” could manifest itself into a full-blown nightmare over time because I didn’t catch it soon enough. I don’t want that for anyone reading this! Here are 3 simple ways to take care of yourself every day before reaching that point of burnout and overwhelm:
- Do one little thing for yourself: hey people pleasers! I know this one makes you cringe so hard. I get it, I really do. It feels awkward, selfish, and wrong to do something just because you want to. What helped me is realizing that in order for me to really best serve the people around me, it was imperative that I take care of myself first. We’ve all heard it before, but I’ll say it again, you cannot pour from and empty cup. So whether it’s making sure you drink enough water all day, listening to 10 minutes of your favorite podcast, saying no to plans because you’re exhausted – these are all small ways to do this.
- Pay attention and acknowledge: I am the worst about this, just going to go ahead and say that. But I know I have to get better at it, and chances are that someone reading this may need to as well. Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day. If you feel headachy/sluggish, drink some water. If you’re feeling anxious, pause what you’re doing and take a few deep breaths. If you need a break, actually take a break. I know we can’t always act immediately on things that we may be feeling, but too many of us are running around busy, frantic, and barely in touch with how we’re actually doing – and we need to change that!
- Make time to move everyday: Whether it’s a 10 minute walk as a family, an hour workout with your girlfriends, or 30 minutes in your living room using an app – this is so important! You’ll sleep better, combat stress more effectively, and improve your mood – which only helps the people around you. It’s really a win-win for everyone, and you get to tackle everything you need to do with a much fuller tank!
If you’re like me and wanting to get better about taking care of yourself more consistently, I hope some of these help you make that a little simpler and more attainable! And most of all, I hope you know that you’re so worth the time to care for yourself. It’s not selfish, and you have nothing to feel guilty about