Everyone wants to step back and focus on living intentionally and to the fullest, but sometimes we forget to take time for what's really needed to make any of our life aspirations reality. What are we forgetting about? Self-care.
What is self-care exactly? Self-care is basically taking time to yourself on a regular basis to nurture and inspire yourself in healthy ways.
Self-care doesn't just happen naturally. It takes intention and practice. The only way that purposeful self-care will take place is if you make it a priority in your life and in your heart. Trust me, I know it can be hard to find time to slow down in how busy life can be sometimes. I totally get it. But if we want to further ourselves in the long run, we must make time to make self-care a top priority and put ourselves first when it's appropriate.
WHY SHOULD WE MAKE SELF-CARE A PRIORITY?
When self-care isn't a priority in our lives, we will eventually experience a deep burnout both physically and mentally. When there's a lack of self-care in our lives, it can lead to other things like depression or anxiety, or deepen those struggles if you already experience them.
Self-care is not selfish. Most of us enjoy putting others first and helping each other out, but how can we expect to pour into others if we have nothing to pour out? The only way we can truly help others is after we've first helped ourselves. This is so important
"Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel." - Eleanor Brownn
For some reason, I get the feeling that some people put of self-care because they view it just as resting or "boring". But this isn't the case with self-care at all! Self-care is all about enjoyment and creating a good foundation to a happy life. I like to think of self-care as the creative side of resting.
Self-care isn't necessarily the same for all people. For example: I love a day where I can just relax and catch up with myself - take a bubble bath, paint my nails, listen to my favorite songs - basically, a pampering day. My husband Michael would much rather lay on the couch, take a nap, or cook his favorite healthy meal if he's taking a self-care day.
Now, self-care shouldn't be only a one-day thing. Yes - take an entire self-care day to yourself every once and awhile, but also incorporate it into your everyday, as well. This could be as simple as starting a gratitude journal, reading a book or magazine, or listening to some of your favorite songs.
HOW TO MAKE SELF-CARE A PRIORITY:
Take Time To Rest Regularly //
Taking time to rest has increasingly taken on the role of just being treat when you've done well or have finished something. This is NOT how it should be at all. You need to take time to rest regularly, as this is the first step into diving into proper self-care.
Reflect On The Now //
Reflection is so important to be in tune with where we are at in life. Reflecting on the now helps you see the areas where you need to focus better on when it comes to self-care. Do you need to spend more time pampering yourself or do you need to spend more time eating properly. Reflecting is how you can notice of these things.
Learning How To Say "No" //
This one was a hard one for me to learn, but over the past years I have gotten good at knowing when to say, "no" to something. If you don't learn how to put down your foot when you need to, then surely expect others to take advantage of that. Again, yes - helping others is key, but only when you've had time to care for yourself.
Create Reasonable Boundaries //
Creating boundaries for yourself also ties in with learning how to say "no". Forming boundaries in your life can mean not taking on extra projects or it can be as simple as deciding to only go out once a week with your friends, instead of multiple times. Only you can create the boundaries that are appropriate for you and your life. Remember that it's okay if it takes time for form them.
I am so glad that I am bringing a focus to self-care here at Coffee With Summer. It is something that I am really passionate about and am always wanting to grow in. I hope these tips today can prompt you to start to take notice where you can be putting yourself first more. I would love to hear what self-care means to you and what you like to do when having self-care time. Tell me in the comments!
You are worthy of self-care.