“Treat yo’ self,” they say as they encourage spending thousands of dollars on spa treatments and chugging an entire bottle of cabernet. “You deserve this! Self-care!”
100% you deserve extravagant vacations and enormous bottles of wine! I wish I could give that to you. As I’ve settled into this adulting thing, I have certainly discovered the importance of self-care… But the interesting thing is pop culture depicts self-care as an act of extravagance or excess, like charging a tropical vacation on your Discover card or ordering the biggest sandwich on the menu (with a Diet Coke, please). That type of self-care is great, and if that is what you need to reset and take care of the physical, mental, and emotional you, that’s cool. Charge that vacation, baby!
I think it is important to point out that self-care doesn’t need to be extravagant or excessive. Do I want that spa weekend in Hawaii? Of course, I do. But is that realistic every time I feel overwhelmed? Unfortunately, not (but if I win the lotto or actually ever sell a book, I’ll let ya’ll know). Self-care can be just those little tiny things you make time for throughout the busy day to make sure you stay okay. It is a space in time you carve out to reset and recalibrate, however brief.
A long sigh in the grocery store check-out line.
10 minutes of sun on the deck before your next virtual meeting.
5 succulent plants on your desk to bring you joy.
A quick Facetime with a friend before your next conference call.
A Disney movie before bed.
A morning workout, however brief.
A moment alone in the pantry with the peanut butter jar.
Lana Del Rey playing on repeat while you bust out that project.
A little afternoon delight, because the hubby came home for lunch!
A deep breath before replying to that text.
Painting your nails, even though your right hand is going to look like a 4-year-old did it.
Soaking in a bubble bath.
Lighting a candle.
Taking a walk.
Doing that thing you love just a little more often.
Self-care is something that we can all do for ourselves any time, any place. It does not need to be a spa day or an entire bottle of cabernet (although it certainly can be). Self-care is simply the little things you stop to do for yourself. What can you make some time for to better nurture both your outer and inner self? If a long, loud sigh in the store is going to get you through the next 20 minutes, do it. Take care of that piece of yourself. Adulting doesn’t mean we have to ignore our more complex needs as individuals. We may have external adulty responsibilities, but never forget we also have a responsibility to nurture our inner selves and do the little things that keep us okay.