I believe that everyone should carve out time to do the things that they enjoy whatever that looks like. It is what keeps us going. If we don’t take the time to rest and recharge we are of no use to those around us. Despite what you may have heard it is not selfish to make yourself a priority. It actually makes you better able to live a life you enjoy.
Time after time growing up I watched as people around me ran themselves into the ground. They volunteered at every event and always took on more than their fair share. They did it all in the name of servanthood. Living like that isn’t good for anyone. It took a toll on their health both physically and mentally. It took a toll on their family and their marriage. It also affected the very people they were working so hard to serve. After seeing the effects that this way of life had on a person I very quickly learned how to say “no, thank you” and move on to things that I didn’t want to make a part of my life. I don’t see it as necessary to accept every good opportunity that comes my way just because it is a good thing. There are enough good things for everyone to share. This doesn’t mean I ignore the things that I truly am called to do. It just means that I am very selective in the things I add to my calendar. If adding something to my plate means that higher priorities get passed over then it’s a hard no. Simple as that. Yes, there are seasons that are more busy than others but overall my life has sufficient balance.
A very wise and influential couple in my life put it this way. You have rubber balls and crystal balls and you can only keep so many going at one time. You can drop the rubber balls for a time and they will continue to bounce with no effort. They’ll be there for you to pick back up anytime you like. But if you drop a crystal ball, the most precious, it shatters. There is no getting it back. It is broken. You have to determine for your life which things are your crystal balls and which are your rubber balls. That will look different for each person.
For me my faith and my family are my top priorities. Those are the areas where I choose to put the majority of my energy. In order to do that I have to keep myself going. I have to take care of myself. When I do I feel better physically and mentally. I feel better prepared to take on the tough days and its much easier to enjoy the good days when I am at my best.
I am sure there is some feminist out there screaming at the thought of my doing something solely to provide for a man. For me, I do it because I enjoy seeing those I love happy. But, I don’t only do it for that reason. I do it for myself. I do it because cause I am worth taking care of. I am worth investing my time in. Everyone should be able to do the things that make them feel great. That is different for every person. For instance, my husband is one who enjoys taking care of our vehicles. He genuinely finds true joy in the whole process. Excuse me while I go cuddle by a fireplace in a mountain cabin.
I’m pretty good at knowing what it is I need at any given time. When I need to recharge or am finding myself weary and irritable I know it is time for some self-care. It breeds motivation to be the best me I can be. The list of self- care activites is never ending. It may take some trial and error to find what brings you peace. These are simply the things that bring a sense of joy and peace to MY life.
- A warm drink – whether that be tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Taking a moment to enjoy even the first sip of a nice warm drink is always worth it.
- A warm bath– add a handful or two of epsom salts or a few drops of essential oils or maybe a candle. I just make it a point to relex.
- Paint my nails– soften and push back your cuticles, shape your nails, prep your nails for a color that suits your style. I personally enjoy classics like a sheer pink, deep red, or french tips.
- Watch a movie– take the time to just Netflix and chill. This is often during my baby’s rare long naps. Watch whatever floats your boat. Romcom, sci-fi, or even a good documentary. Remember this is all about you.
- Bake something– I really love baking delicious chocolate desserts. I often myself with an itch to just bake something for the sake of baking. The whole process is so peaceful to me.
- Clean something– I always get push back on this. I often hear “self-care isn’t for chores. It’s for you.” Man, I say if a clean house brings you peace then go right ahead. For me, it does.
- Wander Target– I will pack up the baby, grab a Starbucks drink, and just slowly meander the aisles. Like the whole store and I typically make two laps. One to fill my cart and the other to put it all back. No joke.
- Exercise– I always feel so fierce after a good workout. I get all the blood flowing and I know I’m doing something good for my body. I hate cardio…but I make myself do it and I never regret it.
- Lunch with a friend– simple as that.
- Visit with family– I truly love my family quirks and all. Sure I’m the only one that can complain about them but I wouldn’t trade them. Being around my family brings about a childlike joy that is sure to overshadow anything I’m going through.
When you have a good self-care routine to fall back on it makes the hard seasons much easier to get through. You don’t have to have a ton of time or a bunch of money to take care of yourself. All you need is a commitment to yourself that you will take care of you. What are some of your self-care tips? Share them in the comments below and maybe you can be a light in someone’s day.