When I’m feeling sad, lonely, tired, depressed, unloved, etc., etc. (there are just so many ways to feel bad about ourselves!) I tend to spend more money.
I want to be upbeat, so I buy a mocha. I want to feel pretty, so I buy a sweater. I want to escape this darn town and the walls that sometimes feel like they’re closing in, so I buy a plane ticket. I want, so I buy.
“Self care” has a reputation as a foofy hippie phrase, conjuring up images of essential oils and scented candles and women in flowy skirts walking around barefoot. That’s not what it’s about, at least for me (also I can’t stand most scented candles and the marketing of essential oils annoys me because they are not essential, they’re just the essence of certain plants that do little other than smell good. Okay, rant over.)
For me, self care is about taking the time to do those things that make me feel good about myself. Yoga when I wake up in the morning. Tea and reading before bed. Walks at lunch. Long chats with my friends.
There are many different ways that you can take a break and take care of yourself – this blog post has lots – but the best thing is that almost all of them are free or very cheap.
Learning what you can do to “heal yourself” (obviously not from actual illnesses, mental or physical, but just from those days when you feel like crap) has many benefits other than the financial. When you take good care of yourself, you have the brain space to take care of other people and the energy to do better at your job.
When I start feeling particularly stressed out, I put a checklist along the bottom of my weekly planner (oh, have I not talked about my planner yet? It’s this one, and it’s amazing) that has a row for each day of the week. The columns are labeled “yoga” “go outside” “be social” “read” “write” and “cook”. I try to integrate as many of those activities into my daily life as I can, since I know they each make me feel rejuvenated. I rarely fit all six of those activities into a single day (although I sometimes do and it’s great!), but I know that just adding one will give me the brain reset I need.
You might have different activities, like “run” or “paint” or “have solo bedroom dance party” that serve to both chill you out and make you feel ready to take on the world.
When you start adding more of those activities into your life, you’ll find it easy to cut down on the pricier activities that weren’t filling a real purpose. You just won’t have time for them anymore!
In short, self care fills your wallet and makes you feel better. Can you tell I spent my entire weekend reading books, drinking tea and knitting?
What are your favorite self care activities?