How To...Practice Self Care

Self-care is not always something that’s seen in a positive manner and is often viewed as selfish behavior. Today I’m aiming to challenge that notion and encourage everyone to view self-care as a basic human necessity. 


1.     Believe you deserve to practice self-care


When you think about self-care, do you think of it being spa days and excessive vacations? More of a luxury that you don’t have time to partake in? While this is the luxurious side of self-care, I believe it encompasses so much more and that’s the part that I find to be necessary. Until you believe you’re worth having a self-care routine…it will always feel like a privilege instead of a need. 


Since we’re being honest (right?) practicing self-care is a demonstration of self-love. The more often you ignore your need to rest, recover, rejuvenate, or have any sense of self-care…you are communicating to yourself and the world that you are not worth it. Having a consistent self-care routine teaches the world your value and expressing what you know you deserve. If you don’t care for yourself…why would anyone else? 


2.     Determine what self-care routine works for you


There are so many forms of self-care and having the most effective routine in place is critical to maintaining your health and wellness. Self-care can come in many forms whether it’s having a consistent sleep schedule, working out regularly, journaling, regular prayer and devotion time, providing community service, or having 30 minutes of alone time daily. Whatever that looks like for you, you have to determine what your self-care routine needs to include. For me it includes having massages every 3 week, getting my hair and nails done regularly, going to therapy regularly, working out (even though it’s not my favorite…), spending time with my family/friends, and ensuring I’m having a great sleep schedule. 


How do you create a self-care routine? Start by doing the things you’ve always wanted to do. Do you wish you could do more of [Fill in the blank] more often?...then get out there and do it. Interestingly enough it really is that simple. This goes back to step 1, truly believing that you deserve to have a proper self-care routine. If practicing self-care is new to you, start one step at a time and add one piece of your routine at a time. Start with 10 minutes of alone time and work from there. 


3.     Build self-care into your schedule


“I don’t have time for that” is the most common excuse for why people feel they cannot practice self-care. The reality is that we’re more than willing to find time to care for everyone else in this world without even blinking an eye…why can we do this for everyone we love except ourselves? It doesn’t always require a lot of time, you’d be surprised how much 10 minutes of alone time, a quick 30-minute workout, 30 minutes of prayer/devotion time, or reading one chapter of a book can do. It simply requires committing to the cause and believing the results of practicing self-care will be worth it in the long run. 


If you already practice self-care, can you improve in any way? Can you do it more often or more consistently? What do you enjoy most about practicing self-care? Is there something you’d like to incorporate into your self-care routine that you’re hesitant to do for some reason? Even if you’re practicing self-care you can always work towards improving. 


4.     Set limits for your time


Setting limits for your time is so important to ensure that you are planning your time and controlling the impact of others in your schedule. You can spend time with others while making sure you place fair limits on that time. It really requires being an advocate for yourself and standing up for what you need. Yes you can spend time with your family, but do you have time to lay around hanging out all day? Yes you can talk on the phone but can you afford to talk for hours while pausing your productivity? Yes you can…but how much time do you have to give? 


Placing limits on your time is not just for the other people in your life, sometimes you have to place limits for yourself. Even with self-care. Unless it’s your sabbath day (which I recommend weekly), you don’t have time to waste right? In order to stay productive I encourage you to set time limits on everything you’re looking to do. It’s how you’re going to be able to do all of the things you’re going to want to do with you time. Time management is absolutely essential. 


5.     Protect your peace


One of the most important pieces of practicing self-care is protecting your peace and ensuring that those around you are contributing to your peace. You have the right and the ability to protect your peace regardless of who you’re speaking to. Need help learning to protect your peace? Check out the step by step guide presented in How To…Protect Your Peaceblog. You deserve to live a peaceful life and the people around you should want to be apart of that. 

One thing I will say that has significantly contributed to me living a peaceful life has been minding my business. This is with regards to family drama, work drama, and any other kind of drama that does not directly impact me. I constantly ask myself “Does this have anything to do with me?” If the answer is “no” then I kindly move on with my day without allowing myself to get emotionally or mentally invested. Think about the last family or work drama you found yourself worked up about…did you NEED to be involved? My guess is no.