Finding easy and effective ways to practice self love will make the days easier. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of you!
Ideas For Practicing Self Care
This time is difficult. There is a lot going on and even when things get back to normal (and eventually they will), we need to get in the habit of practicing self love.
In order to take care of anyone else, you need to take care of yourself. You have to be a priority in your life. For so many of us who care for children, spouses, parents, and friends, you are willing to run yourself ragged just to make sure everyone else is okay. Make sure that they have everything they need long before you would even think to consider how you are doing. But that has to stop.
Particularly now, you have to find a way to practice self care. You have to find a way to give yourself a little bit of healing and love so that you can continue taking care of those you love in the healthiest way possible. Here are some things to try.
Light Some Candles
There is something about a candle – particularly a scented candle – that will change the ambiance and energy in the room. There is a peacefulness about candles and with all of the challenges surrounding us everyday, peace is just what we need.
While cooking dinner for the family, taking a bath, reading your favorite book or just looking out the window, light some candles. Dim the lights a bit and take some deep breaths.
If anyone enters your space, point out the candle. Tell them that while the candle is lit, everyone has to relax. Speak in softer voices and calm their energy. It will both help you practice self care and maybe quiet any animated energy in your house.
Dress in Something Nice
If you have spent the last ten months wearing yoga pants or sweat pants (like me!), it’s time to change things up. Pick a day each week where you gussy yourself up. Whether this means wearing a cocktail dress, a suit, or the outfit you keep in the closet for special occasions, this is the time to break it out.
Coif yourself in whatever way you would have in the more normal days (do your hair, shave whatever you shave, moisturize, put on some makeup, etc.), grab some nice shoes and wear a fragrance if you like. Get dressed up.
Have fun with this. If you don’t want to wear something fancy, wear something that you would have worn out to dinner in 2019. Help yourself feel good about you and remind yourself that you are a real person who is worth pampering.
And if you want to make it a family event, no one says that the kids can’t go to e-learning classes in their fanciest clothing! Maybe they’ll even brush their hair!
Make Sleep a Priority
Nothing drags us down more than lack of sleep. Do your best to make your sleep routine as a first priority. I know, easier said than done, particularly when you are dealing with the level of stress that many of us are managing right now, but it is incredibly important. Lack of sleep is linked to increased depression, increased anxiety, and lower levels of productivity, so you need to equate sleep management with self care.
I know what it is like to lay in bed with the day (or the week or the year) circling round and round in your head, unable to actually relax into sleep. Our job as adults is to find ways to help ourselves through that. Come up with a routine for yourself where the goal is to calm your mind when you can’t sleep. It is a huge piece of self love that you can’t let fall by the wayside.
Hang out with Positive Friends
Let’s be honest, we all have friends who we love fiercely, but aren’t the best for our mental health. It is time to try to focus your energy on those who make you feel good. When you hang up the phone or drive away from a friend, it is important that the “Whew!” you are expressing is one of happiness and not one of “Oy, that was a lot.”
Try to spend a little time with your friends who are the most positive and bring you joy. Start a text chain, plan a phone call or have a Zoom with someone fun. I have been having “car dates” with my best girlfriend where we each pick up a drive thru meal in our own cars, park next to each other with our windows rolled up, and call on the phone. We talk for a few hours while being able to see each other’s faces, have a meal together, and stay safe and warm. You have to do what works to take care of yourself.
Do Something You Enjoy
I know that this can be a bit of a challenge, particularly right now, but try to do something that you enjoy doing. If you love to cook, get all of the ingredients you need for something brand new (or a favorite that you don’t make often) and get into the kitchen. If you love watching movies, carve out a bit of time so that you can watch one new movie per week.
Doing something that you enjoy is an easy and productive way that you can practice self love. Give yourself the gift of something you like to do at least once per week and more often if it’s possible.
This is one of the easiest ways that you can practice self love at any time and during any season. Write out some sticky notes with quotes, messages to yourself or something meaningful to you written on them. Place them all over the house and in places that you find yourself visiting often (the bathroom mirror, the wall in front of the kitchen sink, on the table you leave your car keys, etc.)
Even though you will know that you’ve written them yourself, they will take on an individual feeling at some point. “I love this note that reminds me that I’m loved.” “My favorite note is the one with the quote by Maya Angelou.” Surrounding yourself with positivity is an easy way for little bits of self love to get through and help you take a deep breath.
You need to take care of yourself. It is super important, particularly right now, when taking care of our mental health and well being feels like it is more challenging by the day. Practice self love. You are worth the energy and you will be better for it.