Adult life can be hard and hectic. With our obligations to the workforce, most days are more work than play.
And the daily grind can definitely get us down.
In fact, we can easily get disheartened by our circumstances. This is why it is necessary to make self-care an essential part of our established routines.
Why? Well, before I explain the benefits of self-care, let’s review the definition from Dictionary.com.
1. the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.
2. the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
It is important to truly understand that self-care is NOT selfish. So, in this article I will go over the benefits of self-care, then, explain how I practice self-care every day. It’s not always about going to the spa but more about daily practices. I want you to get inspired to implement your own self-care rituals into your busy schedule.
The Benefits of Self-Care
Consistent self-care is essential for several reasons, one of which is because it allows us to preserve our mental and emotional health. If we constantly direct our attention outward, never focusing any of our attention inward, we can feel lost, stressed, insecure, or burnt out. And when such feelings persist, they will lead to depression, anxiety, and other emotional illnesses.
But when we dedicate time to reflecting on what we’re going through and how that makes us feel, we can start to recognize our emotional responses to stress. Then, we can determine how to manage our stress more effectively and develop accessible coping skills. As a result, we’ll be able to build resilience within ourselves that empowers us to bounce back from difficult situations. So, by committing to developing a daily practice we boost our emotional and mental health.
Self-care also promotes our physical health as well. If you pamper your skin, hair, nails, and muscles every few days, you can keep these parts of your body in optimal health. What’s more, you trigger a relaxation response that overcomes chronic stress. Or when you take a long walk, finish a brisk jog, or progress through some yoga positions, you increase your endorphins and lift your spirits.
Another advantage of self-care is that it encourages you to be more productive. When your body and mind are in good shape, you’re able to concentrate on what’s important, be more intentional with your time, and have the strength and stamina required to get things done.
My System for Self-Care
Personally, I’ve been a big believer in self-care for a long time now and am in the habit of caring for myself with four different everyday actions. These actions are my four C’s of self-care: contemplation, color, creativity, and confidence. By doing at least two of these activities a day, I can keep myself centered with self-care.
Here’s what I do:
1. Spend time by myself
I do my best to start my day with some alone time. Preferably, I give myself an hour of time by myself, but when I’m in a rush, even just 10 minutes is valuable. I permit myself to wake up slowly, center myself with some steady breathing, and mentally prepare myself for the day ahead.
Usually, I’ve planned out my day the night before, so I just have to quickly review each assignment on my agenda in the morning. Again, sometimes life gets in the way, and I’m short on time. So, when I can’t arrange my day as much as I would like, I don’t guilt myself.
After I’ve figured out my schedule, as much as I can, I’ll spend the rest of the hour doing something that makes me happy. For example, I may read, listen to music, or turn on some white noise. Being by myself for such a considerable chunk of time enables me to put my heart and soul in a good place, which then excites me to use my body and mind for other things throughout the day.
2. Adult Coloring
Coloring is a great stress-reliever for me. I have several books of beautiful designs, patterns, and pictures that I can fill with whatever colors I want. And doing so really calms me. I find the task of selecting colors and staying inside the lines to be so soothing and stabilizing for my spirit. I also appreciate how coloring lets me express myself in such a way that I can work through my aesthetic vision and complete it without the pressure of appeasing others’ expectations. Usually, I color once a day, but I at least make an effort to do so several times a week. I notice a difference in myself if I haven’t colored in a while, and getting back into it always feels so good.
3. Bodyoke: Body in Motion
Dancing is my meditation. At the end of a long morning, I embrace the moment to shake and sway so that I can feel purposeful and grateful once again. I understand the temptation to get caught up in deadlines and try to power through. But even taking a 5-minute dance break is so revitalizing that it’s invaluable to me. Getting out of my chair and onto my feet in the middle of the day gives me a chance to recapture my inspiration. For this reason, I rarely fail to be active every day. My physical diversion of choice is Bodyoke, which is a form of exercise I created. For me, Bodyoke is the art of helping your mind flow through meditation by moving your body. By being lively and contemplative at the same time, typically in a group setting, you can deepen your connection to the music, the message, the healing, and your community. Bodyoke provides a very powerful positive experience for me, so not ashamed to say, I’m a bit addicted to it.
4. Decide Who You Want to Be and Dress for the Mood
Wearing exactly what I want to wear each day is another one of my tricks for feeling content and competent. My outfits represent my ambitions and my emotions. For this reason, I try to dress according to my state of mind so I can stay true to myself. Whether I’m working from home or on-location, I put myself in the colors that get me ready for what I’m about to do. If I’m staying home and tapping into my creativity, I will wear my mood colors. When I’m meeting a client for the first time, I wear my Inherent colors. And when I’m on-site coordinating a photoshoot or a styling session, I wear colors that make me feel competent. By following my color formula, I always feel good and look amazing. And of course, I’ve curated my wardrobe to include my best colors so that my clothes never hold me back.
However, I do have days where my mood doesn’t motivate me to dress well. So, when I’m feeling out of it, I rely on an outfit I’ve put together for such fashion emergencies. Having a few go-to looks in mind for various occasions spares me from having to overextend myself when I’m already drained. Plus, my emergency outfits usually help me turn my frown upside down. The fact that clothes can actually improve your mood is just one more reason why what you wear is so important!
Your Possibilities for Practicing Self-Care
Now that you know the benefits of self-care as well as how I care for myself every day, you have the opportunity to specify what your steps toward self-care will be. And once you work out how you want to care for yourself, asking your friends and family to honor your intentions increases the odds that you can actually perpetuate steady self-care.
Remember: self-care is all about taking an active role in protecting your own well-being and happiness. So, you just need to do things that make you happy! Some ideas for self-care that may interest you include:
- Get extra rest: Whether you take a nap, go to bed early, or sleep in late, squeezing in some more sleep usually feels amazing.
- Exercise: As mentioned, staying active is very rewarding. So, just pick an exercise that’s fun for you and do it! It is that simple!
- Keep a journal: Jotting down your thoughts every day or so is ideal for clearing your head.
- Meditation: Meditation comes in many forms and is extremely beneficial to emotional wellness. It can be taking a nature walk, cloud watching, dancing, anything that allows your mind to not be focused on the tasks of the day.
- Deep clean your body: Take a long, warm bath, apply a face or hair mask, give yourself a manicure or pedicure, get a massage. By purifying your outsides with extensive hygiene, you’re also renewing your insides.
- Be social: You don’t have to be alone to care for yourself. Instead, you can accomplish your self-care goals by going out with friends, having a date night, or even playing with your pets.
- Define your style: Discovering which clothes and colors equip you with confidence is vital for looking and feeling your best. And a little retail therapy can actually be good for your personal brand as well!
This list features just a few of your self-care options. To ensure that you’re really refreshing and healing yourself, simply pinpoint your unique sources of joy and invest in them frequently. You can only care for yourself well if you know yourself well. One of the best ways to start your journey to self-care is with a deep dive into your identity.
And if you’re ready to explore the beauty of you, you can always come to me for assistance. As your personal style coach, I’ll lead you through the process of examining your personality and your lifestyle. That way, you’ll know who you are and how to present yourself. to start prioritizing your self-care schedule a one-on-one consultation with me today!