I spent Thanksgiving with my mother. While I was working on a blog post I asked if she ever participates in my weekly self-care challenges. Her response was “I don’t see how you find time for that stuff.” It’s my understanding that some folks believe self-care is an all-day event. They only associate self-care with activities like spa days, mani/pedi, facials, etc. While those are self-care activities, self-care is extended to so many other avenues. My definition of self-care is, any act or behavior that make you feel good about yourself. It looks different for everyone and it can be internal or external. Examples of internal self-care (or emotional self-care) are mindfulness practices, breathing exercises, journaling, and therapy. External self-care activities are physical fitness, massages, and mani/pedi. With that said, these are healthy self-care practices meaning, these activities will not negatively impact your health or wellbeing.
My mother is a full-time Nurse in a her late 50s who’s working on her Bachelors and has every intention of going back for her Masters. She inspired me to create the Self-care On The Go idea. It’s specifically designed for Moms and other working Women. It’s designed for convenience. The woman on the go may not always have time for Yoga but maybe she can do breathing exercises while at her computer or, while fixing meals for her family. Self-care On The Go are simply condensed versions (3-5 options) of the weekly self-care challenges I post on Sundays, but they are created in infographic format. These challenges are tailored to women who may not have time to engage in self-care seven consecutive days in a row. Additionally, I made sure to include options that are feasible. As mentioned previously, breathing exercises in place of Yoga or, listening to a motivational Podcast in place of sitting down to read a book. These are self-care habits that you can do anywhere; in the car, in the shower, while cooking, etc The reason for creating them as an infographic is, they can be saved on your phone which eliminates the need to log into the blog and scroll through the content to get the information you need.
You have to grab your opportunities when you can. You have to find pleasure in small wins. When you have a moment to yourself don’t use that time to complain about the kids or work, use it constructively because those little moments you get to yourself are like found gems. That is your self-care opportunity. Some other potential options are; repeating affirmations, or doing a face mask. Take a nap if you have enough time. Get an adult coloring book and color with the kids or do arts and crafts with them. Don’t forget to ask for help if you need it, and say no when you can. “No” is a form of self-care because it sets boundaries. If you find pleasure in making dinner for your family focus on the feeling that you get from doing that. These are all self-care tips. The goal here is to put more energy into what makes you feel good (self-care) and less energy into what you can’t control (often times, the things we complain about). That is self-care. You can’t always control your situation but you can control your outlook, and how you choose to react to things happening around you. That is the key, that’s where your power lies. That is your self-care.
So while you may not always be able to get a massage or facials, take pride and appreciate the small wins that you’ve created for yourself. It’s small efforts that lead to big changes over time that are the most effective. I came up with three components that I think make up self-care; awareness; knowing that we need to take time for ourselves–you can’t pour from an empty cup, consistency; formulating a routine and making that routine a habit, and time; creating space for self-care activities even if it’s only a few minutes. We have to build awareness around self-care activities, we have to remain consistent, and we have to make time to take care of ourselves This is the A.C.T. of self-care.
Self-care will look different for everyone because everyone’s life is not the same. We don’t all have the same amount of free time and this is why I encourage you to find the pleasure in small wins. The secret is practice. One small act of self-care each week, even if it only takes a few minutes each day. We can engage in self-care at any age but I think it’s imperative as we get older. This is why I created my blog selfcareatforty.com. Forty is not old but we’re all getting older and I believe that if we weren’t taking care of ourselves before, now is the time to start, it’s never too late to start. I also believe that self-care expands to other areas of our lives i.e. our finances, our relationships with others, our mental health, and our physical health. I always encourage my readers to dedicate time into each of those areas because they have a direct impact on our lives. It’s such a common phrase but self-care isn’t selfish. It’s necessary, and it should be a daily non-negotiable for everyone.
My Wednesday post are usually self-development topics but I wanted to use today’s post to introduce my Self-Care on the Go infographics which I will be including in my self-care Sunday blog post starting in January 2021. Also, If you haven’t signed up already. On January 3rd, I will be launching my weekly Newsletter, in addition to my Self-care Accountability Worksheets. The worksheets will act as a supplement to my daily self-care challenges. The purpose is to help you stay on track with your daily self-care routines. If you’re interested in receiving these items weekly, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The self-care worksheets are FREE but will only be available to my Newsletter subscribers. I will NOT spam you, I will only email once per week.