When is the last time you practiced self-care?
With these trying times it is harder now more than ever for people to take the time to care for themselves. We have jobs, families and other responsibilities and stressors that we put before ourselves.
Often we feel guilty for taking time to focus on what makes us happy, maybe you don’t know what to do for your own self-care. I want to introduce you to my 5 pillars of self-care.
These 5 pillars are things that I have personally been working on each day. Some days I am better at it than others and that is ok. We are all human after all.
Keeping our bodies active is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. It doesn't have to be some over the top exercise regime (thank goodness!). A 20 minute walk in the sunshine will not only help keep your heart healthy but the fresh air and sun will help boost your emotional self-care too!.
Some other ideas for physical self-care include:
- Take a relaxing bubble bath.
- Get a good nights sleep (7-9 hours ).
- Prepare healthy, nutritious meals.
- Take care of your skin. Try one of our at home facial kits for a little pick me up!
Knowing who to keep in your circle and who to let go of can be difficult. In the age of social media platforms it is easy to get caught up in "friending" everyone.. but how is that serving you? I have made some tough choices when it comes to my own social circle over the last year and have noticed a big shift in my relationships since. I can focus my precious time and energy on those who value our relationship just as much as I do.
Some other ideas for social self-care include:
- Make plans with friends (and keep them!).
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Meet new people, grow your circle (but remember, you don't have to friend EVERYONE).
- Check in with your friends.
Often times we don't think about checking in with how we are feeling psychologically, especially now with so much going on. Taking a few moments a day to really tune into your thoughts can shed light on what you really need to fill your cup.
Some other ideas for psychological self-care include:
- Get creative, start a new hobby or learn a new skill.
- Read a good book.
- Practice mindfulness and/or meditation.
- Do a digital detox.
For years I didn't really know what money was coming in and what was going out. When I was married my ex-husband was the "money man", I had zero idea where our finances were on any given day. Since being on my own, I have learned how to build a relationship with my finances. It took awhile to figure out how to make my budget work and stay on top of things but I did it, and you can do it too!
Some examples of financial self-care include:
- Know where your income is coming from.
- Create a budget and stick to it
- Set up direct withdrawals for recurring expenses. This was a lifesaver for me!
- Have a savings plan in place.
This is probably the hardest pillar for me to follow each day. It works alongside psychological self-care in a way. Being a highly sensitive person who wears my heart on my sleeve often gets in the way of emotional self-care for me. It is important to remind ourselves that it is ok to take charge of how we allow people to treat us, how we speak of ourselves (negative self-talk anyone?) and what we will tolerate from people in general. It's not easy to focus on this pillar, but it is definitely important to try.
Some examples of emotional self-care include:
- Learn to say no.
- Make time to reflect.
- Practice self-compassion.
- Be aware of your emotional boundaries.
These are just a few examples of ways to practice each pillar of self-care into your day. I'm sure you will find more over time that will fit into each.
Today I urge you to complete just one self-care item and build from there.
You deserve it!
Jennifer Hunt is a Medical Aesthetician and owner/operator of Hello Gorgeous Beauty Studio in Guelph Ontario