What does self-care look like to you?

What does self-care look like to you?

I think the message is pretty clear, self care is important. But what does this really mean?

In our modern culture feelings of stress and busyness are common. Keep in mind that just because something is common, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. When long lasting, these feelings can lead to exhaustion, illness and burnout. Ongoing stress can speed up the burnout process, catapulting you into an unrecognizable state.

I am frequently asked, what does self care look like?  And how do you take care of yourself in order to avoid burnout or fatigue?

Often, I see strong, successful professionals succumb to illness. Only then do they recognize their need for rest and actually make it a priority. Self care in essence, is intentionally taking time to pay attention to you. This is a much better way to both bolster and to protect the energy we need in order to survive and thrive.    

The idea that self-care is an entire spa day or taking an overdue vacation is not realistic for the majority of us and may be the reason you are neglecting or shying away from doing it (or not doing it often enough). Taking even 5 minutes out of your day to practice self-care can be refreshing and provide you with the strength and power to manage your day.   

Here are 10 self-care practices that take less than 5 minutes of your day.  

  1. Gratitude journal to start or end your day 
  2. 5 minutes of deep breathing exercises, in a quiet, uninterrupted space
  3. An exfoliating face wash/mask before bedtime
  4. Look back at old photos/memories of a happy event in the past
  5. A full body stretch to start your day
  6. Hot water and lemon first thing in the morning
  7. If it’s a grocery shop day, take 5 minutes to make your list to ease the shop
  8. Respect your boundaries, it’s ok not to answer the phone or that text message right away
  9. After a shower, take the 5 minutes to apply moistening cream to your entire body 
  10. Brush and floss your teeth without rushing

Something that I have noticed in myself (on occasion) and in my practice is that it’s easy to notice all the things we aren’t doing (well enough). I bet that if you take some introspective time for yourself, there are many things you are doing for yourself without really acknowledging and being present enough to enjoy.

YOU are important. Appreciate there is only one YOU, so go ahead and love yourself, with self-care and self-compassion!

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