Self care is ___________ // What does self care mean to you?
When I used to think of self care, I thought of the “usual”: bubble baths, shopping “sprees" (at a thrift store, or online secondhand shop), a long walk, a banana split, sun bathing with a magazine or a good book.
Now, I still think of those things, but with the added layer of sheltering at home with the ones I love, during what continues to be an incredibly taxing year (on everyone), finding time for “self care” has been a struggle (at least for me), but I now think about it like this: Setting/keeping boundaries; developing a routine(s); embracing “normalcy”; engaging in creativity and zoning out.
With the above in mind, I wanted to share some (hopefully) helpful tips for how to make self care a priority:
Boundaries: So even though we’ve been “stuck at home” for most of 2020, that doesn’t mean a lot of us are taking advantage of the extra time at home and taking care of ourselves. I’ve found my boundaries blurring between “at home”, “at work” and “at whatever else I spend my time on” because I don’t really go anywhere or do anything. The key for sheltering in place for me has been setting boundaries. Setting specific time to be “on”, whether that’s for work, school, or another way you spend a major part of your day, is so crucial. For me, this means from 8-5P, I’m available for work (checking email notifications on my phone, Teams alerts, etc). Outside of these hours, I’m “off”, taking care of my family, doing chores, etc. Everything else that needs to get done to run a household.
Routine: Setting boundaries becomes so much easier when you have a good routine. I’ve learned that my children thrive with a routine, and it’s not much different for adults. Setting a specific flow for your day, gives everyone something to look forward to. Whether it’s snack at 10A, nap (for my toddler) at 2P, or a fully flushed out nighttime routine, complete with journaling, a face-mask/skin care regime and a smell-good candle, these are the times when we know we have something specific to accomplish, and parameters in which to operate.
“Normalcy”: If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that “normal” doesn’t mean anything. That’s not to say there’s nothing “normal” about a routine or boundaries, but “normal” is a silly word, and we shouldn’t really aspire to be it, because it no longer has meaning (because there is NOTHING “normal” about 2020). All that to say, if there are things from pre-COVID that were “normal” to you, that brought you joy, and you still enjoy, do those things! Get dressed up, plan out your outfits and goals for the week, wear make-up, work out, some sort of constant that you can count on in all of the madness, do those things!
Zoning out: I’m starting to realize how incredibly important it is to just turn off my brain (and my smartphone). Watching a simple TV show or movie or reading a book that doesn’t require a PH.D. to decipher the plot is key. And to clarify, mindlessly scrolling social media does NOT count as zoning out. I would argue that actively disengaging from the never-ending hell-scape and news cycle that is 2020 is wildly important for your self health and sanity (RIP RBG).
We all need to take time to refresh, recharge and reset because this year is a doozy. And I have to say, I’m so excited for the launch of Back Home on October 1. Ethically sourced home, body and bath products sound like a dream to elevate any self care you do (and provide a minor escape).
I’ll close with this final thought: self care is NOT selfish. I equate self care to the safety instructions flight attendants run through before take-off: Put on your oxygen mask before helping others. Because if you aren’t able to operate at your best, how can you help anyone else?
Are there tips you would share for making self care a priority and what self care looks like to you? Share them in the comments!