Real Life Self-Care

It’s everywhere you turn on social media these days. Memes extolling the importance of self-care. Posts bragging about luxurious baths, vacations, or time in nature, #selfcare.

But what if your days are totally booked? 

What if you’re absolutely exhausted? 

And what if falling onto the couch in an exhausted heap at the end of the day is the only thing you have any energy for?

This all just leads to a pile of (unhelpful) self-care guilt.

It all makes sense though. We DO need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our kids and loved ones. Having a relaxing bath or time to ourselves WOULD be so lovely, but sometimes, that just feels completely impossible.

So let’s throw away some of that self-care guilt and find other ways to bring some loveliness back into our day. 

These aren’t items to add to your already long to-do list. Nor are they something to worry about if you forget. 

Instead, just focus on the positive. The moments where a glimmer of loveliness joins your day. Those times that you can shake yourself out of the busyness of the day and find a bit of joy inside the chaos.

Be fully present in a moment –

When something really lovely is happening, like your kid is doing something that’s hilarious or there’s something really beautiful to look at - Pause. Take a deep breath, and just be there and enjoy it. 

If your head is anything like mine, it might fight it at first. My head likes to tell me that there are too many things to do to pause. But, the pause is only 30 seconds to a minute. And it’s a beautiful minute :).

I’ve found the more I can just quiet my mind for that minute and enjoy the moment, the easier it becomes and the happier I feel. Those little breaks from all of the things I have to do have become anchors in my day and have created many lovely memories.

And it’s okay if you miss some or rush through them at first. Even 5 seconds of presence is lovely :).

A bit of compassion goes a very long way –

Compassion for others can be very easy, but compassion for ourselves can be a lifelong journey. And it’s those moments of imperfection that can teach us the most about kindness. 

Did you forget to pick up something on your way home today? Or, were you a bit short with a colleague or a friend? 

Try speaking to yourself the way you’d speak to a loved one. 

It’s our very humanness that’s imperfect and that’s what makes us so darn loveable. Think of someone you love a lot, what’s your favourite part of them? It’s probably something that they themselves see as imperfect.

So, that thing you forgot…it just made you even more loveable :). And that’s pretty darn fantastic. 

Go to bed 10 mins earlier…

and read a book you absolutely love

Okay, this one is actually something to do, but it can be so lovely. Find a book that you’ve really loved in the past, and once a week (or a few nights a week) head to bed 10 mins earlier and dive into that world again.

I love re-reading books I’ve enjoyed. I like to revisit the characters and the story. It brings a pile of warm and fuzziness to my life in a very easy way.

And sometimes…

The best self-care is ignoring every single self-care idea with heaping loads of kindness and compassion toward ourselves. 

Sometimes, that’s the kindest thing we can do for ourselves :)