Easy self-care. Is there such a thing?
Yesterday morning, I rolled out of bed at 7:45AM, hopped onto a call for work, got right in the car to head to a blog shoot, came home, answered a million and a half emails, made two million calls, handled paperwork, did laundry, sent more emails, answered more calls, took Millie to the dog park, came home and handled more emails and didn’t REALLY stop working until 9:30PM.
I’m a busy person – and I don’t say that boasting. I say that as someone who is on a mission to be a good wife, a good dog mom, a good employee, a good business owner, a good daughter, a good friend… I mean, who isn’t? When you’re giving you’re all, it’s a STRUGGLE to turn off. I know I’m not the only one feeling this. There always seems to be ONE more thing you could tackle on the to-do list.
I think busy is sustainable up until a certain point – and then burnout happens. (You can read my personal, grueling account of burnout here). The thing about it is, it’s fun to be busy until you drive yourself into the ground and become no good to yourself AND to the people around you. The way I see it, self-care needs to be baked into our schedules – for our enjoyment, for our well being, and believe it or not, for the sustainability of our work.
I already hear the protests. Self-care doesn’t mean a day at the spa. It means consciously taking time out of your day to recharge and tend to your soul. I might get dinged for this, but Mike and I like to eat dinner in front of the TV. I know there are people who are vehemently against it, but whatever. It works for us. My favorite part of the day is dinnertime with Mike. I love hanging out with my best friend, eating good food, and watching an episode of Friends that we’ve undoubtedly already seen twelve times. It fills my soul.
The key to having time for self-care is making time. You have to take a good look at your day and how you manage your schedule and literally write in time for you. (If you’re struggling with scheduling, check on my post about maximizing efficiency). I challenge you to find a minimum of a half hour of every day that is JUST for you. It’s possible, trust me. It just requires saying NO to something, which is a good practice to get into anyway. When you find your 30 minutes in your schedule, here are five self-care ideas that don’t require months of planning or an expensive trip to the salon!
1. A bubble bath and your favorite drink
I’m not really a wine person, but a bubble bath and tea sounds lovely to me. Buy some Epsom salts, grab your beverage of choice, and hunker down with a book or some of your favorite music. I’m convinced that a bath is different than a shower. A shower says “hello, hi. I need to get clean.” A bath is like a warm hug.
2. Go for a run or a walk
If you’re a gym buff, get on that treadmill and run for 30 minutes. If you’re not currently in a very “gym place” in your life, I highly recommend taking a walk around your neighborhood. For a while, my mom and I got in the habit of taking a thirty or forty-five minute walk after dinner each night, and it was such a great way to digest and decompress. The fresh air will do wonders for you.
3. Grab something to read
Is there something you want to learn about? Have you spent time with the Bible lately? Or maybe you’re just read to get lost in a good novel. 30 minutes a day can make good progress in a book!
4. Netflix and temporarily chill
Make a list of binge-worthy shows and carve out time for one episode a day. One episode – you deserve it!
5. Get Creative
I was an avid arts and crafter as a kid and when it became less useful to me, I stopped doing it. But I still love it. Recently, I decided to take up knitting and painting. Things that – let’s be honest – I’ll never excel in but that bring me joy regardless. Find a hobby that’s easy to do at home – gardening, sewing, cooking. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something that you truly enjoy, whether it advances you professionally or not.
PS: you can shop this adorable Rue21 dress here!