Self-Care Isn’t Selfish
It’s amazing how much our body weight is tied to everything we do and feel. Having a bad day at work? You’re feeling fat. Didn’t have a good time out with your friends? You should really lose weight. Didn’t get that promotion or new job? Must be how you look. Why, why, why do we do this to ourselves? FYI – I’m not immune either.
So, you’re probably wondering why I’m talking about body weight when this article is about self-care. Because when we want to lose weight, it’s not just about the number but about loving ourselves, feeling confident and just feeling better overall—and self-care does this.
It’s a way to get in touch with yourself, take some time for the things you enjoy and just step away from all your other roles in life: employee/employer, mom, spouse, daughter, friend. It gives you time to just be you, and it’s essential so you can be there for all those other roles in the best way possible!
Here are my all-time top five ways to practice self-care!
I love to read! I have a very vivid imagination and when I’m caught up in a good story it’s like I can see a movie playing in my head. I can forget about all the stress, if I slept enough, if I got a good workout or skipped it, or anything else. I read just about everything too. Some of my favorites are classics: Pride and Prejudice, White Fang, Jane Eyre, and some of those by Agatha Christie. I even read Shakespeare sometimes because once you get the rhythm of the words, you can really lose yourself in the stories. I like mystery, suspense, true crime, romance, biographies, history and historical fiction. Two of my favorite authors are Michelle Moran and Nora Roberts/JD Robb.
Date nights with my husband usually include a movie—we are both fans of going to the show! A good movie (and that statement is totally subjective) will allow you an escape. For a couple hours, you are part of another story and it doesn’t matter if the laundry is done, if you fought with your friend or what the scale said that morning. Go out and get the jumbo popcorn, kick back and relax. Or put on your comfiest jammies, curl up on the couch and choose your comfort.
Sometimes I want suspense, sometimes I want to laugh and sometimes I even want to cry. I just love movies!
I’m lucky—in the winter I can be outside in Arizona and in the summer, I can be outside in Northern California. Sitting on the patio, relaxing at the pool, taking my dogs to the dog park or even on a hike. I’ll be honest, it’s way more enjoyable for me when the sun is shining. But there’s something to be said for a cloudy day.
Having Mani Pedi Time
I love to chill out and get my nails done. I choose a place with good pedicure chairs that recline slightly and have the massage feature to turn on if I’m feeling sassy. When I do go, I like to splurge on a deluxe pedicure with my standard manicure. I also enjoy facials, but don’t get these done as much since I have sensitive skin. But I do really enjoy those as well.
Treating Myself to a Massage
If you’ve never had a massage I truly believe you are missing out! I understand that some people feel really self-conscious, but once you find a therapist you are comfortable with it’s wonderful.
There are so many types of massage, so if you are new to it don’t be afraid to ask questions. Start with light pressure and then tell the therapist if you want them to get a little deeper into your muscles. Most places will tell you to undress to your comfort level, and some actually have you stay dressed—but dress comfortably. Massage is a great way to relax, relieve tight muscles or even deal with some types of chronic pain.
These aren’t the only ways that I take care of myself, but these are definitely my go-tos. The important thing is to take that time for yourself occasionally. We all need those breaks to be more present, enjoy life or even just handle the stressful situations.
One thing I hear a lot is that women don’t feel like they can take time for themselves. I’ll admit that my favorites are activities that are usually at least an hour, but that doesn’t work for everyone. Maybe your self-care activities are taking a bath or shower by yourself in the quiet, cooking or baking, walking the dog around the block or even giving yourself a mani pedi.
Even if it’s five minutes—take some time and enjoy the moment because your well-being will thank you!