Self-care is one of those terms that was rarely discussed until recently, and now it’s one that comes up everywhere you look.
Treat yourself to a mani-pedi…you need some self-care!
I went to get a massage because I needed some self-care.
Retail therapy is my form of self-care.
I’m treating myself to a women’s retreat so I can immerse myself in self-care.
While these may all be forms of taking care of our fundamental need to relax, slow down and show ourselves some TLC, self-care is NOT in fact the act of receiving a high cost beauty treatment, indulging in an event or experience or spending money on material possessions.
In fact, taking care of yourself is quite the opposite. Self-care is about looking deep into your heart and soul and learning what makes you feel good. Self-care is having a deep understanding of who you are, what makes you fulfilled and discovering your pleasure triggers. Self-care is about developing a strong connection with the one person that matters most in your life…YOU.
We want to offer this perspective on self-care as an alternative to the current societal narrative that is being told about how women should go about taking care of themselves.
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
This is a broad term that produces many perspectives, opinions and outcomes on a “google search”. Our definition of self-care is prioritizing your own needs in ways that are simple, sustainable & fun so that you can live a live that is fulfilling mind, body & soul. That said, as an In Demand Woman, balance is crucial in your life and self-care is one component that you are balancing in your healthy lifestyle. If you were to ONLY focus on self-care, your other important demands in your life would be off-balance, so we encourage you to integrate self-care throughout your daily life.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE SELF-CARE?
Start simple! Write down all the things that make you feel happy, satisfied, fulfilled. These could range from “spending time with my kids” to “taking my dog on a walk” to “reading a romance novel for 30 minutes without getting interrupted”. Do a brain dump of EVERYTHING that makes you feel energized, vibrant and excited. Don’t limit yourself by financial or time restraints. This should be a list with no limits that allows you to freely express what serves you.
Once you have made the list, go through it and highlight which items are things you are already doing on a regular basis. Then circle all those that you really WANT to be doing but are not currently. And cross off anything you wrote down because you felt it was expected of you but seemed like everyone else likes.
Keep this list easily accessible so you can look at it regularly and ensure you are incorporating some of these self-care strategies into your daily routine.
Here’s a list of self-care suggestions to add to your own list or to help you get started:
- Create a sustainable morning and nighttime routine
- Get enough sleep for your body (6-9 hours/night) [find article to support how much sleep we need]
- Eat food that fuels your body (lots of greens, lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats)
- Move your body daily—can be stretching, walking, have a dance party in your kitchen!
- Surround yourself with people who lift you up
- Read books to further your personal development
- Listen to music
- Cuddle with your partner, kids or fur-babies
- Take a walk on the beach or in the mountains
- Get up early and watch the sun rise
- Tell your family you love them
- Give 20 second hugs
- Write down your dreams and what you are grateful for
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE TIME?
As we have talked about before, you always have the CHOICE on how you spend your time. That’s the beauty of time! It’s yours to do what you want with! If you are currently living a life that is over-scheduled and spread too thin, it’s a good practice to spend some time reviewing your priorities and figuring out what can be let go. If you are telling yourself (or anyone else!) that you really want to take care of yourself but you just don’t have time…you need to start by changing your mindset! At the end of the day, if you don’t prioritize yourself and make time to nourish your mind, body and soul, nothing else will matter because you are not going to be able to keep showing up for others because you haven’t shown up for yourself. It’s time to take a stand and really put yourself first! Take any of the items from your list above and put one on your calendar EVERY DAY. You will feel a difference even after just one week!
CAN I STILL GET A MANI-PEDI???
Of course! There is nothing wrong with pampering, beauty treatments and doing things that make you feel beautiful on the outside to reflect your internal beauty. We just want to encourage you to really look at your self-care practice from a broader perspective so that you aren’t narrowly focused on what rituals are considered self-care.
We live in a world that is fast-paced and intense. The expectations put on us by society, our families, our jobs and, most importantly—ourselves, are increasing! This is why self-care is such a hot topic. This is why we are all craving more time to feel good inside and outside. The best news is that we live in a world where anything is possible. The amount of opportunity available to us at any given time is tremendous and we are so fortunate! However, it is imperative that as In Demand Women, we really take the time to live an intentional existence and prioritize our self-care. Be unapologetically determined to take care of yourself EVERY DAY. You offer so much to those in your world and you are worthy of living a life that includes daily self-care.
Comment below and tell us your favorite self-care practice!