It’s been a buzzword for years, a cure-all for stress: self-care.
It’s advice usually given to women who are more used to taking care of others rather than themselves. From bringing food to the weekly team meeting to making sure that the kitchen is well-stocked and the meals are planned to reading bedtime stories, they are used to putting others’ needs before theirs.
Self-care puts your needs first. A usual concern is that self-care is “selfish”—how can you put your self first when others need you?
Self-care is about nurturing yourself, about filling your self so that you have something to give. If you’ve been giving and giving, you will find yourself depleted, resentful, stressed. You’re like a cellphone that’s run out of charge—unable to function and completely useless to anyone.
When you start feeling like this, this is when you’re given the advice of self-care. That usually brings up images of massages and bubble baths. Instead of thinking about self-care as indulgence, maybe it’s time to think of it as a habit (like exercise or waking up early) and to be creative about it. It doesn’t have to be a pedicure or taking some me-time by shopping in a crowded mall. It doesn’t have to be about yoga class or meditation. Most importantly, it doesn’t have to take too much time.
Self-care is about nourishing yourself inside and out, done daily. Here are some ideas:
1. Protect yourself from people or things that don’t serve you.
Hide content from Facebook “friends” who annoy you. Don’t read or watch the news. Turn off notifications on your phone.
2. Make time to do things you love.
If there’s a hobby you’ve been putting aside, take 30 minutes on a Saturday morning to indulge in this. Take an online class or find a school nearby that teaches a new skill you want to learn.
Be a tourist in your city by going into parts you’ve never been. Or check out TripAdvisor to plan the trip of your dreams. Visit a travel fair or watch online deals for a trip somewhere you’ve never been.
4. Allow silence.
Do a digital detox by taking a few hours (or even a day) without checking social media or email. Start the day by setting an intention for the day instead of checking your phone. Find a church or other holy place and sit quietly inside for a few minutes.
5. Affirm what’s good in your life.
Write down three things you’re grateful for every night in a journal. Affirmations such as “only good lies before me” or “Life loves me and provides for me” during the day will allow want YOU want in your life.
6. Surround yourself with who and what you love.
Hand-written quotes, special photos, even an altar on your desk will set mindful tone for your work. Say yes to friends and activities that give you energy instead of sapping it.
7. Make life a pleasure.
Use the pretty dishes and the fancy silver. Buy a fancy Limoges teacup and tea for a mid-afternoon break.
8. Love your body.
Sleep. Your body, spirit (and everyone else who will come in touch with you) will love you for it—the ultimate definition of self-care.
PHOTO CREDIT: Lyka Gonzalez
When you don’t know how to take the next step, Aueeie will help you courageously move beyond uncomfortable feelings like fear, uncertainty, and self-doubt into a place of positivity, possibility, and delight. Aueeie will support you in becoming more loving towards yourself and in trusting yourself fully.
Read more of Auiee’s work here: http://auroramsuarez.com