Why do we suck at self-care and how to do a little more of it everyday
When I first heard about self-care, I thought that was something strictly reserved for women with the time and money to afford such a luxurious experience… You know, the woman who has money for weekly manicures, pedicures, a spa treatment and a private chef who caters specifically for her dietary requirements.
Dammit I was dead wrong!
The thing is, we don’t do self-care often enough and sometimes we think that certain types of self-care is the ONLY type of self-care. Let me break it to you:
Sundays are not the only day for self-care and not all kinds of self-care are wrong or even cost a cent!
I love a good Self-Care Sunday as much as any woman (or man, or non-binary individual even) but if you’re limiting yourself to self-care just one day a week, well, you’re missing the point. I went to the depths of the dark web (and by that I mean the second page of my Google search) to find out where this Sunday Self-Care came from. Somehow I couldn’t find a thing.
So my only explanation is that Sunday is typically the day of little-to-no work, kind of day. If you wanted, you could equate it to biblical text (don't take my word for it) where Sunday should be the day of rest. It happens to be the day when most people can laze around and have the time or energy to care for themselves. It also sets the precedence of a calmer start to the following week.
The thing is, when I tried this sacred day of loving oneself, I noticed something. It did little to help with the rest of the week if only done once, and I made self-care a “treat” instead of a daily practice.
And it’s okay if you got that wrong too! We were all fooled!
Self-care Sunday is great! We should still keep it and if anything, reserve it for the day we can get the most out of our self-care. But, it shouldn’t be the only day you care for yourself. Self-care comes in so many forms and can be for as little to as much time as you can give it. It doesn’t need to be a face mask, a Netflix marathon or the 40min Swedish massage at the local spa. A reminder, self-care is not just physical but can be mental and emotional too.
Also, let me fill you in on something. You deserve self-care! This is another reason we suck at it. We seem to equate our weekly successes to how much self-care we deserve, or even our self-worth to how much self-care we deserve! If you don’t put that oxygen mask on yourself first, you can’t help others. A line I love to throw out there often. When you care for yourself. You can start to care for others.
This is where I have to admit, self-care is difficult!
We don’t have a natural inclination towards caring for ourselves and feel we need to suffer before we can even begin to love and care for ourselves. We truly aren’t kind to ourselves. We also don’t want to be viewed as selfish either. Self-care is not being selfish if you can love, serve and help others more when you have loved, served and helped yourself. Fact.
But what can self-care look like? Here are just a couple of ideas of how to implement self-care into your life, in a way that can make sense to you, your schedule and your budget. Pick and choose what you like and make a list of the things you would want to add on:
- Sleeping in (sleep is sacred, if you can, let yourself doze off a little longer)
- Sleeping earlier (go to bed earlier. You’ll thank me for it)
- A nutritious breakfast
- A bubble bath (bath bombs, bath salt, just a freaking nice bath, okay?)
- A face mask (I had to add an oldie but goodie)
- A leisurely stroll
- Reading a book
- Breathing work
- Watching a favourite show/ movie uninterrupted
- Cooking for yourself
- Taking yourself out
- Forgiving yourself (write a letter to yourself with only loving intentions to forgive yourself for anything you did wrong to yourself)
- Positive self-talk
- Saying “no” from time-to-time
- Sticking to boundaries.
- Listening to your favourite music (uninterrupted)
- A favourite activity (drawing, writing, sports etc.)
- Being patient with yourself
There are so many more ways of doing self-care and I would love to do a follow up article on really intentional self-care during the day or week. But, for now, here is a list of options. Let me know what you love doing for self-care and how you incorporate it into your day and week.