What Exactly Is Self-Care? (Featuring 12 days of self-care)
Gift-giving and helping others is great, but it’s also important to show yourself some love. Enter 12 Days of Self Care! Whether you need a quick break from everyday life, or you just want an excuse to spoil yourself, or even if you need to catch your breath from the holiday season’s hustle and bustle these wellness-boosting ‘gifts’ that you can give yourself are simply priceless.
Non-toxic products for your skin, hair and home are great ways to start taking care of yourself and your family! If this post is a bit long for you, skim through and find the things that YOU can connect with...it will be worth your time.
You and I both know that everyone takes a different approach to self-care, because it means different things to different people. For some it might mean spending time with friends and family, taking walks in nature, or indulging in a hobby they love. Others might find self-care in practices like prayer, meditation, yoga, or journaling. Spending the time to pamper yourself with non-toxic skincare or hair care, taking a bath with your favorite scents, or making your home a little cozier with warm fragrances of the Season will lift your spirits and help you get ready to tackle each day.
What is self-care, why is it important, and how does it fit into your life story?
Well, we all have a story, right?! One may be different from the next but we are all in a similar boat. Many people these days are running around or running errands, teaching or transporting kids, taking care of animals, working full-time, making dinner or finding barely enough time to run through a drive thru, maybe taking care of an elderly parent or helping someone in need. Then to top things off there are bills that need paid, or home repairs to fix, or schedules to figure out. Day in and day out the lists pile up and you feel like you barely have enough time to breathe. Sound like you or someone you know?! Schedules leave little to no time to gather with friends or family, which can lead to feeling alienated and isolated. WE CAN DO BETTER~ we need to for our sanity.
It’s like trying to run a car that’s on empty or purchase things from a store with nothing in your bank account. You may be thinking to yourself, ‘I don’t have TIME to fill up because there is no time left in the day…no time for me.’ But the truth is, we NEED to fill up somehow. Otherwise at the end of the day, or the end of this season of life you may crash and burn…and we don’t want that to happen. Some days it’s okay to not be okay. The world is going through an epidemic of anxiety and depression, and it is obvious there is a need for more self-care. We have a few suggestions, but let’s talk about what self-care is first.
What makes YOU happy? What lowers YOUR stress?
Self-Care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health, taking an active role in protecting your well-being and happiness. When was the last time you did something to spoil yourself? When was the last time you felt good both physically and mentally? Self-care is not just a slogan. In times like this it shifts the way we live, and self-care becomes a necessity. Many of us begin to operate like a machine. And we will keep going, keep pushing until you just can’t take it anymore. Once that happens it is difficult to focus on the job or task at hand no matter how hard you try. It’s called burnout! We wait until we have to learn the hard way, to figure out that we ALL need a break to do something for ourselves. So, how can we work on this? We have a few ideas and suggestions, but first let’s start with a few simple questions to help you identify quickly, what form of self-care can be helpful for you. And if you really want to dive in…keep reading to the end ~ you’re worth it!
What makes you happy and relaxed? For me, music has been a bit part of my life. I can turn into a different person with an uplifting track. Reading scripture and cooking really help me too.
What makes you feel complete or accomplished? Learning something: a new skill, taking a dance class or baking a cake from scratch, creating things, spending time with family? Find that one thing that spikes your sense of accomplishment and put it in your self-care routine.
What are the things that consume most of your time and energy? If browsing through social media is causing you stress, put your phone somewhere you can’t reach during your self-care routine. If it’s your kids ~ maybe ask for help to give you a little break.
What is stopping you from taking care of yourself? The common self-care challenges are time, money or not knowing how to. Make a quick list that you can refer back to, of your favorite things.
What are the things I you already do for self-care? Do you already take time to stretch your body, read a book , or take a long bath. List out things that you are already doing that make you feel good.
One common misconception is that self-care is self-indulgent or selfish. It is so NOT that. We believe that self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can BE HEALTHY, you can BE WELL, you can do your job, you can help and care for others, and you can do all the things you need to and want to accomplish in a day. It’s part of how we cope with daily stressors and trying to keep up with the pace of daily life. People are feeling lonelier and less able to unwind and slow down, which makes them feel more anxious and overwhelmed by even the simplest tasks.
Supplementation and filling in the gaps is a great place to start. Have you heard of the gut-brain connection? If you’re gut isn’t healthy, you might feel more stressed or burdened with anxiety, which makes it difficult to even want to do self-care. Make sure you are SLEEPING too ~ lack of sleep will affect every area of your life. We cannot put things and people into a perfect little box because we are all different. Self-care is the same way, find what works for you and fills YOUR cup.
Holidays are crazy! The pressures and expectations of the holidays make it easy to overlook why we even celebrate them in the first place! It’s a time to be with people you love and to spread cheer. But there’s one person you probably forget about each and every year…. Yourself! You could invite friends and family for a gift-wrapping party, have some Christmas music playing, and have some yummy snacks. You’ll get your presents done but more importantly, you’ll get to spend a little time with your loved ones. This year, I’m going to make a real effort to take care of myself so that I can truly enjoy the season and I hope you do too!
Don't know where to start? We've got you!!! Here are some additional suggestions for self-care ideas:
Take a power nap: Who doesn’t love a good nap? With less than 30 minutes, you will have your energy recharged for the rest of the day. It can also be a magical mood-booster which doesn’t cost you anything. So, allow yourself to pause and take a nap when you experience low energy.
