Self care, the phrase alone sparks so many conflicting emotions. On one side our brains are trained to view the term as an act of indulgence, selfishness, and narcissism. The other half places self care on the back shelf for a rainy day… or for when we have time, which may be years down the road. I have heard people suggest “Oh I will get to that when I am 60 and have more time.” What happened to making time to fully love, nourish and treat ourselves with respect? When did this shift in our thinking take place that made such a precious act like self care unacceptable or unimportant?
A little bit about me…
I come from a long line of women who valued being there for others rather than making time for themselves. My grandma did it, my mom did it, and eventually I was taught how to survive on little to no self care. I became very successful in making other people happy. But I eventually became burnt out, tired, and often times sick from racing around like a crazy lady. The last straw was when I became resentful. I watched as everyone else’s dreams unfold, but I remained in the same spot each day, not accomplishing my own goals. I knew something had to change.
Psychologists have stated that practicing self care promotes individuals to live more consciously and give root to caring for others more effectively. That doesn’t seem selfish to me.
I embarked on a journey of figuring out this new and uncharted territory. I started small and allotted weekly manicures and biweekly 10-minute massages that took place every Friday. It was not over the top, but the effects of spending an hour at the end of the workweek to pamper myself felt so amazing. I saw a shift in my values and attitudes. I even ended up trying Bollywood dancing and Burlesque. It was completely out of my comfort zone and filled me with laughter each time I stepped into the room.
Then, there was a turning point.I changed professions to incorporate what I am truly passionate about. My relationships became healthier because I was healthier. Most importantly I was happy, a feeling I had lost for a long time..
image via Pinterest
What You Can Do Today…
Here are some simple ways to start loving yourself more:
1) Make a list of activities that seem fun, exciting, and ultimately make you happy. It doesn’t need to be crazy like sky diving, but it certainly can if you want!
2) Make a list of Absolute No’s. Sometimes knowing your boundaries is just as important. For me my Absolute No’s are over packing my schedule, working for less pay, and not going more than 7 days without self care.
3) Get a self care buddy! Check in with each other, and turnover what you are planning to do for the week as it pertains to self care. It makes the process easier and more fun with another person at hand.
Overall, it never hurts to add a little care and fun into the daily routines! You may be surprised by the results.
Ellese Launer is a published writer and blogger for Cheers, Gorgeous!– a blog dedicated in pushing the limits and creating a life filled with pleasure.