Selfcare isn't selfishSelf-care has become somewhat of a buzzword. It’s been gobbled up by marketing companies and brands wanting you to buy their products to “take care” of yourself or feel pampered.

Unfortunately, the growth of the word itself has made the core of self-care somewhat confusing. Nowadays, many people think it’s a luxury. You might think you have to spend your days at the spa or go on an expensive trip to truly practice self-care.

But that just isn’t the case.

Real self-care is something you should do every day. Thankfully, it can be compromised of little things. Your biggest challenge might be actually making time for it. If your schedule feels overwhelming, it has to be a conscious effort. It’s when your schedule feels that way that self-care is more important than ever.

So, what is self-care, really? How can you make time for it every day?

More Than a Marketing Term

First, it’s important to note that self-care doesn’t make you selfish. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s a way to refuel yourself, inside and out, to feel more engaged every day.

Not only can self-care make you feel better and boost your mood, it has a variety of health benefits. It can strengthen your relationships, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and give you more energy.

How you should practice self-care depends on what you really feel you need. Undoubtedly, there are areas of your life that you feel are “lacking”. One way to determine where you need self-care the most is to rate those areas. They can include:

  • Your emotional wellbeing
  • Safety
  • Your social health
  • Your professional life
  • Spiritual strength

These categories aren’t all-inclusive. Wherever you feel you might need help, self-care can be the solution if you dedicate it to that specific area.

How to Make Time for Self-Care

Woman stretching outsideOnce you realize why you need self-care, put it into practice. Again, if you have a hectic schedule, that can feel easier said than done.

But, it’s not impossible.

Start small by incorporating self-care into your day in 15-minute increments. Yes, there are things you can do in just a few minutes that make a big difference. Stand up from your desk and stretch. Pull out a journal and jot down a few things you’re grateful for. Water your plants. Make a cup of tea or coffee.

These are all small things, of course, but it might surprise you how much they can relax you right away, especially if you’re feeling particularly stressed.

If you have a bit more time in your day, make time for bigger self-care projects. Bake your favorite cookies, go for a hike or call a friend to catch up.

Developing a Routine

Man drinking hot teaThere is no wrong way to practice self-care. It’s all about what rejuvenates you in those necessary areas of life.

The best way to avoid going through self-care slumps is to make it a part of your everyday routine. Some days will be busier than others. But that can’t be an excuse to ignore self-care. That’s why making time for it each day (even 15 minutes) is crucial. By working it into your routine, that becomes easier.

For some people, that might mean caring for yourself first thing in the morning. For others, it might be after work or right before bed. As you make it a habit, you’ll look forward to it as a way to unwind and de-stress from the day, whether you’re just starting it or finishing it up.

Don’t fall into the idea that self-care is a luxury. It’s beyond a buzzword, and something you should make time for each day. If you have any questions about self-care and how you can better incorporate it into your life, feel free to contact me.

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