“Be there for others, but never leave yourself behind.” —Dodinsky Click To Tweet
What is Self-care?
Self-care is the act of managing your own physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual wellness.Self-care is not all salt baths and chocolate — it is also creating a life you don’t feel the need to escape from. Click To Tweet
If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has little to do with “treating yourself” and more to do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness. (Source)
Have The Discipline To Do Things You Don’t Want To Do
Sometimes self-care is using discipline to do things you don’t want to, but that is good for you. I don’t love exercise at all, but I use discipline and practice exercise as a form of self-care because I know it gives me more energy and clarity. I also do not like taking supplements or eating healthy all the time but I do it anyway because it helps me take care of myself so that I can care for my family.
I make the choice to do these things because I am looking after my long-term wellness.
Practice Mindfulness — Mine the Joy Out of Each and Every Moment
Another way that I practice self-care is simply by mining the joy out of each and every moment. Take notice of it, be aware in the moment of the joy you are receiving by doing something as simple as sipping your first cup of coffee.Remember: self-care is not an escape from our lives, it is a way to enjoy it. Click To Tweet
Let’s stop racing through our evening routines by slapping lotion on our cheeks and rushing out of the bathroom. Let’s start taking some time, an extra minute or ten is not going to change anything in the grand scheme of things. This is for you, this is for your world. You are valuable, you are special, and your world needs you.Take care of yourself so you can take care of your world. Click To Tweet
We as women are created and designed to care for others. And sometimes the last person we take care of is ourselves.
Have Fun Taking Care of Your Body
One thing I have given myself permission to enjoy this year is skin care products. I’ve always loved products, but never let myself spend money on them. In the last few years, it was more because I didn’t want to buy chemically based products.
Last year I found a brand new beauty box subscription from Oui Fresh that curates chemical free, nontoxic products. I signed up, and after receiving several boxes I am so glad I did! It has become my just-because-I-want-to purchase that I give myself permission to enjoy. My husband just laughed at my excitement the first few times I got a box in the mail, but now he loves to see me enjoy my products.Do what you love, even when it doesn’t make sense to others!Click To Tweet
First of all, they are a great value. If you sign up for the 12-month membership it is only $19 + $5 shipping per month. This months box was valued at $74, and they usually contain five products. There is always one full-size product in the box, as well as a card detailing each product and where it can be purchased individually. If you like trying new products or are looking for some new ones this is a great way to try various items. I’ve found several items that I love and now use daily.
One of my favorite items from the box to date has been the jade roller. It’s solid jade, with a small roller for around the eyes on one end and a larger rolling stone on the other for cheeks and neck. It’s a facial massage tool, and I’ve found it very relaxing as well as visibly tightening and toning the skin on my face. I keep it in the freezer, and often use it for a minute in the mornings just to de-puff and refresh my eyes. In the evenings after I moisturize, I often sit and massage my face with it while my husband and I watch Netflix.
Another product I found through Oui Fresh is the Honest Hazel eye gels. I keep them in the refrigerator for an extra refreshing eye treatment. These are clear eye gels that you simply lay on your under eye area and leave on for 30 minutes or overnight. I don’t want to say anything I shouldn’t – but even my husband asks me for one sometimes when I’m doing them! They’re incredibly refreshing and renewing to the sensitive skin under the eye.
Another great skincare brand I found through Oui Fresh is Leahlani. They are a small brand based in Hawaii, and she creates gorgeous and delightful serums, masks, and moisturizers. I love her advocation of aloha alchemy and the way she advises to create little facial rituals. No more slapping lotion on and making a run for it, now I enjoy lightly massaging the Bless Beauty Balm into my skin.
I recently found the Moon Juice Beauty Dust, and have been taking it for several weeks. Since beauty always needs to start from the inside out, this is a great product to nourish your skin. I also take collagen regularly.
I can’t stop here without mentioning my favorite skincare ritual, the hot bath. I know, I know, I just said earlier that self-care isn’t hot baths! But now that you’ve listened to me talk on about discipline, mindfulness, parenting, etc., I feel that you are at a healthy place with this whole self-care thing and can handle a hot bath.
INTRODUCING: the Bath Detox Recipe from Joanna
I follow a Facebook page called Natural Beauty Products by Joanna. She makes beautiful soaps, whipped body butters, and her descriptions will make you feel like you can taste them!
Last year she also shared a recipe for a bath detox that I have made several times. It has Epsom salts for magnesium, Himalayan salt, and clay for detoxing and softening your skin. I usually use lavender and peppermint oils it for a relaxing experience that gives me many of the same benefits as exercise. Yes, Joanna says it will, and she also describes some fun history on hot baths in this Facebook post which includes the recipe.
None of these products have been sponsored and none of these links are affiliate links. I’m simply sharing what I love with you!
Four Top Misconceptions and Hindrances to Practicing Self-Care
1. I don’t deserve it.
You are Valuable.
One of a kind.
You are worth taking care of!
2. Isn’t that selfish?
For some reason, many of us have the mistaken idea that it is selfish to take care of ourselves. We spend our time running after everyone else’s needs. Often others’ needs are louder, more dramatic, and more important than ours and we keep pushing our needs to the bottom of the list. The truth is that it is selfish of us NOT to take care of ourselves. We care for others by caring for ourselves first.
3. It makes me feel guilty.
Many women internalize the implied message that it’s her “duty” to minimize her needs in order to care for others first. That, if she is taking care of herself, then she is taking time away from caring for someone else. Source
I have always done a few things for myself, like take long baths, read a book, or go out for an evening. But I always felt guilty, like I was taking time for myself that I “should” be spending on someone else. No one was telling me that, even my husband was always happy for me to do something for myself but still I felt selfish! I started realizing that the only person I needed to get permission from was myself.
4. Time – I don’t have any!
Sometimes it takes more humility to ask for what we need than it does to continue on in our “selfless” way of living. By depriving ourselves of the created need to decompress, to relax, to have me-time, we are also depriving others of our authentic selves.
I’ve found that I can be my authentic self to those around me when I am feeling refreshed and enjoying all the moments in my life. I want my family to always have my authentic self, with only scattered moments of my stressed out self instead of that being all they know about me.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget about your Mental Self-care
Remember the old computers that used to defragment? They made those beeping and humming sounds as the computer regenerated its brain.
Our brains need defragmenting too, and fortunately, it won’t sound that loud! Our brains are designed to need time off too, just as our bodies do, so don’t forget mental self-care. This often simply means taking a few minutes and closing our eyes, doing a few deep breaths and allowing our mental space to take a break.
Sleep is also incredibly valuable to our mental self-care, while we sleep our brains process and “defragment” if you will, all the many thoughts and ideas and feelings that powered through that day.
Mental Self-Care Tip: when going through a tough or stressful situation try to find something good or positive to focus on. This will help keep your cortisol levels in check and help calm you down. Recently a very stressful situation came up and instead of letting stress overwhelm me, I chose to focus on how much I love my husband and children and how blessed I am that they are all still alive. This really helped get me get through the situation! Just find one thing and focus on that. I promise it will help!!
(Get more mental self-care tips from Dr. Caroline Leaf)
Don’t think of self-care as an escape from your crazy life — think of it as ways that you can enjoy your life. Let’s stop trying to escape from our crazy lives, as if we have no control over what happens, and start creating lives that we don’t need an escape from.
The post How to Use Self-Care to Create a Life that You Don’t Need to Escape From appeared first on Urban Southern.