Self Care is having a total moment right now. In fact, its somewhere on the list of 2017 MVP’s. Many health trends have come and gone, or faded out under the shade of the newest thing. #SelfCare, however, came in like a wrecking ball and has no plans to leave anytime soon.
So what constitutes as self-care?
Most basically and most literally, Self Care is the act of caring for yourself. The vagueness of the definition allows an individual to practice it in any way they see fit; what matters as that your taking the time away from the hustle to do something for your self, something that makes you feel good. When you make time to care for yourself, you reap benefits in so many ways. You improve your mood, you can improve your self-esteem and confidence, you nourish yourself (physically, mentally, or emotionally). The practice of self care doesn’t have to be one thing, or just one set of things, its whatever you want to make it.
A few examples of how to practice self care:
Personal Care and Grooming:
Getting your hair done
Food and Fitness:
Going for a Walk
Sitting and enjoying a cup of tea
Listening to your intuitions and cravings
Eating nourishing and whole foods
Sleeping in when you’re tired
Playing or listening to music
Enjoying one of your hobbies
This is just a sample of the things you can do to practice self care. Like I said before, anything you do for your self that makes you feel good is a form of self-care.
Self Care, where have you been my whole life?
It makes me a little crazy inside to think about how long it took me to find the importance in having a self care routine. I would work out and eat healthy, but I completely neglected the rest. Now, I make it a point to perform acts of self care on a routine basis. On Sunday nights after dinner, I take a hot bath with epsom salts and essential oils. It feels good to go into full relaxation before the busy work week begins. I also like to give myself a weekly manicure and pedicure. Its a fun little art project that makes me feel more put together. I also enjoy DIY face masking 2 or 3 times a week, I have a few different concoctions (all from standard cupboard items). My favorite is an exfoliating and moisturizing honey mask.
DIY Honey Cinnamon Mask
1. In a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp raw honey, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp nutmeg.
2. Apply evenly over your face, careful to avoid eyelids.
3. Leave on for 10 minutes.
4. Apply water to hands and gently scrub the mask in circles on your face.
5. Rinse well, and perform the rest of your skin care routine (Or at least moisturize).
The cinnamon and nutmeg are anti-inflammatory and work as a gentle but effective exfoliant. Honey is naturally antimicrobial and has enzymes that reduce inflammation and redness.
On the non-personal care side of things, I practice self care by taking 10 minutes to play the guitar even when my morning is busy, or by doing a little arts and crafts project. Finally, my latest addition to self-care has been seeing the beauty and necessity of listening to my body. When I’m to tired for an intense work out, I go for a walk or do light yoga instead or when I am exhausted, I let myself sleep in a little longer. All of these things, are things that make me feel good, like I am taking care of myself — mentally, physically, and emotionally.
If you read this and think, “must be nice to have the time and/or money,” know that I once had those same thoughts when I saw others doing these things or read about them. Self-Care does NOT need to be costly, nor extremely time consuming. Its just matter of figuring out where and how it fits in to your life. When I do face masks, I apply them in the five minutes before I am going to shower. Then while I’m in the shower I do the other things first so that then by the time I wash it off, its been on for 10-15 minutes. A hot bath takes just a little bit longer than the shower you plan to take anyway, so just make it habit to enjoy a bath when you had already planned to shower on your Saturday or Sunday. You get the picture: there is time in your established routine to pencil in acts of Self Care, and the benefits the your mind, body, and spirit are endless.
If you already love Self Care, keep on keepin’ on girl! If you haven’t intentionally practiced self-care yet, then I encourage you to just pick one thing to start with, and add it to your routine. Even if its just one face mask, or a session of meditation. Once you make one small addition to your routine, its easier to add others.
For more on Self-Care, watch this video from friend and vlogger, Barnett Bradley! She discusses the importance of and ways to practice Self-Care! Check out her youtube channel Barnetta Bradley, for super awesome lifestyle videos!
thanks for reading, friends!