With summer literally heating up and my agenda full of birthday parties, cottage weekends and everything in between, I found myself lacking the time I would usually dedicate to self-care. I don’t just mean facials and bubble baths. Self-care means something different for everyone. As one of my favourite Thought Catalog articles once put it “self-care can often be a very unbeautiful thing”.
Self-care has meant many things for me over the years. It used to mean treating myself by buying something new or going out for a fancy dinner. Other times it has meant spending each Sunday evening making delicious lunches for the week, painting my nails, doing a face mask and doing my laundry. If I am being completely honest, my on track Sundays got a bit lost lately.
Because my boyfriend and I both work full-time jobs, have extremely active social lives and very much value a good night’s sleep, we often don’t get a whole lot of time to do nothing together. On Sundays, we have the opportunity to relax, sit outside, play Frisbee, make a nice dinner and watch a show. It is often my favourite part of the week and sets me up for Monday in a way that differs from my old routine. However, when I took stock of things that might be making me irritable, tired and anxious, I realized that I had lost a bit of me time by giving my energy to others throughout the week and adopting a new Sunday routine.
Through this reflection I realized that self-care doesn’t have to be a full day thing. It can be just as, if not more, effective when you schedule in something for yourself each day. The practice of doing one thing that makes me feel good daily has had a major impact on my mood, work ethic and my relationships.
At 26, my version of self-care has all kinds of faces. It can include:
- Getting in a workout
- Taking an evening to do laundry
- Make sure my room is organized (I spend most days running in and out of my house)
- Reading before I go to sleep
- Listening to a podcast to learn something new
- Printing out pictures to decorate my room/office
- Doing an extra-long skincare routine after a long day
- Writing in my journal and practicing gratitude
- Having time to relax at home before bed so I don’t stay up too late
Self-care is a practice - just like yoga. You can always re-evaluate what it looks like for you. There is no need for it to be an Instagram-worthy task, it takes a bit of the pressure off when you shift the focus to doing things that make you feel good.
Sometimes it takes some time away from self-care to remember just how important it is to you. This week, I challenge you to do one thing a day for yourself. Take note of how it makes you feel and you may just be encouraged to keep it up!