5 Simple Self-Care Tips That Will Change Your Life
I (Kalie) remember watching “What Not to Wear” when I was in college. The storyline was almost always the same. It featured a wife, mother, sister or friend on the other side of her 20’s who rarely had time for herself anymore.
Her life consisted of working; being a good wife and mom; trying to juggle laundry, cleaning, cooking; keeping everyone’s schedules organized; and ultimately becoming trapped in a cycle of exhaustion. By the time she was featured on the show, she was unhappy with her size, felt defeated, lacked energy, and ultimately, had lost her identity along the way!
I remember watching this show and thinking, “There’s no way that will ever be me. I will always find a way to make time for myself every day.”
Boy, was I wrong!
While I don’t qualify for “What Not to Wear,” I can honestly say I’m a lot more sympathetic in knowing what it FEELS like to be that woman. No, I don’t have kids to juggle or weekly PTA meetings to attend, but I have my own struggles. And I often feel like I’m on a hamster wheel and just doing my best to keep my head above water.
Time, where does it disappear?
I don’t have the same amount of time to exercise or do the things for myself that I once did.
There are days I run out the door without even brushing my hair. There are times I’ve realized it’s 4:00 pm and I’ve spent the entire day working around the house in my pajamas, hair in a tangled mess and I completely forgot to brush my teeth.
Case in point
A few weeks ago, I was on my way to teach a wellness retreat, only to realize halfway there that I still had my bedroom slippers on. How embarrassing! I became so comfortable wearing yoga pants that even on weekends I’d forgot what it was like to wear actual clothes. My argument… if nothing else, I should be comfortable, right?
That ah-ha moment
It wasn’t until I had “a moment” that I pinpointed the true feelings masked behind my yoga pants and messy hair. I was struggling to feel beautiful and I was dying for a little self-care.
Self-care IS NOT selfish and we, as women, need to band together
As women, society often leads us to believe that caring for ourselves is bad or selfish; that everyone else’s needs always take precedence over our own.
We skip meals or grab unhealthy food on the run, never find time to exercise, stay up late night after night just to “get it all done” and wake up one day finding ourselves exhausted, depressed, overweight and in poor health, all in the name of being self-less.
Let’s be honest
I’m going to be brutally honest and you may not appreciate what I’m about to say.
Even as women, we sometimes make each other feel like it’s being selfish to give back to ourselves.
I’ve heard fellow women snicker about the mom who dropped her kids off at daycare an hour early so she had time to exercise before work.
I’ve watched others make snide comments regarding the woman who puts on makeup just to go run errands for the day.
The truth is, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been guilty of this a time or two, but ladies, we’re not helping ourselves or each other by doing this.
While there needs to be balance between how much time we put into caring for ourselves versus caring for others, we NEED to remind ourselves that we’re important too.
Self-care is NOT the same as self-indulgence. Self-love comes from wanting to respect and care for the body that God has gifted us with. And if we don’t take the time to love ourselves, what are we teaching our children and those around us?
It’s important to remind ourselves to STOP feeling guilty because we want to take a little time out of our day to care for someone as important as everyone else in our life, OURSELVES!
Why is it important to practice self-care?
When I put more effort into caring for myself, it shifts my mindset and how I feel about the day.
When I practice self-care, I feel more confident, positive and playful. I’m ready to take on the day and tackle anything that comes my way. It translates into my interactions with others and even my marriage.
You see, when we all start looking at self-care from a practical standpoint, we begin to realize it’s beneficial for ourselves, but also goes far beyond that.
5 simple tips to practice self-care
After my ah-ha moment a few months ago and a desire to take care of myself again, I switched my daily routine. Here are five simple tips that allow me to live each day with confidence.
Tip 1. Practice positive self-talk.
In a world where we experience a constant barrage of body-image influencers, it’s easy for us to body shame. Once I started paying attention to how I spoke to myself, I realized my choice of words weren’t always the most constructive. Rather than being my own worst enemy, I’ve started to focus on becoming my own best friend.
Tip 2. Freshen up.
While I’d love to say I always have time to shower and straighten my hair, that’s far from the truth. So, on busy days I put my hair in a cute bun and put on a little mascara and some earrings. I get dressed in real clothes. I know, I know, yoga pants and slippers are incredible. BUT, they don’t do much for my mindset, especially if I’m having “one of those days.” It’s amazing how a cute flowy top and some jeans can make me feel like I’m ready to take on the world.
Tip 3. Eat healthy.
I know firsthand it’s hard to find the time and energy to make healthy eating a priority when life is BUSY. But the time invested in cutting out processed foods and eating real, whole, fresh food has been a game changer for me.
Tip 4. Exercise daily - even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Because it’s often difficult to fit in a full-blown workout, I make it happen whenever I can.
If I have time for a 30-minute workout, great. If not, I find pockets of time to fit in a minute or two here and there. I sometimes put ankle weights on and do leg lefts while folding laundry, I grab a band to work my arms while dinner’s cooking or I get a few crunches in before bed. My three favorite exercises (one minute each) are: a wall squat, a plank, and push-ups - nothing else necessary.
Exercising allows me to feel strong, confident and beautiful, no makeup needed.
Tip 5. Treat yourself.
I like to get outdoors, take a walk and enjoy nature. I like to grab dinner with a best friend. I like to go to a local coffee shop, enjoy a skinny latte and work on my computer rather than writing from home. These are small, simple pleasures that keep me young, alert and alive!
Little things can go a long way in making you feel better about yourself. Think about what truly makes you feel good and positive and add them into your life on a regular basis.
Self-care is celebrating YOU
I’ve learned to become my own best friend.
When it comes to feeling cared for, it’s important to remember that self-care ISN’T selfish.
The path toward caring for yourself means gaining a deeper understanding of what is truly important to you.
Use our simple tips to find your way back to loving the body you live in, caring for yourself and finding reason to celebrate YOU!
Pam & Kalie
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