If you’re anywhere on social media, you’ve probably noticed that self-care is quite a trend. Everyone is talking about self-care and how important it is. The question is, is self-care actually good for you?
And the answer is yes, and no. Self-care in itself is really important – of course we need to take care of ourselves. But what isn’t helpful is the social media version of self-care. You know – the bubble baths, spa days, massages, manicures, pedicures, meditation and yoga and the list goes on. And it’s not that those things aren’t good for you as such – it’s that the pressure to include those things in your daily life is crazy. When you’ve already got a to-do list longer than your arm, and someone tells you that you’re a bad mum unless you’re taking 2 hours out of each day for self-care, that’s not helpful.
That’s when self-care can cause more harm than good. It’s just another thing to stress about, another reason to convince yourself you’re “not good enough” and another task on the to-do list that doesn’t get done.
Self-care actually doesn’t have to be about bubble baths and spa days. It can be really, really simple. And if you’re anything like most of the women I work with, you need it to be simple. We all have enough going on in our lives without adding another chore to the list.
Here’s my favourite list of simple, quick and inexpensive ways you can incorporate self-care into your daily life.
*Ask for support from your partner/family/friends
*Go to bed earlier
*Write down 3 things you are grateful for every single day, or say them aloud
*Leave work on time
*Watch your favourite feel-good movie
*Say ‘no’ when you need to, and set healthy boundaries
*Prepare some meals in advance to help you stay organised
*Make an effort to have a nourishing breakfast
*Drink more water each day
*Drink less coffee 😉
*Make a budget and learn how to manage your money, to reduce financial stress
*Stress less about the housework – it doesn’t have to be perfect
*Look in the mirror and name one thing you love about your body
*Declutter your wardrobe & get rid of things you no longer need
*Unfollow social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself
*Create a Spotify list full of your favourite songs
*Buy yourself a bunch of flowers, or pick some from your garden
*Spend some time doing absolutely nothing, and not feeling guilty for it
*Choose to eat foods that make you feel good
The bottom line is this: self-care doesn’t have to be hard. It can be really, really simple and can make a huge difference to how you feel each day. Stressing about fitting self-care into your already full schedule is doing you more harm than good.
Dannielle Illingworth is a naturopath, kinesiologist and author of “Quit Stressing About Food!: Practical steps to simplify healthy eating for the whole family”. Through 1:1 coaching and group programs, Danni helps women create the change they desire in their lives.