Self-care: not just a trending hashtag

So I realize writing a post about self-care is a pretty cliché topic these days, my apologies. It’s a trending buzz-word for a reason though!

I guess we have those young new-millennials to thank for it? Really though, if their generation wasn’t so fixated on instant gratification and well, themselves and then posting their every thought on social media for everyone and their dog to see would self-care have become acceptable among society these days? Especially for working women, stay-at-home moms, working moms, etc. Previously, making time for yourself to relax, to do something just for you may have been perceived as being selfish, or lazy. However since the self care movement really took off, the “stigma” attached to self care that if you put yourself first you were not a good mom or wife because you should be spending that time with your kids and family has begun to lift and we are beginning to realize that self care is a smart, healthy, responsible thing to do.

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Is it an exaggerated generalization to say people are over-worked and stressed to the point of sacrificing their physical and mental health? Maybe. Point is, most things are created out of necessity. Self-care came along because we needed it to and it’s a pretty basic concept. Oh you had long, hard day work? Full moon, and the kids were crazy all day? Here’s an idea, how about you take some time to yourself tonight and relax?! So simple yet we still struggle to make time for ourselves to relax, decompress, do something that makes you happy.

So allow me to tell you how to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before but if you’ve never actually practiced some self-care then please let this be the last time you just read about it and not follow through.

The Tips and Tricks of Self-Care:

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1. We need to pencil-in Sharpie-in those “me-times” like you would a meeting or your son’s soccer game.

2. Don’t cancel on yourself. You can’t bring yourself to cancel plans with an old acquaintance you really don’t want to listen complain about their job for the next 3 hours because you’ll “feel bad” but you’re ok to just cancel on yourself?!

3. Plan ahead, give yourself something to look forward to to get through a tough week.

4. Self-care doesn’t have to cost $400 for a day at the spa. Run a bath, light some candles, throw on a face mask, grab a glass of wine (or the bottle) and lock the door.

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5. You’re not selfish for needing a break from being the perfect wife, mom, sister, co-worker, boss, etc. Taking a break is how you maintain that superstar status!

6. It really will make you better at your job, whatever that may be. After a time-out to reconnect you can return to your regular scheduled programming feeling refreshed and energized.

7. Have you tried meditating? Do you crave silence in your life? Do you wish you could just turn your brain off for a while? If yes, then give it a go. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and just breathe. Long, slow breaths in and out through your nose. Count your breaths to help keep your mind from wandering, focusing on breathing in for 4 counts and out for another 4.
(P.S. It’s free!)

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8. Try something new! Sign up for a hands-on workshop or try a spin class for the first time. Sure you might wish death upon the instructor at first but once the endorphins kick in you’ll be fiiiinnne.

9. Set a goal and work towards that during your scheduled me-time. Maybe you’d like to run your first 5K? Step one: sign up! Step two: start training. You signed up already so you have to do it now!

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10. Call in sick to work. I am a firm believer in taking a mental health day! I used to feel guilty the first couple times I called in sick to work but didn’t actually have the flu. But then I realized what a day away from my stressors, a day to do something I want to do could do to my whole attitude towards work and…poof! No more guilt! Stress is the root of like all illnesses right? Therefore stressed=sick. So go ahead, take the day even if it’s just to binge watch Gossip Girl in bed while eating a plate of mozza sticks. (I swear I’ve never done that…) *BTW Stay-at-home moms can take a sick day too!

11. A little goes a long way. You won’t always be able to dedicate an entire day to yourself nor do you have to in order to restore some balance in your life. Duck out for half an hour and have a hot bath instead of a quick shower. Treat yourself to some Starbucks instead of your usual. Grab some nail polish and give yourself a mini-mani/pedi. Go for a walk. All the little things you do for yourself add up and balance out all those stressors in life.

So tell me, do you practice self-cafe regularly? Or do you wait for your birthday or Mother’s Day to come around before you allow yourself to relax? What do you do to make sure you’re taken care of? What helps you feel refreshed and replenished after your tanks have been drained?

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