Self-care is probably one of the most thoughtful acts we can do for ourselves in this day and age.
Think about it. We are, as a society, always on the go, always looking for that next….. whatever. It’s often hard to sit quietly for 5 minutes, let alone 15 minutes, in order to meditate or practice breathwork. Our brains go a million miles an hour. How could anyone expect us to just be?
Well, we shouldn’t be worried about “anyone.” We need to take care of ourselves, focus on our well-being, and have our own mind and body in the forefront of our thoughts in order to be our best selves and live our best life.
But in order for us to do that, we need to practice self-care. It’s vital for building the resilience we need to fight the stressors we can’t eliminate from our lives. Taking the steps to care for our body and mind, we’ll be better equipped to do just that: live our best life.
However, many people view self-care as a luxury or even — gasp! — selfish.
Rather than prioritizing ourselves over others—which is often labeled as selfish and why we feel so guilty about it—we allow our environments to dictate everything about our lives, from the foods we eat to the sleep we get to the activities we engage in. I’m not saying that you should ALWAYS prioritize yourself over others, but there are definitely times when we need to say no to a request if it negatively affects our well-being.
I’ve seen a lot of writers on IG lately getting burned out on their writer selves, whether that’s because of demands in their own life or the struggle of being a writer in and of itself, whether it’s the difficulties in dealing with readers and followers or the demands of deadlines and creativity blocks. It’s a tough, demanding, thankless world sometimes, and this can detrimentally bruise our ego and, thus, our psyche.
Self-care is for all walks of life, from the struggling writer to the SAHM, from a construction worker to a yoga teacher, from the blogger to the SM manager, from a student to a CEO. There are no limits on who can benefit from self-care, even those who would seem to have it all under control… because from my own experience, the only control some of them have is the ability to seem in control.
So yes, self-care is intrinsically important!
There are five types of self-care I’ve come across on the Internet: Emotional, mental, physical, social, and spiritual.
We won’t all need all five of these all the time. But what each of us should do is assess our own needs to see which of them we need in our lives at any given moment.
Because today I may need physical self-care (movement) and tomorrow I may need mental self-care (meditation) or next week I may need social self-care (having coffee with a friend).
So assess your needs and then create a routine to make it a part of your life, whether daily, weekly, or monthly.
Here’s the catch! Plan for challenges! Practicing self-care isn’t easy.
You will have distractions. You will have those who want your time, and you may feel they deserve it. But guess what? So do you! You deserve your own time to be your best self. You deserve to take that 5 minutes of meditation, that 20 minutes of walking, and that hour of massage.
Self-care isn’t a one-time deal. It’s a continual repetition of many small habits that all together make sure you’re at your optimum self, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Hence the term “practice self-care.”
When you create a routine of what works for you, you’ll feel more connected to yourself and the world around you.
Below are some of my favorite ways to practice self-care along with some I found that I will be looking forward to implementing in my own routine.
Movement — this can be anything from simple stretching (which every single person can benefit from) to mindful yoga to full-blown exercise, whether it’s walking, biking, weight lifting, or HIIT. Getting active increases our feelings of happiness, so this is my go-to self-care practice.
Express gratitude — this can be through meditation, mantras, or journaling. Noting the things that make you happy, that you feel lucky for, are a wonderful way to get in touch with your inner self.
Unplug — we all know what this is. Stop looking at your phones, tv, or computer. The constant screen time is increasing our stress on a daily basis, and it would do us all well to give ourselves blocks of unplugging… maybe to implement a few of the strategies here for practicing self-care. 😉
Create a cozy space — I’m thinking something like cleaning your desk to make your writing creativity more open and less chaotic. Or maybe taking a small area of a room (or a whole room if you have that option) and making it your cozy space, whether that be for relaxing and practicing self-care, for reading (for research, of course 😛 ), and writing your next love story.
Learn to say “no” — this is a hard one for many. It took me a long time to be okay with saying no, and I still feel guilty sometimes, but I remind myself that for my own mental well-being, “no” is the answer.
Give your body a treat — I’m talking manis, pedis, and massages. And, guys, this isn’t just for women anymore! These self-treats will make you feel like a million bucks… and as a bonus, relax you in the process of having someone else pamper you. Give it a try. 😀
Plant therapy — whether you have one plant or 100 plants (which I’ve either hit or may be getting pretty close to. I’ve lost count), enjoying some plant therapy will go a long way towards your self-care. When you take the time to be present in the experience of caring for your plants, you are in turn caring for yourself. Tend to their leaves and soil, water them, reposition them, breathe them in. By the time you’re done, if you’ve allowed yourself to be fully present, you’ll be surprised by how relaxed and in tune with the world you feel afterwards.
And while listed last, this could be the most important of all:
Sleep, water, fruits, and veggies — having adequate sleep is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and our bodies. When we don’t get enough sleep, so many things in our systems can go awry. With that is staying hydrated enough that your body can help eliminate toxins that inadvertently enter our body. And to top it all off is getting enough fruits and veggies in our diet to combat any free radicals that try to develop and create the ugly that can go on inside our bodies without us even knowing about it. Pairing these four things together may not make sense, but they fall into the physical type of self-care. If any of these are lacking, your body will tell you. Stay healthy!
If you’re anything like me, I hope you devoured this post, bookmarked it, and will come back to it for the simple ideas given on how to practice self-care and the importance of it. There are so many more out there, but these are what I’ve found are the easiest ways to start a routine that can be sustained.
To wrap up why I put this on a writer’s blog is this:
Not practicing adequate self-care can affect all aspects of our life, mentally and physically. When we’re not mentally fit, our creativeness suffers. When we’re not physically fit, our entire being suffers.
We need our wits in order to write kick-ass stories. We need our health to be able to overcome the challenges that being a writer brings. We need to build up our resilience to the stressors in life that will inevitably come so that we can take the necessary steps to live our best life.
Tell me, how do you practice self-care?
And if you don’t have a regular routine, what ways above sound intriguing to you?
I’d love to hear about your practices, your goals for practicing, your routines, and your joys of self-care.
Comment below and share with us! xox