Fortunately, the connotation of self-care has changed over the years.
The idea of what it really means to care for yourself and how to implement it is better understood in our world today.
Can I get a freakin’ Amen… with a side of hallelujah?
In the past, most women associated self-care with something extravagant like a manicure, pedicure, massage, fancy lunch, shopping at the mall, etc.
Do you see a common theme here? Each one is gonna cost somebody (maybe that “somebody” is you… maybe it’s your husband) some moolah.
It’s no surprise that women feel such guilt for taking care of themselves. They’re convinced it must cost something.
Ahhhhhhhhh, heck no, sister. I want you to know right here, right now, that buying overpriced coffee, spending the day at the spa, or choosing quiche over a PB&J sandwich aren’t the only ways to care for yo’ self.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There is a time and a place for those good things and absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself.
But I want you to understand that legit self-care (literally taking care of yourself) can be so many things.
It can be a walk in the park, timeout with a book, a soak in a hot bath, time in the garden, journaling your thoughts, getting out of the house, or just freakin’ sitting there and being still for a hot minute (or 60).
Sister, my point is this…
You can prescribe self-care to be anything you want it to be… as long as it makes you smile and brings you joy.
When you take good care of yourself, you will reap the rewards in many areas of your life. Self-care significantly affects your physical health, your relationships, your self-esteem, and even the way you manage stress.
Do you know what one of the biggest threats to your overall health is?
Chronic S-T-R-E-S-S… stress.
There is a direct link between chronic stress and inflammation that can lead to everything from heart disease to gastrointestinal disorders, and even a weakened immune system.
Self-care is not only good for you, but it just makes you feel good. Doesn’t it feel good to feel good? I hope you can answer that question with a big, heck yeah.
I can tell you this. When this gal neglects caring for herself, it ain’t pretty. It is not good for me (or anyone else) and it definitely does not feel good.
I find myself in a very anxious state of overwhelm. I become extremely… well, let’s just call it what it is… bitchy. (I was gonna be all lady-like and say “snippy”, but reality, ya’ll.) I feel dysfunctional, deflated, and exhausted.
What really burns my chaps is when I become lax with my routine and let my habits slide. That comes with a pretty significant consequence… I stop moving forward. And that never ends well.
Our behavior is a pretty good litmus test for how well we have been taking care of ourselves.
When I notice these negative behaviors in myself, it is my “you better stop and take note, sister” alarm for a self-care audit… because it’s obvious I have quit taking care of myself. And I know better.
What about you? What are your “red flags” that scream TIME OUT? And what do you do about it?
Proper self-care is not a “one-size-fits-all” sort of thing. You get to customize your plan according to your needs.
I would love to hear about the ways you care for yourself. Come on over to our Facebook community and share those with us in the comments of today’s post.
Maybe self-care is a bit of a challenge for you. That’s A-OK. I want you to join us, anyway. You can stalk our thread and see for yourself how other women, just like you, are taking care of themselves.
Now, excuse me while I go take a little stroll with my dog.