Wow, guys. What day is it even? April and May went by in a blur, and somehow June is here. And between Kyle being off of work and visitors coming and going, plus just sleep deprivation in general, the days are blending together. I’ve felt better the last 2 weeks since having Jonah than I did his whole pregnancy though, and I’m feeling more and more motivated to get back to blogging on a semi-regular basis.
Today’s post is one that I’ve been working on for a few months, and thinking about for longer than that. I’m finally finishing it up, and hoping that it portrays what I want to get across. Obviously, from the post title, it’s self-care that I’ve been thinking about, and I know that you might have rolled your eyes as soon as you read the title. It’s a hot topic, and has been for the last year or so, and I feel a little cliche taking about it, but nevertheless, since it’s something I’ve been thinking about, it’s something I’m going to blog about 🙂
There’s a lot of posts about what self-care is, and a lot of people have varying ideas on that. Personally, I don’t believe it’s always going to be something that you spend money on, or that is an immediate pick-me-up. Real self-care shouldn’t be a selfish behavior, it should be a needed behavior. It’s about refilling your cup, in order to live your life to it’s fullness and take care of those around you. It’s not about finding excuses to run away from your responsibilities or spend money on things you don’t really need. It’s about using your time wisely to make sure you can complete your responsibilities in a timely matter, without feeling overwhelmed and burnt-out.
Sometimes, yes, it might cost money. Sometimes, yes, it might feel selfish. But as long as you are going about “self-care” with the right attitude, and utilize your resources (time, money, etc) wisely, it will make all the difference in the world – from your self-confidence, to your relationships with others, to your mental health – when done right, self-care is a real game changer, for the long haul, not just the present. And so, today, I’m sharing 5 ways to practice real self-care, and I hope they’ll help you realize how you can take care of yourself, and give you a few things to try, too!
Go to sleep earlier.
Our bodies need rest. I really believe that the number one thing you can do for yourself is get more sleep. I’m hit and miss on this one right now, since I have a 2 week old, but even with that, I am making an effort to take naps when I can, and go to bed at night when he does, instead of staying up to do other things. Resting my body is important, and high on my priority list. When I’m well-rested, it makes a huge difference in how I feel and how I go about my day, so “sacrificing” other things I could be doing is so worth it to me.
Invest in your appearance.
This might mean something different to everyone, but it’s not a secret that feeling good about your appearance translates into how you feel about yourself and how productive you are. Invest is a relative term, too. For one person, it might simply mean buying a new bright lipstick to wear to brighten your day. For others it might mean investing in a skincare regime or a haircut. It can mean buying a pair of pants that actually fit you, not trying to squeeze into pants that are still in good shape, but that you wore 5 years ago. Maybe it’s paring your wardrobe down into a capsule. There are so many ways to do this. I love to whiten my teeth, and having whiter teeth makes me feel 100% better about myself, so investing in a teeth whitening program was worth it to me. I’m so excited to not be pregnant any more, so I can get back to using my Smile Brilliant kit. I’ve posted about it before, but it’s really such a great system, and so affordable, too! No matter how you invest in your appearance, whether it’s spending money, or simply taking an extra 5 minutes to do your makeup, it’s worth it.
Invest in your tomorrow.
Y’all know I’m a big planner. I love my planner and live by lists. You definitely don’t have to be as crazy about it as I am, but using some sort of system to help you plan your tomorrows will make your life so much more enjoyable. Two simple ways to invest in your tomorrow, and make life easier for tomorrow-you are:
1) Make a to-do list for the next day. Even if it only has one thing on it, it will make your day go so much smoother, knowing what needs to be done.
2) Pack your purse/diaper bag before bed. That way, when you’re scrambling trying to get yourself ready in the morning, you won’t be worried about forgetting something important at home – you’ve already packed it when you weren’t rushed and were thinking more clearly. I personally like to go through my diaper bag as soon as I get home, throw away any trash that has accumulated, put the sippies/bottles in the sink, repack diapers, etc. And then if I know I’m leaving my house the next day, right before I go to bed I’ll make sure to pack anything else I’ll need — snacks, etc., so I’m ready to grab my bag and go in the morning.
But doing those two small things (and really there are quite a few more ways you can do this — like setting your clothes out the night before) you’ll be ready to start your day without feeling quite as stressed.
Having a clean and organized house makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. Of course, that doesn’t happen regularly (ha!) but I’m striving towards it being clean more often than not. This summer is the summer of organizing, purging and Kon-Mari-ing my house, but of course you don’t have to go quite that extreme. Pick a drawer or cabinet to quickly organize. Throw away the trash, donate the things you don’t use, and organize the rest. It’s amazing the effect something that small has on you, and who knows, it might snowball into you organizing your whole house (that’s how it happens with me!) and you’ll have a tidy house before you know it 🙂
This isn’t going to be self-care for everyone, I get that. But for me, taking the time to read each day is a game changer for me. Whether I’m taking the time to read my scriptures or religious material, or the novel I’m currently reading, I need that time daily, to rest and recharge. This is my “selfish” self-care, since it’s something I enjoy, and can do for only me, but it still is helpful to everyone because having that time not only leaves me feeling more myself and refills my bucket, reading also helps me broaden my mind and learn new things, which I can then teach to those around me, especially my children. It’s a win-win.
There you have it. 5 ways to practice real self-care. I hope these tips were helpful for you, and that you can see how self-care is different for everyone, but is something that helps not only you, but those around you. It’s not constantly “treating yourself” (although I’m all for that every so often!), but making choices and living your life in a way that helps you live your best life.