Self-care is not selfish. It is quite healthy to know yourself and know what feels caring and rejuvenating to YOU, so that you can love others well.
This is how I keep self-care from being selfish:
My purpose is to serve and love others well and glorify the God I Iove in the way I live. I need to be purposeful in doing things for myself that gives me the energy to do this.
Seasons of Self-Care
Self-care can often feel easier to me in the winter months when I am in the mood to cozy in and nest in my little home. I personally am wired to go inward to self-care.
Self-care in the spring and summer can be a bit more challenging for me.
I’m not sure why. Maybe because the nice weather is always calling me to be out and about?
I find myself happy when it rains in the spring and summer, as I am immediately drawn to home to make a cozy pot of soup, light a candle and hunker down with my family.
No matter what the season, I find that self-care is soul care. When I’m mindful of taking care of myself, I’m also very purposeful about taking much better care of my people and that is work that lasts eternally.
Crisis Can Force Self-Care
Sometimes we are not too good at self-care, and wait until crisis hits or we have nothing left to give, and we have no choice to but self-care.
This is true, especially for women. We are quite good at nurturing and caring for others, but not ourselves.
I can’t tell you what a difference it can make to create habits or rituals that happen on a regular basis instead of waiting until we are desperate.
I know from experience that it is best to learn about self-care outside of a crisis!
Support in Self-Care
I have an amazing husband who has always encouraged that I practice self-care.
I wonder if he even knows this or how important it is to me and my best self?
I remember on days when my kids were younger and he knew I was at the end of my rope, he would send me either to our bedroom to rest and rejuvenate and tell me that he would take care of dinner—which meant ordering pizza! Ha.
I would wake up from a nap, step out of my room, and feel like a different, new person.
He also knew that sometimes self-care looked like meeting up with my sisters or a dear friend. He always encourages sister nights or an evening out with my friends.
He knew I would come home lighter, energized, and ready to love our little family well again. He is a smart man.
If you do not have a partner or have one but they are not as supportive, be proactive and try to find ways to take care of yourself. This might mean asking others for help. That is okay. Do it!
Know Yourself for the Best Self-Care Practices
Self-care can look so many ways for different people. I’m finding that there are little rituals I do for self-care that don’t take much time at all, and other things I do take more thought, planning and intention.
Take some time to figure out how YOU are wired, what brings you life and energy. Figure out what fuels your body, soul, and spirit.
Also be aware of what is depleting. You can’t always avoid what depletes you…as an introvert too many people-y events can deplete me…but you can be aware of it and plan accordingly.
I try and find small ways to recover after events or days that are especially social.
Ways To Self-Care
Below are some of my favorite ways to self-care.
Maybe you will find an idea that resonates with you, too?
1 :: Find a Quiet Spot
Find a spot in your home that you can go to that is a place where you can just breath (or read or journal or pray).
If you are a Mom of Littles you may have to get creative. Teach your kids that sometimes Mommy needs a timeout, too and tell them that is your space for it.
With young ones, you may have to wake up super early or stay up super late to find time alone. Sometimes sacrificing sleep just may be worth it, and sometimes sleep is what you need the most.
Try both and see which is most life-giving to you in the season you are in.
In the winter my spot is a cozy chair in my room. In the summer my new spot is my wicker hanging chair in our backyard.
2 :: Lemon Water
A simple glass of lemon water..or how about making it extra refreshing for spring and summer by adding lime and fresh mint leaves…is a great way to make hydration feel special.
You can go the extra mile and add the benefits of a spoonful of apple cider vinegar.
Staying hydrated is important for the energy you need to love others well.
3 :: Journal 3 Pages
This is a great way to self-care. Grab a pen and paper, and write whatever you want, unfiltered, unedited, for 3 pages. If you only have 3 minutes, then just do it for 3 minutes.
Whether it is a brain dump (so relieving sometimes to get things off your brain and onto paper) or a list of things to do or things you want to do, a prayer, or poem or a letter to yourself or someone else…just write.
Click here for a link to my favorite journal that I have been using for years.
4 :: Movement
Take a walk outside. If it is too hot out, do it early morning or after the sun goes down in the evening.
Stretch first thing in the morning. Watch a YouTube video on Yoga 101, or go for more advanced Pilates.
