Self-care is a real passion topic of mine. I know the terminology is becoming overused now almost to the point of confusion as to what 'self-care' even means. Is it wishy-washy, is it real, is it just a 'marketing' term to get us to do more things?
I have talked about self-care a lot on my blog (here are a couple of my favourite posts the best essential oils for self-care or self-care for single mums), but something that has been coming up recently that I wanted to chat about today is that self-care isn’t an item on your to-do list. It is not something you have to force yourself to do, but more, something simple that creates space in your day, when you need it most. As soon as you add it onto a list, it becomes a chore and mundane and then are we really getting any benefits from it.
Don’t ever feel pressured to ‘have to do’ self-care because when you do, you are taking away the energy behind it. Self-care is about taking care of yourself. If you feel pressured; it becomes more about something to tick off your to do list, to rush through, to get it done, and be finished with it. It drains energy instead of replenishing it. And really that's what self-care is all about, an opportunity to replenish energy that becomes depleted in our busy days.
Self-care is about creating space in your day. Taking a moment to stop, relax and recharge. Self-care isn't fancy, expensive or luxurious. Self-care is about a cup of tea in silence, reading a chapter of your book, a chat with a friend, a sit down on the couch, cleaning a cupboard, taking a walk or just playing with your child. These activities are so much more relatable, realistic and achievable. We all have full lives with lots of things to get done each day as well as lots of big ideas and dreams that we want to achieve. But self-care is the phase of just being. Just being who you are today, right in this moment, not doing, or hustling, or achieving.
Our body is designed to rest, relax and repair. It is recommended we sleep 8 hours a night for a reason. But we also need to stop during waking hours. Rushing from one thing to another for 16 hours of the day and then falling into bed exhausted to get your 8 hours sleep isn’t going to be sustainable long term. Take the time to have breathers in your day, this is talking care of yourself. Stop and enjoy the small things, the view out the window, the rain on the roof, cuddling with your kids, taking time to enjoy a meal - this is self-care. Aim for an hour a day, in a one hour time block or 4 lots of 15 minutes, whatever works for you. But take the time, slow down, stop, enjoy; and never feel guilty for it- this is self-care.