(This article was originally written in 2019. Needless to say, we need it in 2020 even more so!)
Self care has become a popularized notion in the 21st century. Before that, many people didn’t realize how important taking time out for themselves could be for their overall wellbeing. Now we do know. And we have plenty of scientific studies to back it up. Self care is imperative for our overall well being.
Because our emotional, mental and physical wellness are intrinsically connected, it is imperative that we take care of all three. Technically, all three forms fall under self care. But, how do we balance and care for the needs of each?
Recently a friend and I were discussing self care. She travels often for work and puts a lot of physical and mental energy into her job. She asked what I do to de-stress. I explained that one of my favorite things to do was to break up the week with an Epsom salt bubble bath.
She promptly inquired, “Yea, but is it ok to do it every night?” I burst into a fit of giggles as I suddenly heard the “Calgon take me away” melody in my head. I nodded in agreement and assured her, “Yes!” There is no limit on self care. Moreover, if you feel like you can’t get enough – then mix it up. Don’t be afraid to make some changes.
A routine of relaxation
A routine of relaxation can give your mind and body something to look forward to. On particularly stressful days, or even situations, knowing that you have a massage, bubble bath or special outing waiting can release chemicals (i.e. dopamine) in your body that will combat your stress. This can be immensely helpful in both your emotional and physical wellness, which can also affect your physical wellness.
If you reach a point where that bubble bath is no longer enough, then ask yourself some serious questions. Is there something in your life you could “lose” that would prevent the majority of your stress? Then consider that. If you simply need to approach your stress in a different way then consider different forms of meditation. Personally, I found a huge stress release in finding the right job for me. It took time and persistence. But boy was the payoff worth it.
There is still that inner fear in many of us that feels guilty taking time for ourselves. We want to limit it. But if you need it, take it. I love the quote, “you can’t pour for someone else from an empty cup.” If we don’t take the time to recharge we simply won’t have the energy to give or care for someone else. So please, let that guilt go.
Ultimately, you are in control of your life. So make the right choices that help create your ideal scenario. No, not everything can be orchestrated. However, you can make a huge impact on your daily stress and your overall wellness by making yourself a priority – guilt free.