It used to be that taking care of yourself is such a strange idea. It also sounds selfish because you are expected to first take care of other people before yourself and almost all of your time must be spent on doing your responsibilities. But lately, we learn more and more how important self-care is and that it matters in our overall well-being. Self-care has a positive impact to our mental health and people are slowly accepting that fact. Despite knowing that, we still seem to fail at self-care. I, for one, is guilty of that. I mean, self-care seems easy, right? But actually, we are either too busy to take the time off from school or work or we are too distracted by the newest series on Netflix or chatting up with our friends on social media (although, to some people binging on a TV show or catching up with friends online can also be forms of self-care). My point is, we do not seem to give much importance on self-care even though we clearly know how important it is. But I will do better! Before jumping right into it, I want to plan out my ideal day of self-care and see what works for me.
My ‘self-care day’ will start by waking up from an eight-hour sleep. I take sleep for granted and I usually don’t have enough of it. Again, the idea is to take better care of yourself – so having enough sleep definitely contributes to that. After waking up, I will stay in bed just for a little while and not immediately get up to sleepwalk towards the bathroom, slightly panicking that I may already be running late. I want to take my time and enjoy being under the sheets, while perhaps reading a few chapters of a good book. Afterwards, when I feel ready to get up (what a sweet idea to just get out of bed only when you’re ‘ready’), I will prepare a simple, healthy breakfast and really sit down to eat it. Taking breakfast while dashing through the door to beat the morning rush hour is a personal tradition I’m willing to break.
Feeling quite fancy, the entirety of the morning can be spent on treating myself to a homemade spa or to a pamper session. Scented candles will be lit and everything. Or you know, if that is a bit of a stretch, just relax and listen to music or do something creative like practicing how to draw or work on some long-lost hobbies like gardening.
By noon, go out and have lunch with good friends that I haven’t seen in a while. Talk about how life has been for us; talk about future plans and supporting each other through everything. Just have a nice and sincere conversation with amazing people. Then, go home and take a refreshing nap. For dinner, be with my family and share some silly jokes around the table. Laughter is actually good for dieting because it can always make you feel full more than how food can and it has less to zero calorie.
As cherry on the top of a perfect, self-caring day, I will take a relaxing warm bath before bed, do my skin care routine (which I don’t bother with on most nights), write in my journal about what transpired throughout the day and about how grateful I am for all of that, and then perhaps meditate to be more mindful of the present and to stop worrying about past mistakes and about the uncertain future.
Self-care should look different to each person because you should listen to the needs of your heart and your soul. Some people go on a hike for self-care; some people dress up and go dancing. It all depends on you. But then it is also important not to overdo it and use it as an escape from your responsibilities, because escaping from something you need to confront will only make things worse for you and it is simply not self-care. That said, too much work or too much pressure to get productive is also not self-care. Find your balance. Good luck to us in taking better care of ourselves!