Self care is a big buzz phrase recently. Here’s our take on self care here at Balance Bravely.
We believe that you can’t love others with everything you’ve got if you don’t also take time to love yourself, to show yourself respect and give yourself grace. One of many ways to do this and even build your self confidence is to build time into your schedule for activities that you love.
Where do I even start?
First, reflect on activities that bring you JOY. Just you. Not your husband, not your kids, not your friends. Just you.
Decide how often you can and want to do this activity. It needs to be on a reoccurring basis. Every day, twice a week, once a week or once a month for example. The type of activity will guide you in this decision-making. If I choose to stretch or write in a journal, I can realistically make time for that every day. If I choose an art class, I probably will do that once or twice a month because of scheduling.
Next, block off the exact time and dates on your calendar, and share this with the important people in your life, the people that depend on you and your schedule. Explain what you’re going to be doing, when and most importantly why it is important to you.
Last, actually go DO IT! Hold yourself accountable to the time you’ve blacked out on your calendar.
These self care “activities” you speak of…
For many of you, it has probably been so long since you’ve spent time on yourself that you may need some help in that first brainstorming step. Have no fear! We have an extensive list you can start with.
Take a stroll after work.
Do 10-15 minutes of yoga in the morning or evening. (YogaCollective is my favorite at home.)
Go to the gym before work.
Take a Zumba class.
Play with your pet or take your dog to a dog park to play.
Try a new type of exercise class like hot yoga, Crossfit, paddle boarding, or yoga trapeze.
Take a bike ride. Many cities now have bikes for rent even!
Plant a garden (or start with a plant).
Visit a salt cave or sauna house. (DFW people – King Spa.There’s almost always a Groupon)
Get a massage.
Drink warm tea in a quiet space.
Meditation. There are great guided meditations on Youtube.
Unplug from technology for an hour.
Plan a nap! How blissful would that be?
Write in a nightly journal.
Take a quiet, warm bath.
Make some fun DIY beauty products.
Learn and use essential oils for emotional aromatherapy.
Read a book with the intent to learn something.
Take a cooking class.
Listen to a podcast and do nothing else.
Catch up on your favorite blog posts.
Take an art class.
Read something of no literary merit that is just for fun.
Go back to school – there are night and online classes.
Draw or Paint in a quiet space.
Learn how to knit or sew and then practice.
Join a Book Club.
Find a cause you care about and volunteer.
Read a real, paper newspaper.
Find a side-hustle that you love.
⇒ By Yourself or With a Friend
Plan a lunch.
See a movie.
Go to a bakery and have one decadent treat.
Get a manicure.
Get a blowout #FancyHair.
Catch up on your DVR.
Go to the mall or a coffee shop and people watch.
Dance to your favorite songs.
Cook your favorite meal.
Cozy up and read a book at the library.
The Time Crunch
The time crunch is real. Especially when we begin to think about taking any amount of time for ourselves, the list of reasons we don’t have time seems to grow. Is this because we have a fear of needing to lean into others, a fear of feeling inferior if we admit we need something for ourselves or is it straight self-inflicted guilt?
Only you can answer that for yourself and stop to reflect on WHY you avoid spending time to grow and support yourself.
My best suggestion, if you feel you’re in the time crunch and making the excuse of time, is to reach out to someone you love and you know loves you in return. Tell them honestly about how you feel you need a little time to yourself and how you feel their support could help you.
That support could be helping watch your kids once a week, holding you accountable to spending the time you put on your calendar or simply reassuring you that this is a good idea. Sometimes we just need a cheerleader.
Very rarely is that person who loves you going to decline supporting you supporting yourself. It may even inspire them to do the same.
It’s not an easy task taking care of yourself, but I believe in you if you commit!
For those of you thinking… “Hey! I totally already do that!” Bravo!! I hope this helped you brainstorm a fun, new activity to do for yourself or consider sharing this with someone in your life that you could help inspire.
Go Be Brave Friends!
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