3 Components For Your Self Care Routine
This Saturday, I took a much needed day to myself. I woke up at 7 am with a burning desire to just go. I wasn’t quite sure where, or what I’d be doing, just that I needed the freedom to. With a schedule that’s always jam-packed, including the weekends, I always know what I’ll be doing and at what time. Sometimes spontaneity feels like a breath of fresh air.
I vacuumed my car, wrote an article at Starbuck’s, grabbed a late lunch and got myself a new dress from the mall. Each moment happened as it came; the idea popped into my head and I went with it. The tasks themselves were nothing extraordinary and somehow, the whole day was one of self care. The power of just listening to what I wanted, moment to moment, is just what I needed to re-balance.
Self-care is this buzzword that we throw around to give ourselves permission to take nap or do our nails. In a lot of ways, it can be this elusive unicorn that we’re all in search of for ourselves, but don’t know how to find tangibly. There are some days where, yes, my hair is self care for the day, but on other forcing myself to eat some vegetables is just as important. What I’ve learned about “self care” is that we’re often already doing it without the label.
When you zone out and thing of the things necessary to maintain yourself as a happy, balanced adult then your self care routine should be an intentional effort tailored to your own needs. To achieve that goal, of balance, there are three components necessary to every self care routine, despite what the tasks themselves may look like.
Do everything in your power to stay healthy and meet your physical needs. At face value, this means preventative measures like healthy eating choices, exercise and getting those regular check ups in. It also means listening to what your body is saying. Do you need more sleep? A good stretch? Have you eaten today?
Up until college I was plagued by period cramps that would leave me useless for 1-2 days a month, every month like clockwork. I’d miss school and be bedridden while I tried almost every over the counter pain killer and home remedy there was to no avail. Finally, I went to the doctor and it was as simple as getting on the pill. Years of suffering for a solution that worked right away.
Your body will almost always let you know what’s up and it’s your job to listen. Don’t push yourself beyond physical indicators that tell you to slow down and don’t ignore the signs that something is off.
l If I could boil this down into three words, they'd be: guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23).
In the context of self care, guarding your heart means maintaining your mental health at all costs. This could mean everything from purging your life of toxic relationships to maintaining clutter free surroundings.
As someone who has struggled with depression, managing emotional health is another monumental art of the equation that is self care. Things I've learned?
- Let yourself feel, but know your limits.
- Allow yourself room to feel the emotions as they come, but develop a plan to work through them and not get stuck there.
- Sometimes the only way out is by forcing yourself to have fun.
- Most importantly, you won't always be able to cope on your own and it's okay to get help.
This is about feeding your soul, your innermost self. For me, that means consistent prayer and worship, but having some sort of spiritual discipline that meets your own needs is the last piece of the puzzle.
Take time out to sit and reflect, journal or even kill two birds with one stone with practices like yoga. Learn to get to know you core self and listen to those needs as well. Sometimes I like to just sit in silence because those thoughts and feelings always come to the surface in a way that busy, day-to-day routines don't usually allow.
What are some of your favorite self care methods? Share with me in the comments below!