Getting to the Root of Self-Care
One morning last week, I woke up feeling so cranky and drained. I found myself picking at my partner, feeling bothered by even the smallest things, and beating myself up for it all at the same time.
When taking care of those I love makes me feel irritable and exhausted, I know I need to spend some time taking care of myself.
Some folks might think that sounds selfish or indulgent—and maybe that’s because our culture teaches us to wear exhaustion as a badge of honor. But I know that when I nourish myself first, the care and attention I shower on myself overflows onto those around me. Then I feel free to give my time and energy—no strings attached—to my loved ones and my community.
I know from experience that certain habits drain my energy over time. Things like...
...staying up late to answer emails
...not making time for daily meditation and journaling
...trying to juggle more than I can handle
...overdoing it with sugar (especially when I’m PMSing!)
...skipping meals to tackle my to-do list
...allowing myself to get caught up in worrying
It helped me to make a list of things that make me feel happy, supported, and cared for. Then I try to do a few of these things each day. Things like...
...getting a massage (I’m still working on making this a more regular habit)
...sleeping in on Sundays (hard to do with a toddler but I’ll get back there one day!)
...cooking with my family
...watching a ‘feel-good’ movie (preferably while snuggling with my two dogs and two cats)
...reading a good book
...spending time with dear friends (who are usually positive, funny, and full of energy!)
Self-care can range from simple, daily habits like getting good sleep to more ‘grand gestures’ like a day at the spa. At the root level, any activity that helps you feel ‘filled up’ can be self-care.
Sometimes, you may feel too busy to add a new activity onto your plate. We’ve all been in those seasons of life when even just brushing your teeth feels like a big time commitment. Don’t worry, self-care doesn’t have to be fancy or Instagram-worthy.
When approached with the right mindset, the simple things you do every day to take care of yourself (even brushing your teeth) can count as self-care. Instead of trying to multitask while you brush your teeth, stay present with the activity to give yourself care and attention. While washing your face or applying lotion, use kind and gentle hands to massage the places on your face that carry tension, like your jaw or in between your eyebrows. In this way, you’re elevating your morning routine and transforming the mundane into something special.
What habits help you to feel cared for and supported?
If you need help getting creative with your self-care, I’m here to help. I love working with my clients to develop sustainable self-care routines that fit easily into daily life. Schedule an initial consultation with me today.