I used to blow off self-care as over-rated pampering. But self-care doesn't have to mean a day at the spa (although that sounds nice). It can be as simple as a few deep breaths, walking barefoot in the garden, making your favourite warm beverage, or just sitting quietly a few moments.
Taking the time for self-care doesn't have to involve huge chunks of your time. 5 or 10 minutes can be beneficial. Or a few minutes here and there spread out through the day.
Hey, you are probably partaking in self-care without even realising it. Ever sit on the grass? Self-care. Ever savour your morning beverage? Self-care. Ever smell the flowers in your garden. Self-care. Ever put your phone down and read a book? Self-care.
Basically, any time you are taking the time to slow down and recharge your batteries is self-care. The best part is that it's free and available to you whenever the mood strikes.
What's the point in self-care?
Any act of self-care helps reactive the parasympathetic mode of your nervous system. What this does is give your mind and body a break to rest and replenish. With so many sources of stress around us, this is precious time for us to take care of ourselves.
If you're stuck on where to start, here are some ideas:
Go to bed early
Breathe in fresh air
Spend time outside in nature
Go for a walk
Put your phone on airplane mode
Make yourself a home-cooked meal
Take up a new hobby
Of course, you don't have to do all of these at once. You can explore what works for you and see if these ideas, or any others, resonate with you. You might find that making a smoothie is your thing. Or going to dance class. Or journalling. Or apple picking. Or sewing.
If it feels good it's self-care
Personally, I like to meditate a few minutes first thing in the morning. Sometimes I like to spend an afternoon gardening. Sometimes I like to lie down on the grass and look at the sky. As a rule of thumb, if you like doing it, you're on to something good.
If you feel like you don't have time for self-care, let me put it this way: don't you deserve some looking after? We are all deserving of some chill time. Even if it's just a few deep breaths or having a tall glass of water, that's taking care of yourself. That's doing yourself some good.
Starting with a few minutes a day and building on that is a good way to dive into self-care.
You might like having daily self-care rituals or you might prefer turning to your go-to self-care practices just when you need them. It's totally up to you. Similarly, you might like yoga one week and then baking the next. Self-care shifts as your mood shifts.
In a word, whatever works best for you is your kind of self-care.