Self care for some can sound like one of those buzz words that sounds all well and good in principle, but highly unachievable. One of the main reasons for this is because that some actions that are described as self care are not possible for the everyday woman.
I honestly wish that I had time to meditate for an hour, drink a green smoothie laced with unicorn hair or even burn incense that has been dipped in gold, but the reality is with everything that constitutes a busy life, women in the real world don’t have that luxury. The real crux of the matter is that self care is different for everybody and maybe in another life before having a child long stretches of time to myself would be possible. In fact, I’m not particularly great at meditating, but always feel better afterward. For me, a couple of times a week for 5 minutes with my Insight Timer app is doable, but anything more feels like another thing on the to-do list to cross off. Like the majority of women out there we don’t have enough time to ourselves, which means to make self care a regular part of routine we need to make it work for us the best way we can that suits our lifestyle.
The ideology of self care is about making space for you in your day where you are the priority. This can be doing anything that can bring more joy and bliss in your life to help fill your cup back up and making sure your needs are met, however, it has become overcomplicated and feels out of reach. It’s not at all about the spa days or holidays, which are both great, but let’s be honest unless you have a massive bank balance these aren’t going to be a frequent occurrence.
With that said, self care isn’t about the big gestures, but small actions that you can slot into your every day like the simple act of taking a deep breath, realising your own limits, saying no, buying yourself some flowers, watching your favourite TV show, going for a walk – it can take on many forms depending on the individual. At the moment self care for me is getting up before my 3-year-old and reading my book while sipping my warm lemon water. Not particularly glamorous, that’s granted, but I really enjoy the time to myself and the quiet of the house early in the morning. This is something that’s achievable for me every single day and it adds a sense of comfort and happiness to my life because I enjoy it. Plus, it also means that I’m working towards my intention of reading more this year.
Additionally, I think it’s important to note that as our routines change and as we evolve, we must honour and embrace it because it means that our self care practices will also change to suit. Making your self care flexible with change is another realistic way of looking at how it’s going to fit into your life. A lot of the self-help books that I’ve read about self care make the assumption that our lives are going to remain the same and we’re going to be able to maintain a structured self care routine. This simply isn’t practical and perhaps another reason so many feel that self care is unachievable.
At the end of the day, self care is what you make it and as long as your needs are being met, that’s all that really counts, and ultimately means you’re on the right path.