When caring for yourself demands longer than a single evening, it’s important to give yourself that rest and rejuvenation. While taking care of oneself over the course of an evening is great, daily self care matters more. Make it a habit to do basic self care activities regularly and get many benefits from it.
Is it self-indulgent to do daily self care?
The simple answer is “no.” You must put yourself first if you are to be able to give yourself to others, both personally and professionally. Only once you take care of your own needs can you then help co-workers, customers, or patients at work. Only once you are “full” emotionally can you care for family members who require your support, whether it is once a month or once a day.
Furthermore, when you do basic self care then you ensure that you look and feel healthy. There is less opportunity then for you to get rundown or exhausted (physically or emotionally). If you become unwell, it likely won’t be to the same extent as if you were already running around with your energy tank only half-full.
What does taking care of oneself look like?
As everyone is different, the way you care for yourself will vary from your sibling, parent, best friend, or someone else. What the practice has in common, though, is that you share an ability to put yourself first so that you can be at your best in life.
You need to simply take some time out to break and get well, if you have become tired over time. But for many adults, finding time for themselves isn’t easy, between childcare, a job (or more than one), and other responsibilities. Add in the financial stress that many people feel, and you will be exhausted already.
When possible, therefore, take the time for daily self care. There is not a specific amount of moments or hours needed to satisfy this requirement, by the way.
Instead of judging how well basic self care is going, look at the quality of the day you are taking away from the stresses of life. Are you staying in the moment? Are you doing something you enjoy?
If you answered “yes” and “yes” then you are likely on your way to rejuvenation and being all you can be overall. Whether the time is spent alone or with others – or a combination of the two situations – is up to you. Do what feels good and comfortable for you.
Maybe you want to go for a walk. Or, perhaps you ask your partner to cook dinner, and the family sits down for the meal at the kitchen table. Think about how you envision taking care of oneself and put in the effort to do so regularly. Yes, do it daily.
When you can’t find the time for daily self care
The reality is that you will always find time for those who you care about, even on a crazy busy day. So, I challenge you to find time for yourself. Put YOU at the top of the list and make 5 or 10 minutes at minimum for something you enjoy. A cup of tea on the patio, for example, or a bubble bath are great choices.
Could you discover additional hours for you personally? Doing so might involve scheduling “me time” on the calendar and telling your kids or spouse that you need moments to yourself.
They will respect your wishes when they see it is important to you (although younger kids will need a few reminders!). When you tell your spouse that you need alone time, don’t shame them but instead explain you love them and simply want independent time.
Then, when you go back to the home office or an external workplace, the chances are good that you will find yourself feeling centered more than before. You will likely be more productive too!
However, is that attainable in just one evening? Likely not. Hence, the need for basic self care on the regular.
Do good things for yourself, just as you would for others. Still don’t have a lot of ideas about what to do? Here are some ideas.
3 examples of taking care of oneself:
1. Fitness class
What do you like doing for exercise? A walk, a run, a bike ride, or…? Many gyms are reopening now and so you might even invest in a membership to motivate you to go there at least a few times a week.
When you’re at a fitness class at a gym or doing a class virtually from home (on Facebook, for example), you can expect to get your sweat on! At the same time, you are distracted from the worries of the day and simply focus on the activity. You’ll be proud of yourself for getting through the 45-minute class too, or however long it is, which increases self-confidence.
2. Swim time
Perhaps instead, you want to head to a pool or go to the beach and swim in the open water. Wherever you go, concentrate on your movements and get a workout for the entire body. Strengthen muscles and feel good about your body.
There’s no fighting or difficult conversations happening as you swim laps at the pool. Or, maybe you go to an aqua-fit class instead, which involves some social time.
3. Spa day
Before you start thinking about the costs, remember that this guide is about taking care of oneself. You deserve the treat of a spa day now and then.
Take a friend or family member with you, or go alone. The sense of peace and restfulness that you will emerge with at the end of the scheduled session is priceless.
Alternatively, you might stay home and create a DIY spa right there in the comfort and safety of your own bathroom. Don’t feel guilty about the activity, whether you go out or stay in for the spa time; instead, remember that you are worth it.
Other ideas for daily self care
While the spa is not a daily outing, you can touch base with friends daily to benefit your mental health. Talking about your feelings and having social time, especially if you work from home, can be immensely helpful. Enjoy a sense of connection, even if it is via Zoom rather than in-person.
Or, perhaps you go for a therapeutic massage every Thursday afternoon. Maybe yoga is your “thing” and so you put on a YouTube video Monday mornings to get your body moving well and encourage your mind to embrace the new week.
Last words on taking care of oneself
Daily self care can do wonders for your mind and also keep your body feeling healthy. It’s crucial to do sometimes when you feel you are running on empty. In that situation, failing to practice basic self care can lead to bodily, emotional, and psychological wellness problems. Not taking time out for the self can just make things even worse.
Attempt to find a normal routine that works for you for daily self care, whether it is waking up 30 minutes before the rest of the household to enjoy a cup of coffee alone or something else. When it feels good to you, then it’s something that is right for you.
Finally, remember that what you’re eating counts too. Have a healthy approach to eating, and your mind and body will be more likely to function at their best.
While there’s no set hours or minutes for daily self care, you’ll know when you’ve found what’s right for you. And when that happens, enjoy every second of it.
This post is also available in: French