I want to talk about self-care for a minute.
I think taking care of yourself is one of the most important things – and I don't just mean the basics. I mean the little things: giving yourself time off when you need it, plans to do things you love, etc. With work and life, I find people often forget to slow down and figure out what they need. Life is too fast-paced to be running alongside it 24/7. Slow and steady wins the race, yeah?
So, self-care. Most think of basics like food, water, hygiene, exercise, etc., but I want to touch on the "extra" things. A lot of people I've met will share with me things they love/loved to do or things they've always wanted to do, but state they can't find the time or there is none.
Now I completely understand that notion – I'm a go-go-go type of person most of the time. I plan out a ridiculous amount of tasks to get done in one day and always want/need to be doing something.
This is where the self-care comes in. Taking a little time out of your busy life for yourself is a fantastic thing; whether that be through watching an episode of a favorite show, reading some of a book, meditating, or just being. I've learned that by implementing various things to myself in my day to day life, I've become more productive all around. I go into the "have to do" tasks with a much more positive and healthy mindset. I get things completed quicker and usually with better quality. I don't feel like a million things are on my shoulders weighing me down.
Of course, giving yourself a bit of care isn't going to permanently eliminate any negativity for the rest of your life, but I genuinely believe it makes a huge difference.
Specifically, with myself, I found that by pushing away little desires to relax only made the longing worse. I would continue on, but the need would be nagging at me, and before I knew it I wasn't focused at all anymore. This led to stress because I wasn't getting everything done the way I wanted to or in the time I wanted it completed. The stress, of course, made all of it worse, and it just turned into a downward spiral.
– Disclaimer: Of course there are boundaries here. If you dropped everything to relax everytime you felt like it – nothing would get done. What I'm meaning is more of a long-term thing. Don't give in to every lazy temptation, but if you've been working for hours and hours and maybe even days – give yourself a little break. Take a breather and then come back to everything with a more precise mindset. –
My pushing away any thought of taking a break caused me to usually work myself until I needed a way longer break or stress so much that nothing got done anyway - at least not in a productive manner. I wasn't sure how to go about this, so I did a bit of experimenting, research, etc., and found that I work best with little time slots specifically for myself and relaxation. If anything it's something to look forward to.
By spending time for myself, the little daily procrastination and laziness lures slowly got less and less. I found a stable enough balance that everything was content. So, I challenge you to take a bit of time for yourself, whatever that may be.
My specific self-care routines:
1. Every morning I do the same (ish) thing. I wake up early, exercise, jog, and take a shower. After this, I like to find a relaxing space and meditate for 5-15 minutes. To give me a mix of a mental wake up and cool down, if that makes sense. Then I grab whatever I'm reading, some breakfast, and sit down to read for a bit before starting my day.
2. I try and take two walks every day. For myself to get some fresh air and for the dogs.
3. Throughout my day, since I do almost everything at home, I light candles. Even though I'm still working the candles make a more relaxing environment for me.
4. Every night I try to complete all my tasks before 7:30 (ish). Around 8:00 I get to have a bit of me time. I do my skincare routine (sacred), maybe grab a light snack and a drink, and watch one of my favorite shows. Usually around 9:00 I'll turn it all off and hop in bed to read until I fall asleep.
Those are the main things I incorporate for myself every day. They aren't extravagant, and they're set up in a way so I can still get things completed and be productive, but I do find they make a big difference in my life.