What picture comes into your mind when I say self-care? Are you imagining manicures, pedicures, massages, and spa treatments? Self-care can be all those things, but it can also be so much smaller. Self-care can be taking a walk around the block every evening after dinner or getting your hair cut every other month. The purpose of self-care is to create health and wellness in your body, mind and soul. It is not necessary for it to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time to be beneficial. Here are three easy self-care habits you can start right now.
Nourish Your Mind
The mind needs as much attention as the body. Each individual needs to find a way to nourish their mind and help it to grow. So what is your favorite mind food? Whether it is reading a good book, listening to an engaging podcast, or watching your favorite show on Netflix, find some time a couple times a week to feed your mind. Bonus points if you are able to find 15 minutes a day for this habit. It is important to not get bogged down with the idea that it is necessary to have a huge block of time. No one ever said it was necessary to listen to a podcast in one sitting. This is not a rule! Sometimes it takes me four days to listen to an hour long podcast. I make the rules in this space. It is more important for me to fill my mind with engaging content than to worry about how many days it takes me to reach completion. Focus on the destination, not the journey. I have the same rule for books. There are times when I can read a book a week. There are also times when I renew a book three times, so that I can finish it without accruing horrendous library fines. Find small moments to nourish your mind.
Text a Friend
By text, I mean text, call, e-mail, or DM, with your friends. Do not underestimate the importance of human connection to health and wellness. Life is busy. Everyone can spout off a to-do list 100 items long for a 24 hour day. I am suggesting you add text a friend to your daily to-do list. It is much easier to find two minutes to send a text versus scheduling a coffee date. For me personally it can take 3 months and 14 trips to the calendar to schedule 3 hours with my girlfriends. Our lives are full, blessed, and beautiful, but that does not mean for a minute we do not need each other. We absolutely need to feel connected to each other’s lives – that is what makes us friends. So I send a text and then she sends a text and 5 hours later we had a full conversation via text. We connected while knocking things of the to-do list. These small connections mean the world to me and go a long way in promoting a healthy mind and a sense of peace with the universe.
Make Time for Hobbies
As I became an adult and even more so when I became an adult with children, the idea of hobbies became a foreign concept. When I say hobby, I am speaking of something that I do on my own. I have plenty of activities that I do with my husband and family, but I lost the idea of solo hobbies. It is important to do things we enjoy and it is perfectly acceptable to have hobbies that do not involve anyone else. Whether it is painting, music, gardening, quilting, cross stitch, or woodworking, if you enjoy it; carve out time to do it. It does not need to be a lot of time either. Choose one project to do a year. Yes, I said a year! Self-care is supposed to replenish you, not stress you out. Find the one hobby you love and make a plan for a project in 2020. If you have a couple hobbies you enjoy, maybe choose two projects for 2020. Carve out a small chunk of time just for you to enjoy your hobby. It might surprise you that such a small thing can make a huge impact on your overall wellness.
It is easy to put our job, spouse, kids, and responsibilities before ourselves. We are responsible adults who take care of what needs to be accomplished in any given 24 hour period. The go-go-go mentality is extremely depleting. Taking time for self-care replenishes the whole person. If you are depleting all your resources, you will not be able to care for anyone else. Instead of hitting the wall of depletion, take some time to nourish your mind, deepen your connections, and explore your hobbies. You might find you are able to accomplish bigger and better things, because you are caring for yourself with the same vigor you are caring for everyone else.