Two self-care side effects
It’s no secret that this year has been rough. With all the turmoil that has happened, have you prioritized recharging with self-care? If the answer is no, don’t beat yourself up. It’s not too late to start. Even if the answer is yes, are you doing it enough? It can be hard to squeeze in time for self-care on a regular basis, but if you want to feel some sense of normalcy or balance in this crazy year, you must make time to invest in your wellbeing. When you do carve time out, do you know where to begin? Or worse, does it feel like work? Self-care doesn't have to feel like another mundane chore or even a big undertaking. Deep work is always there for you when you’re ready, but when it comes to your day-to-day, you can actually turn self-care into a sensation of pampering. Who doesn’t love to feel that way? I’ve been feeling really pampered lately with my own self-care and I’m amazed at how good and refreshed I feel. From taking more walks with my husband and dogs to giving myself downtime to unwind after experiencing something that stretches or stresses me, I am experiencing new peace in my life now more than ever. By using daily self-care practices, it keeps my recharging top of mind. I no longer push myself unnecessarily just to keep busy. I am in tune in times when my energy is low. I’m not a master at this practice yet, but I can really tell a difference, which is saying a lot since it’s happening in 2020. These practices also allow me to stop being so hard on myself and acknowledge that I’m not only doing my best, I am noticing where my passion turns into power-house action, and I’m loving it. I mention this not to brag, but to demonstrate that if I can do it, so can you. Side effect one: feelings of happiness and joy So how can self-care feel like pampering? It’s less complicated than you think. To begin, think of the things that bring you the most joy that you have the power to give yourself on any given day. This doesn’t have to involve lavish gifts delivered to your door from Amazon, nor do you need to rattle your brain to come up with something new. These are experiences that are already a part of your life that make you feel uplifted, joyful, or special. You just need to keep making them a priority and do them more often. Maybe it’s sitting in your favorite comfy spot with a good book in hand, maybe it’s fresh air with a nature path beneath your feet, maybe it’s a moment of stillness in the mornings with an aromatic cup of coffee/tea. Maybe it’s time with your beloved pets, drool and all. The moments where you feel you can relax and unwind the most, those are your moments of recharging power. To help you experience more happiness/joy, here is a short two-part daily self-care practice:
Identify the things that bring you joy (jotting out a list can be revealing and makes for a helpful future reference).
Make room for these things in your life when you need an uplifting boost.
The power of finding more happiness in your life will not come from anyone but yourself. I’m not here to tell you how you can feel happy, nor can any other external resource answer that for you. Only you know when and what has made you feel happy. One thing I can do for you is to remind you to recharge your self-care in rejuvenating ways that bring you joy. My hope is that the more you do this, the more you can experience happiness, which you are so deserving to experience. What happens when you don’t make your wellbeing a priority? You can feel low and de-energized, or worse, you can sink into some numbing bad habits where you check out. While that can be tempting in a year like this, you deserve better! But you cannot expect to have more feelings of joy when you're running on fumes. Therefore, when you make time to give yourself some pampering self-care, you can recharge when you’re running on empty and also experience more happiness every day. Side effect two: feelings of gratitude Another positive side effect you can experience with daily self-care is having more feelings of gratitude. It’s easier to feel grateful for something/someone when you’re in a state of calm or joy. Gratitude and appreciation can be for yourself, your life, your positive actions of self-love, your life lessons, your time, your loved ones, your home, your job, etc. This is another one of those things only you know the answer to (about what you’re most grateful for). If you haven’t experienced gratitude yet even though you are prioritizing self-care, give it time. While feelings of gratitude may not occur right away, you can get in the mindset with a daily exercise. To help you experience more gratitude, here is a quick two-part daily self-care exercise:
Establish a gratitude log/journal (i.e., electronic, notebook, etc.).
Free-write three to five things (or more) you feel grateful for today.