How often do you hear the words self-care? They are widely used today for a good reason. The term self-care means the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health. The one important factor of self-care that people seem to brush aside is maintaining good mental health. Our mental health eventually affects our physical health. Our mind is more powerful than you can imagine so it's incredibly important to practice self-care.
Today we seem to put ourselves last. Why is that? Somewhere along the way, society started shaming women for doing things they needed to take care of themselves, so in turn we tend to feel guilty about doing something for ourselves. I'm here to tell you to stop feeling guilty!
When was the last time you told someone, you know what, don't do anything for yourself, I want you to think about everyone else besides yourself. Your well-being isn't important. As long as you exhaust yourself, take care of everyone else's needs, and ignore your own life will be so great for you. That person would be hurt and upset and feel mentally unwell. We encourage our loved ones to take care of themselves mentally and do what they need to feel great.
So why do we do these things to ourselves? I'm not talking about taking care of our everyday responsibilities. If you were to take a hard look at what your schedule is in a month what would it look like? Most of us use a calendar to keep track of things we need to get done. How many of those things are for just you? *hearing crickets*
The hard reality is that you eventually can not take care of others if you don't take care of yourself first. Your mental health will suffer and your physical health as well. So if we want to be there for others isn't it important to take care of yourself to be the best you can be?
Stop doing the things that aren't necessary. Stop doing things you don't want to do every single time, speak up, and say I was thinking I would like to do this instead. Stop filling every minute of every day with meaningless busy work. Instead fill in some time with rest, or a good book, a cup of herbal tea, or *gasp* nothing!
Where do you begin? Start by scheduling some time each month for yourself. Add to it your calendar like you would any other event or appointment. Don't feel like you are not important enough to do that. Start thinking about the things that have always called out to you or things that make you feel excited. It could be as simple as spending a few hours getting your nails done or going to the local park with your blanket and a book. Once you start you will feel so good.
When I curate our boxes for the year and think about the experiences we send out, I can envision the activity and feel the feelings associated with that box. Those are the feelings I want our subscribers to have. The only thing stopping them is yourself. Each box is mailed out at the beginning of the month so when you receive it there is plenty of time to schedule your experience. Think about the experience, envision it, and add it to your calendar. When the day comes, that is for you! Embrace it, love it, experience it, and feel all the feelings that come with it.
I will give you an example. Last June one of our boxes was a trip to the farmer's market. Some people would just open the box look at the contents and think ok one of these days I have to go there anyway. The experience is then lost. The box contained a canvas tote bag for items purchased, reusable produce bags, an infuser water bottle, and a cookbook with recipes of all kinds to make things using the items you bought at the farmer's market.
This is the experience. Picture it...Hopefully, where you live there is an open-air farmer's market, meaning an outdoor market. Do a little research to find a really good one in your surrounding area. You fill your infuser with some strawberries, lemon cucumber, and water. You grab your bags and head out. The market is a good size, it's a beautiful day and there are tons of vendors to shop with. You looked through your cookbook beforehand to get some ideas of what you may want to buy. You see a stand selling fresh homemade pastries. You pick out your favorite. There is an area with maybe some stone walls or a fountain to sit and enjoy your pastry and yummy water. A musician is playing, you are listening to it. You sit and look at what's around you. What you never noticed before. The beautiful trees, the birds singing, the flowers growing, the blue sky, the people walking around enjoying the day. The only reason you touch your cellphone is to take pictures of some things you may have found beautiful. Feel the relaxation. Don't think of anything else other than what is happening at that moment. Maybe you brought a friend along. Enjoy the time together, and have a light conversation. That evening or the next day you make something special from the recipe you picked in the cookbook. It doesn't have to be fancy or hard. Focus on the smells of cooking. Savor the taste knowing first it was fresh and local, and second, the memories you created that you will have forever from that day.
Do you see the difference? I'll run there quickly to grab something I need anyway, I have so much going on, to what you just read above. Which is more appealing? The one that sounds appealing, the experience, is self-care.
Simple Joy Box is a curated subscription box designed to help you embrace the art of a slow-living lifestyle one month at a time. We take the guesswork out of finding your new hobby by introducing new creative habits that allow for more self-expression and create more simple pleasures in your day-to-day life. If you are ready to start your slow-living lifestyle, visit our website to learn more about us, and join our email list to stay up to date on our blogs.
We would love to know, do you feel you need more self-care? In what ways would you incorporate them in your life?