Self care has become such a trendy term, but what does it ACTUALLY mean and how do we put it into practice?
While taking a bubble bath sounds lovely, I can't actually picture myself doing it. I'm the kind of person who would first have to obsessively scrub the tub because I'd be freaked out about germs, and then stressed out about wasting water, and then wonder how long I'm supposed to soak... (Yes, perhaps I am an overthinker) But hey, if a bubble bath works for you, by all means, enjoy yourself.
But if you're like me and you feel like social media is constantly telling you to practice self-care and you've perhaps forgotten how with all the chaos of life, then let me share with you what I enjoy doing. Maybe this can spark some ideas for you!
1 - Get some sunshine.
Go outside, even if its just for 5 minutes and go for a walk. You're body will be grateful for the movement, and a little bit of sunshine goes a long way. And if you're feeling to lazy too walk, then just sit outside for a bit, go for a quick drive, get yourself a latte with all the windows down and park somewhere sunny while you enjoy it. Just get yourself that vitamin D.
2 - Take a break
As a recovering perfectionist and workaholic, I completely understand the need to keep going, and the guilt that pops up when you are not being productive. But seriously, stop. Burning yourself out is not going to lead you closer to success, it's only going to make it harder for you to be your badass self. Make it a point to take breaks often, even for just a few minutes at a time, so that you can come back refreshed and more focused. Not sure what to do with your break? There are a ton of apps you can download to play games, meditate, read, do breathing exercises, etc. Or you can stretch, doodle, call a friend or relative, go for a walk, lay down, move your body, whatever feels good to you.
3 - Ask your body what it needs
This may seem like a silly or perhaps obvious one but SO MANY of us don't take the time to sit still and quiet long enough to actually ask ourselves what the heck we want. I like to place one hand on my belly and one on my heart, and ask "Body, what do you want? How can I nurture you? What would make you feel safe and happy?" And then pay attention. The more you practice this, the better you will become at recognizing and honoring your needs. And when in doubt, a glass or water and a quick body shake can work wonders!
4 - Give yourself permission
If what you desire for your day off is to binge on 17 episodes of whatever on Netflix, then do it, and don't feel ashamed, guilty, embarrassed, lazy or unproductive for it. You are allowed to do nothing sometimes if that is what you want to do. My only advice here, is to once again, check in with your body and see what it wants. You may find that the binge-watching is not making you happy but instead serving as a way for you avoid something, in which case what you desire may be something else. Either way, stay curious, give yourself permission to do as you please, and remember that you can change your mind whenever you want.
5 - Find your tribe
While I am a bit of a hermit, I can attest to the magic that takes place when like-minded souls come together. There is something really special about connecting with people who share your interests, your vision, and inspire you in unimaginable ways. Join a book club, a dance class, a local organization, and find your tribe! And if you're an entrepreneur, I invite you to my Busy Bee Club where we meet virtually to hold each other accountable, celebrate each other, do group coaching, and more!
6 - Drink a gallon of water a day
I'm not going to lie, this one is tough for me but it is so worth it when you can increase your water intake every day. My advice is to buy a gallon sized water bottle that has the times printed on it, so that you can keep yourself on track throughout the day. I won't get into the health benefits because you already know you're not drinking enough water, don't lie.
7 - Get creative
Doodle in your sketchbook or on a napkin, write a poem, journal, cut up some magazines and do a collage, draw on the ground with a big chalk stick, make up a silly dance, write a song. You don't have to be any good at it, this is not about proving your artistic abilities but rather about allowing yourself to express yourself without a judgement. It's a wonderful and playful feeling!
8 - Rage if you have to
I don't recommend going crazy, burning down your house, and slapping anyone in sight. But sometimes letting out some steam is not just important, its necessary. If you can go to a "Rage Room" with a designated space for breaking stuff then great. Or if you can aggressively scribble on a piece of paper then fine. Or what I find really effective, go to your car with the windows closed, and SCREAM in private until you've gotten it out your system. I also love going to the baseball batting cages, not so much for rage, but because its fun hitting stuff.
9 - Say no
If you're invited to hang out but you're not really in the mood, say no. Stay home and watch a movie, or curl up with a good book. If you're mom volunteered you to translate for her neighbor and you don't want to, politely say you're busy or tell her to dial 2 for Spanish. If you're faced with anything that feels out of alignment, dreadful, or fun but simply not at this time, SAY NO. You don't have to keep putting everyone else's needs above your own. It's a good to fill your cup so that you can pour into others from a place of love and abundance, rather than from a depleted place of obligation.
10 - Get a therapist or a coach
Talking to your friends and family is great, but sometimes its good to speak to an objective party who can guide into making strategic, and thoughtful steps forward. Your mental wellbeing literally controls every aspect of your life and it is not something to take for granted. I have learned something from every therapist and coach I've ever worked with and I am grateful for the impact they have had in my life. And if you're curious about coaching with me, I recommend The Exploration Journey!