Self care is a topic that keeps popping up in my life. After a long weekend spent on Perdido Beach reading trashy novels and catching up with my mama, I realized how infrequently I sit down, press pause, and get acquainted with what my body and mind need. And I have a feeling I’m not the only one. I think running on autopilot is a huge trend right now that we don’t even realize we’re doing. When was the last time you slowed down and meaningfully did something that fulfilled you? Yeah, I can’t remember either.
While the topic of “self care” is certainly helping the sale of bath bombs and face masks, I don’t really think that’s what self care means at all. For me, at least, self care is usually doing the stuff I don’t want to do. Like exercise. Or taking the time to make healthy meals instead of ordering in. Or turning down an invitation. Or tuning out the negative self-talk.
While making big changes is certainly an important aspect of self care, there’s a few small things you can do right now to show yourself some much-needed love.
- Get in touch with your gut – Gut health is all the rage, but in this case, I’m not talking about your physical gut. I’m talking about those feelings you get that seem to come from a place deep within you. Sometimes we can get so out of touch with our gut, or intuition, that we forget it even exists. But the next time you make a decision, check in with your gut first. I promise it still works, and it will help guide you to the things that are truly right for you.
- Breakup with bad friends – I think a lot of us have that one friend who we would be better off without. It may be a best friend or it may be more of an acquaintance, but either way, they are causing more harm than good by being in your life. If they don’t support you, or encourage you, or lift you up, or if they are constantly putting you down or making you feel less-than or bad about yourself, it’s time to say goodbye.
- Know when you’ve got too much on your plate – Everyone’s always doing something. Whether it’s a party or a brunch or whatever, we’ve all got places to be and people to see. But sometimes, it just gets to be too much, especially when you’re an introvert like me. When I say “yes” too often, I start running on empty. Know your limits, and when you’ve reached them, know that it’s okay to say no.
- Spend 5 minutes focusing on your breathing – This is something I have recently started doing and it has really been a game changer. I’m the type of person who has 27 million things running around in my head at once, and living like that all day everyday can be, well, exhausting. Stopping for five minutes – or even one – and focusing on my breathing has allowed me to take a break from all the madness in my head and recenter on what’s important.
- Exercise – Trust me, I’ll be the first to make excuses for why I don’t have time to exercise. But the second I actually just do the damn thing, I’m a better person. Exercising releases toxins and endorphins and gives you an overall sense of accomplishment. Even if your just taking small walks throughout the day, your body and mind will thank you.
What else do you do to take care of yourself?