By Jackie White
Self-care seems to be a popular buzzword these days. Women’s magazine covers seemingly can’t be published without some reference to self-care. Blogs, podcasts, and health and wellness gurus all talk about self-care. I think it’s become a word and a concept we are numb to.
I am not saying that we aren’t interested in it because for sure we are! In fact, 80% of women said they would feel relaxed and refreshed if they spent taking time for themselves. Doing something as simple as taking a bubble bath would feel like a spot of heaven! Yet, fewer than ⅓ of women spend less than 30 minutes on themselves a day!
Herein lies the problem, we talk a lot about self-care, we hear about self-care, but still, we don’t take the time for self-care. Let’s take a moment to get aware of why it is not such a good idea to disregard the importance of self-care.
The Importance of Self-Care
Self-care is about caring for yourself whether it is physically, mentally, or soulfully. It is about jumping off the busyness of life for a spot of respite. It is easy to see why we should all do it, but the truth of the matter is that it is many times the first thing to go when life gets hectic aaaand life is hectic!
Making time for self-care is critically important in your overall health and wellness. Oh and by the way, your health and wellness should be one of your top priorities. It's sort of like car maintenance - something that you have to do or the car will not run properly. Without the maintenance, the car might get out of alignment or it might just need some fuel for the car to keep going. It’s the same for you to keep going, you have to fill your tank (with love, care, joy, peace, or calm) and ensure that you are living in alignment with your priorities in life.
We have all had seasons of burning the candle at both ends and sure that happens and we get through it, but to persistently function at that level you may start experiencing significant consequences, such as depression, anxiety, resentment, overwhelm, and overall burnout. So, you see you just can’t function like that indefinitely. But, here’s some good news: these negative implications can be mitigated with a little self-care!
How to Mini-Retreat
A great way to kick off a self-care routine is to take part in your very own mini retreat. I love this idea because first of all, you have made yourself a priority! Yay, You!! And second, this is time set aside for you to soak in the things that bring you joy and respite.
Where: Ideally, you can actually go somewhere away from your usual routines, like a bed and breakfast, a tent in the woods, or even a friend’s house that will do the retreat with you! How fun would that be?
If you cannot go to another destination, that is totally fine. Instead, commit to yourself that for the day or half-day, you are not going to engage in anything other than self-care.
Set Some Rules:
Set Up a Schedule: I love this because you are structuring your time around things you love. A sample schedule might look like this:
8:00 - get up, make a nice breakfast or go out for breakfast
9:00 - go for a walk outside (getting sun in your eyes is beneficial for your brain, hormones, and total body wellness, who knew?!)
10:00 - schedule an activity you enjoy (knitting, dancing, drawing, visiting with a friend)
12:00 - make a healthy lunch or go out for a healthy lunch
1:30 - take time to meditate/quiet your mind. Journal your experience when you are done.
2:00 - schedule another activity or perhaps a short nap (not a long nap, you’ll get too tired)
3:00 - stretch your body, do yoga or take a walk. It’s important to move.
4:00 - read something stimulating for your brain. Engaging your mind is a great stimulator for inspiration and motivation.
Remember this is a time for you. Personalize the time around what makes you happy and what takes care of you! This season, start taking time to put yourself back on the list and make it a practice that you engage in often!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.