Keep yourself hydrated: A self-care activity can be as simple as drinking enough water so that your body works more efficiently and effectively. Not having enough water can cause headaches, dry skin, fatigue, and dizziness. These symptoms can make you feel exhausted during the busy holiday season.
Meditation or Praying: This is a great way to clear your mind and help you relax. It helps ground your mind and gives you the ability to ‘just be’. This allows you to focus your attention on something specific, and when your mind wanders, you gently guide it back to that which you’re meditating about. This practice can help you learn to focus and be more present in your everyday life. Prayer is generally defined as talking to God, about what matters most in your life. Asking for guidance, support, or perhaps forgiveness; sharing thanks; and/or asking for protection and good fortune for yourself and others. You may also consider reading an inspirational book or listening to inspirational audio before or after prayer. The benefits of meditation include decreased stress and anxiety, improved moods, better sleep, and reduced inflammation. Meditation can also help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, which can lead to positive changes in your behavior.
Make a self-care kit: A self-care survival kit is a personalized box of items to pamper yourself, or things that calm you down. It’s a go-to self-care package for surviving the holidays or bad / hard day. Making a self-care survival kit is a great chance to reflect on what makes us happy. Maybe it includes a bottle of lavender or bergamot essential oil, or a puzzle book, adult coloring book, a favorite snack or treat, an affirmation…whatever YOU want it to be.
Treat yourself: Self-appreciation and self-love is the foundation of any self-care activity. Start your day by writing down 3 of the achievements that worth celebrating. It doesn’t have to be something huge. Anything that you’ve made progress on, mark it down. Maybe you have been sleeping better. Or you’ve arranged more time for your family. Small steps will make a huge difference. Reward yourself with a muffin, a new outfit or a massage. Your body will reward you with greater satisfaction of a better mood and a higher energy level.
Journal: Write about your day and how you have been feeling. Journaling to get your feelings out can be the perfect chance to reflect and discover what has been making you feel good. It doesn’t have to be long but will help you keep track of things that help you have your BEST DAYS.
Shopping for self-care items: Shopping is a staple for holidays. But while you are getting a gift for Aunt Sally, don’t forget to get yourself good-quality self-care items. Make yourself a priority.
Play games: Dig out old board games and play with your family.
A soothing bath: Put a few drops of essential oil of your choice in the bathtub or a PRG bath bomb. In the shower, take the time to breathe in the scent and use this shower to just relax. PRG menthol shower steamers are great for this. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it has to be all about you.
Adopt a bedtime ritual for better sleep: Getting enough and high-quality sleep is one of the most needed yet often neglected self-care activities. Try to avoid eating 3 hours before sleep. An hour before going to bed, put away your phone and other electronics. Read a book on your list and calm your mind down from the holiday chaos. If you wish, make yourself a cup of herbal tea before the bath and enjoy with a good read to your liking. Slip into your warm and cozy pajamas once you’re done. You’ll be more energetic and refreshed the next day!
Get Moving: It’s no surprise that exercise is one of the best ways to improve your mental health. The benefits of getting your body moving are vast and varied.
Aromatherapy: PRG has several aromatherapy sprays that can boost your wellness. It is a form of alternative medicine that uses plant oils, known as essential oils, for the purpose of healing. These natural oils are used to relieve your mind, body and soul of their stresses and have been shown to improve your mood, cognitive function, and even sleep quality. They’re also believed to be effective in treating a variety of health conditions including stress and anxiety to migraines and skin problems.
Face Masks: If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to relax, face masks are the perfect solution. Not only do they feel great, but they also help improve the health of your skin. Face masks can help to remove dirt, oil and makeup from your skin while also providing your skin with essential nutrients that it needs to stay healthy. They can help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, while also improving dry or oily skin. Even if you have sensitive skin, there are face masks that are gentle on your skin and are a great way to get rid of impurities in your pores.
Spend time with people you care about: When it comes to spending time with your family and friends you can reap so many benefits. It gives you an opportunity to catch up on old times and reminisce about shared memories. Connecting with loved ones can also help us feel supported and loved, which is especially important during tough times. Additionally, research has shown that spending time with friends and family can boost your immune system, improve your mood, and even help you live longer. So, if you’re looking for a way to boost your health and well-being, spending time with family and friends is a great place to start. And who knows, you might just end up having a lot of fun in the process.
Treat yourself to some fresh flowers: There’s nothing quite like fresh flowers to brighten up your home and improve wellness. Flowers aren’t just pretty to look at; they also have a number of therapeutic benefits. They can help lower blood pressure, improve breathing, and reduce stress. They can also improve your mood and increase feelings of happiness.
We all know that taking care of others is important, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of neglecting ourselves. It’s important to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. You need to be in a good place mentally and emotionally in order to be there for your loved ones.
CONCLUSION FOR 12 DAYS OF SELF CARE
Self-care is a great opportunity to take stock of all the wonderful parts of who you are and invest some time in the things that matter most to you. It gives you chance to rest; knowing whatever needs healing will heal given enough space and time without pressure from your day-to-day life. Nourishing what makes your heart sing, what lights up your face when it happens, or simply brings joy into this world through service to others. It’s a way for you to give back the love and appreciation that we know you deserve but may not be showing up in your life right now. These 12 days of showing up for yourself by caring for your body, mind, home and spirit in ways that releases stress and make you feel good.