Day 4 - Self-Care
Challenge #4: Self-Care
Self-Care is a hot topic lately. But what is it, really?
Self-Care is any activity we do to take care of ourselves, including daily habits like eating, drinking enough water, sleeping, bathing and moving.
In a nutshell, it’s about being as kind to yourself as you would be to others. It’s about knowing when your resources are running low and stepping back to replenish them rather than letting them all drain away.
It also involves integrating self-compassion into your life in a way that helps to prevent even the possibility of a burnout. And having compassion for ourselves helps us build confidence.
As women, we tend to put everyone else’s needs before our own, and self-care is a perfect way to give time back to ourselves.
Just as we’re instructed to put our oxygen mask on first before we help others on an airplane, we can’t expect to give our best selves to others until we care for ourselves first.
For today’s challenge, make time for self-care. Scroll down to get some ideas!
Practicing self-care helps us build confidence because it improves our productivity, reduces stress and burnout, curbs overwhelm, improves our immune system, and keeps us looking and feeling younger!
It’s helpful to think about self-care in the following areas:
- Sensory: eating something you enjoy, taking a mindful shower, getting a massage
- Emotional: journaling, therapy, having a good cry, singing along to music
- Spiritual: meditation, prayer, practicing gratitude, spend time in nature
- Physical: exercising, taking a walk, taking a nap, solo sex (yes, I went there!)
It’s important for us to make time for self-care in order to live our best, most confident lives. Here are some tips to help you incorporate more self-care into your routine:
Set a consistent time to practice self-care. This could be a time to journal each day, a weekly hike, or a monthly massage.
With another habit. For example, when washing your face at night, add an extra step and apply your favorite mask or light an aromatherapy candle.
What is something you already do to practice self-care? What is something you’d like to add to your routine?
Part of self-care is self-compassion.
Self-compassion encourages us to acknowledge our flaws and limitations, allowing us to look at ourselves from a more objective and realistic point of view.
It’s about treating ourselves with the same kindness, care and concern we show a loved one, because we are all imperfect human beings living imperfect lives. Admitting we have flaws just like anyone else keeps us connected to others.
It’s easier for self-compassionate people to improve on mistakes, failures or shortcomings because they view them more objectively. Research shows self-compassion is an effective motivator in this way. And, self-compassionate people are better at owning up to their mistakes.
Mistakes like skipping the gym, eating a cookie (or three), staying up way too late, drinking too much coffee or wine.
Instead of throwing our hands in the air and giving up on our wellbeing goals, self-compassion teaches us to acknowledge that we’re human, and humans make mistakes. It helps us to pick up where we left off and try again tomorrow.
Having self-compassion means being able to recognize the difference between making a bad decision and being a bad person. When we have self-compassion, we understand that our worth is unconditional.
One reason many of us don’t keep up with our wellbeing goals is our lack of self-compassion. We believe our self-worth is tied to whether we lose the weight or run the marathon or donate to a cause we believe in or host a flawless dinner for friends.
According to Psychology Today, here are 5 ways we can be more self-compassionate:
- Treat yourself as if you were a child, friend or pet
- Practice mindfulness
- Remember that you’re not alone
- Give yourself permission to be imperfect
- Work with a therapist or coach
What can you do to be more compassionate to yourself?