Do you view self-care as selfish pampering?
I hope not.
There’s been a lot of craziness lately, politically, but also I keep hearing that a lot of people had a tough February with business launches, bad colds, sick kids, etc. And taking care of ourselves is so not selfish.Self-care is a necessary and possibly life-saving tool that's especially important during busy, stressful, or uncertain times.Click To Tweet
There so many benefits to making time to take care of yourself, such as:
- Getting sick less often (stress compromises the immune system).
- Increased focus.
- Improved relationships.
- Increased income.
- Less anxiety and depression (or helps keeps those conditions more manageable).
- More energy and stamina.
- Improved ability to give our best selves to others.
Honestly, I could just go on listing benefits of self-care, I’ll spare you that and get to the good stuff. Below, I’ve gathered some advice from some impressive women who also happen to be bloggers, solopreneurs, writers, and more. What I love about their responses is how many different ways there are to interpret this concept, but also how they have a lot of similar themes.
- Nikita Ross: My self-care practice is unplugging from the world and reading a book. Sometimes this includes finding a nice spot outside, or at a coffee shop.
- Brenda Burchard: For me, it’s usually getting outside to take a walk and look for those birds! If the weather is especially bad (and the dog doesn’t need to go out), I’ll take the read a book route. Also good is practicing my euphonium – it’s easy to get lost in the music and come back refreshed, plus it requires a lot of concentration so I can’t keep coming mulling over the problem. It just has to take a back seat until I’m done practicing, and then I can look at it anew. This worked great during finals week in college. The complete break from the studying allowed me to go back and really concentrate again and be much more effective.
- Deborah Fingerlow: I walk and let someone else “tell me a story” through the app on my phone. Fresh air, great cardio and a good story. It’s my daily getaway.
Get your blood pumping:
- Lori Rochino: Mine would be doing Les Mills Body Flow once a week at my gym. It’s a mix of yoga and Pilates moves and actually helped my back when I pinched a sciatic nerve. Oh corpse pose in the end is great too – I always look forward to that
- Gina Horkey: Buy a Fitbit and hit at least 10k steps per day. Use the reminder feature to get up and move every hour. You can even pair your movement goals with the Pomodoro Technique for an extra productivity boost!
- Hanna Foster: I enjoy going for a hard run, workout, or yoga. It depends on my mood and what I feel like is bothering me the most at that time. If I’m angry, upset, or sad I’ll workout and lift close to max or run really hard. If I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed I’ll do some yoga.
- Kimora Chanel: I like to do a variety of things but as of late it’s mainly been yoga and getting my nails done every two weeks.
- Tamar Golan: The best self-care product I recently got to know and absolutely loved is Upright!! It’s a little gadget that keeps you upright at all times with a short easy daily training.
- Lisa Tanner: Stay hydrated! I’ve learned the hard way how much dehydration really impacts mood and energy levels. So find yourself a water bottle you enjoy and keep it filled. Drink throughout the day!
- Margaret Lee: I get a deep tissue massage to keep muscles flexible and balanced.
The Water Cure:
- Debbie Gartner: I treat myself a hot bath every night. It relaxes my muscles and helps me fall asleep faster. The only time I’ve skipped this is a few years ago when I broke my foot.
- Amy Fillinger: I take baths. It seems simple but I take them often. Almost daily! Sometimes I’ll do reading or Pinterest related work on my kindle, but I’m still relaxing! I use lavender essential oil and Epsom salts too.
- Melissa Ghrist Ricker: I get 30 minutes to myself every night while my husband puts the baby down. Every Tuesday night is my night. After dinner I soak in the bubble bath and read. Hubby gets baby duty all evening. I ride horses Saturday mornings and get a massage every other month. I put this stuff right in our family shared calendar so no one forgets (not that I ever would).
- Alexis Schroeder: Meditation. I firmly believe in meditating daily, as it has tons of benefits, is free, and can be done anywhere. There are tons of studies that prove how amazing meditation can be.
- Katherine Kanaaneh: I am a mom of 3 and my oldest has moderate-severe autism. There are several self care things that I enjoy. I do start my day at 5:15am so I can get a meditation in before my family is up. I also volunteer as an autism support group facilitator. I have found that giving back to an organization that helped me when I really needed it and helping others really fills my heart in a special way.
- Liz Golden Bucary: Waking up extra early to have time to myself. Throw in some yoga and meditation and I’m ready to start my day.
Find a little time for yourself:
- Carrie Willard: My best self-care practice as a mother of 7 and homeschooling parent? I get up every day at 4:30. This gives me 3 hours each day, at least, to myself before the household is up. I write, blog, plan and work on my goals and what I love and nobody bothers me, interrupts or needs me. Of course, this requires going to bed early!
- Vashti Kanahele: I read every night before bed, just to unwind. A daily dose of fresh air, by myself, when my hubby gets home from work. Sometimes that entails a walk or just relaxing on the patio with a glass of wine.
Bake or make something by hand:
- Stephanie Moore Spillmann: I take a day off from writing and work-related stuff. Channeling my domestic-diva self and making a chocolate pound cake from scratch always puts my life back in balance.
Plan a getaway:
- Amanda Cox: I find going on short term trips is best for my mental health. If I’m at home, I have a to-do list a mile long, but when I go away (even just for 1 night to a city a few hours away by bus) I normally leave the list at home. It makes me relax without feeling guilty!
Get some sleep:
- Lisa Wiese Kimrey: I would say make a good night’s sleep a priority. If I’m stressed I also focus on eating a rainbow of fruit and vegetables. This helps to cut back on sugar without thinking about the sugar:)
So many great ideas from these women. I’m feeling inspired to add some of these practices to my arsenal.
And a few other ideas:
- Morning pages journaling practice. I’ve shared how much I love this before. It’s still the best way I know to clear my head.
- A hilarious movie or show to binge-watch.
- Eat something healthy and hearty. Eating something healthy is taking care of your body, but just make sure it’s something you love while you’re in rest and repair mode. An example I love is spaghetti squash with meatballs. I also love zoodles, but my husband says they’re an abomination. Oh! And my mom’s recipe for banana paleo pancakes is awesome if you want something sweet and homey. (One banana, one egg, pinch of baking powder. Make sure to keep them silver-dollar sized).
- Seek community. Whether it’s in person or in a Facebook group, find colleagues and peers to vent to who will understand and support you. A mastermind is so so good for this.
- Coloring is a fun, low-commitment way to unplug and feel more creative. I’m a big fan!
- Learn something new. I love catching free live broadcasts of CreativeLive classes whenever I can.
I had so much fun learning about all these bloggers’ self-care practices. Are there any that surprised you? Any you’d like to add to your bag of tricks?
If you’ve got more, I’m game to hear them! Let me know what your self-care rituals and routines are in the comments.