Self-care doesn't always come in the form of face masks and bubbling glasses of wine. Though those are two very viable options. 👀🥂
Self-care is simply practicing kindness towards you. It's taking a moment away from what the world wants from you so you can ensure your needs are met. If you've been struggling to be kind to you, these are 5 small and unexpected ways to start right now!
5 Unexpected Ways to Practice Self-Care
1. Schedule time off
Schedule time for yourself throughout the year away from work or daily tasks or responsibilities. If your job offers you vacation days, leverage them. If you're self employed, adjust your schedule as needed to take some time for you. Talk to the people around you about when you'll be away and make necessary arrangements to ensure the important things are still taken care of.
If stepping away for a longer period of time isn't necessarily feasible for you, block out me-time where you can in your day-to-day. Try waking up earlier to enjoy the peace and quiet before the rest of the world needs your attention. Set aside an hour or two before bed where you can check in with yourself, attend to any personal tasks that need to be done, and focus on just you. There will always be a pocket of time you can use for yourself, you've just gotta find them!
2. Be okay with saying “I don't know”
Don't beat yourself up if you don't have the answer. We can't know everything there is to know, and there will be a lot of instances in life where IDK is the only response you'll have. Own it!
Be okay with admitting when you don't know something, but always remember to take action towards learning and growing. It's 100% possible to continuously educate yourself without shaming yourself for your past ignorance. And if you only focus on not knowing, you'll never take the next step forward to learning.
Practice self-care by being willing to learn. Be confident in what you do know, so when an IDK moment rolls around, you'll know that it's only a matter of time until you've found the knowledge you need to move forward.
3. Control the controllable
Things are always going to happen that are out of your control. If you place your focus on the uncontrollable, you'll be constantly stressed and end up feeling helpless in the end. If it's out of your control, there is nothing you can do to change that situation — no matter how much effort you put in.
Remind yourself to only control what can be controlled by you. Instead of wasting time and energy on things you cannot change, acknowledge what you do have control over. You always have the power to change your mindset, your decisions, and the actions you take. Focus on making the best decisions within your realm of control.
4. Don't rush yourself
Sometimes being kind to yourself is as easy as allowing yourself enough time. Stress starts to build when you're rushing through the day. If you're constantly worried about being late for your next appointment, you can never slow down to focus on the present moment.
Reverse engineer your schedule to see exactly how much time you'll need for tasks and projects. If you know exactly what time something needs to be done, work backwards and count the time you'll need to block out in order to meet your deadline. This will give you plenty of time to actually enjoy the things you do and focus on work that needs to be done.
5. Check in regularly
Set aside time regularly to check in with yourself. It's too easy to fall into autopilot and power through your days without noting your emotional state or mental wellbeing. Don't let your mental health fall by the wayside!
Whether you journal, meditate, or simply use a tracker app, find a way to consistently check in on your mindset. Are you overwhelmed? Content? Anxious about something? Notice these feelings as they appear in your life and assess where they come from. Then, you can make changes when needed and get a better idea of what works for you.
QOTD: How do you show kindness to YOU?