If it feels indulgent to even be reading a blog post about self-care, you’re not alone. Many people (women in particular) report a sense of guilt when they take the time, effort, and energy to build a self-care routine.
Yet, the adage “put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others” definitely holds some weight in the realm of self-care. In times of stress we’re breathing heavier, heart rate increased, we NEED to stop and care for our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being before we become entirely depleted. That’s the essence of self-care.
It doesn’t have to be sexy or Insta-worthy. It just needs to happen. See, nobody’s taking selfies in the plane putting their oxygen masks on. Why? Because it just has to happen.
Studies have shown that women who exercise regularly, eat right, get sufficient sleep, and find satisfaction in their work and personal lives have less depression, anxiety, and illnesses, such as heart disease. The American Psychological Association has a great PDF aptly titled “Self-Care for Women: Now, Not Later“.
My personal self-care routine involves many of the things outlined by the APA paper, and adds in a few other tools, such as essential oils, that have helped my emotional balance in tremendous ways.
The big takeaways?
- Consistency is awesome, but even infrequent or inconsistent self-care is better than none.
- Laughing is more therapeutic than we give it credit for. Don’t neglect this simple release of stress!
- Negativity is more harmful than we give it credit for. Criticism and negative self-talk is the enemy of a peaceful heart.
- Saying “no” to the non-essentials is a powerful and effective means of self-care.