Self-care is expensive.
Self-care is time-consuming.
Self-care is something only rich, famous, or irresponsible people have time and funds for.
Self-care is something I'll get around to when I have more time and money.
Have you found yourself thinking or saying those things before?
You're not alone!
But can I tell you something? Those things aren't necessarily true, and they're definitely not serving you!
THE REAL COST OF SELF-CARE
When we don't take care of ourselves, everyone suffers the consequences.
Don't believe me? What happens when we're stressed out and spread too thin? It affects our work, our family life, and our health (just to name a few).
Our work gets done too quickly and isn't up to par. We miss deadlines. We send passive-aggressive emails to the whole team when we're upset because our coworker didn't make more coffee when she emptied the pot. We're distracted, unable to function at our highest level creatively, and we're far less productive because we're going off on bunny trails, overthinking, second-guessing, and unable to make decisions due to our fatigue fog.
We snap at our friends, siblings, roommates, and significant others who simply ask what the plan is for dinner because we just can't think about that right now on top of everything else. We say "yes" to all the invitations because we want to be included and to please everybody, and we're afraid turning down an invite (even for a valid reason) would end the friendship. We show up late, duck out early, and are glued to our phones or distractedly staring off into space for much of the time that we're there, physically present but mentally a hundred miles away.
We skimp on sleep, thinking we can get by on 7, 6, 5, 4 1/2 hours of sleep and still be functioning human beings. We stare at screens all the livelong day and ignore the strain it puts on our eyes and our brains. We elect to stay at the computer longer, skipping that workout class or walk, with no concerns for how our daily habit of doing so is affecting our ability to walk up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing or contributing to our constant state of fatigue. We push through feelings of early-onset cold symptoms and exhaustion because we tell ourselves we have to, only making it worse in the end.
Are you willing to live like that? I'm not! The best way to avoid these situations is to engage in regular rhythms of self-care.
WEIGHING THE COST OF WHAT REALLY MATTERS
As with many other things in life, it comes down to your priorities. You have to decide what matters more to you-- in this case, productivity (or perceived productivity) versus your health (physically, mentally, relationally, creatively).
It's really not much of a contest, is it?
Our health matters. And making time to care for ourselves, inside and out, matters.
When we take the time to pamper ourselves (whatever that looks like for each of us; more ideas below), we give ourselves permission to rest, to enjoy life, and to focus on the good things in life. Doing this balances out the challenges and obstacles with blessings and joy. It also refreshes and renews us so that we can return to our work (and the previously mentioned challenges and obstacles in life) with new energy and drive.
FRUGAL SELF-CARE IDEAS
One of the biggest myths about self-care is that is has to be expensive. And sure, treating yourself to an all-day spa vacation package isn't cheap, but there are so many other options to consider, regardless of your budget!
- go for a leisurely walk with no agenda
- listen to your favorite music
- watch your favorite movie
- paint your nails at home, old-school style
- make a cup of tea
- go to bed half an hour early
- sleep in
- take a bubble bath
- make a new body scrub with household ingredients
- read a book
- listen to a podcast
- learn a new hobby or skill by watching a video on YouTube
See, it doesn't have to break the bank! There are plenty of ways to take a break, carve out some "me time," and take care of yourself so you can be the kind of person you want to be for your family, yourself, and your work!
What new forms of self-care are you itching to try? I'd love to hear from you in the comments or via email (email@example.com)!
Looking for ways to incorporate more self-care into your life or pursue other goals? I'd love to chat with you, friend! It's my passion to empower and encourage women to create lives, homes, and businesses they LOVE, and I'd be honored and elated to help YOU do just that! Let's chat!