Get off the couch and maybe even jog using the Couch to 5K app. Don’t want to run a 5K? Me either, but I’m loving using the app that prompts me when to walk, when to jog and cheers me on! I may be stuck on week 3 but that is what feels best for me right now!
5 :: Nature
Get outside and get that vitamin D from the sun. Speaking of vitamin D…most people are lacking in this very important vitamin and need to supplement…ask your doctor about this as it is a great way to feel your best self!
Open windows and listen to the sounds outside. Get to a local park.
Bring plants inside. I have read that just looking at a plant can raise endorphins in your brain. Not sure if that is true but I sure feel happy when I see my sweet succulents, low-maintenance airplants and cacti, or water my low-light-loving snake plant!
6 :: Dry Brushing
I usually dry brush before bath or shower. You may not love a hot bath in the spring and summer, but you can still have the benefits of dry brushing before you shower.
7 :: DIY Face Mask Recipe
No need to go buy an expensive face mask. Just whip something quick up in the kitchen, then make yourself sit for 10 minutes and listen to a good song, journal or just close your eyes and breath deep.
The recipe below is delicious (use as a lip scrub, too!) and good for your skin.
It uses brown sugar which is a physical exfoliant and is a natural source of glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid).
Honey is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and is an antioxidant. It also is wound healing. Cinnamon has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Lemon has vitamin C and is a bit astringent to help with cleansing.
While you are in the kitchen, mix a quick batch of my Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub for the body to use in the shower. Start with dry brushing before you shower, then use the scrub as a pre-shave AND a post-shave for the softest legs ever!
Another thing you can do as your face mask sits is put coconut oil in your hair. It is my favorite moisturizing deep conditioner. Comb it through dry hair and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Shampoo out.
Use delicious ingredients from your kitchen to make this DIY Delicious Face Mask! It will leave your skin feeling wonderful and can even be used on your lips as a delicious lip scrub.
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 lemon wedge juice only
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp coconut, olive or avocado oil
Mix all ingredients together and leave on for at least 10 minutes, then rinse. Pat dry.
Brown sugar is a physical exfoliant and is a natural source of glycollic acid ( an alpha hydroxy acid). Honey is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and is an antioxidant. It also is wound healing. Cinnamon also has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Lemon has vitamin C and is a bit astringent for cleansing.
8 :: Pray
This is the best way in my personal opinion to self-care. I have learned that I was created to talk to the One who knows me best because He created me!
It is amazing the calm I can feel after leaving my cares on Him and telling Him all I am worried about, or just simply naming all the things I love about Him, which becomes a praise-filled prayer.
God truly answers prayer when it is prayers that are lined up with what He wills. Want to know what He wills? Get to know Him and His heart for you by reading the Bible or a devotion plan.
9 :: Make Detox Salad
This make once and eat-all-week detox salad is a GREAT way to self-care. Click through to look at the color of this beautiful salad! Think of all the nutrients you will be getting in your body! It is delicious and a food processor makes the process a breeze.
My 15-year-old just asked yesterday (after buying some school supplies and a new school lunch box) if I would make this when school starts so she can take it in her lunch every day. Yep, it is THAT good!
10 :: Use Cleaner Home Habits
You can self-care not just by cleaning up your home and creating routines to make that possible, but also by cleaning up the products you use to clean your home. Try my favorite glass cleaner.
I put essential oils in mine and benefit from the therapy of aromatherapy as I clean! I can’t tell you how motivating this little thing can be…to know my cleaning products are not harmful and that inhaling their amazing aroma is not only safe but theraputic!
11 :: Get Sleep
Get to know just how many hours of sleep you need to feel your best, and make it a priority to get it! You can be doing so many things to self-care, but if you are tired this could sabotage it all!
I personally need 7 hours, so my goal is 11:00pm-6:00 am. Sometimes if I stay up until midnight I will push my alarm back to 7:00 am…but I personally do so much self-care in the early morning that I try hard to get to sleep by 11:00.
I use my trusty Fitbit Charge 2 to track my sleep.
12 :: Watch Negative Self Talk
Be aware of your thoughts toward yourself. Only talk to yourself like you would a best friend.
See yourself as God does…fully known and fully loved!
If you mess up in life, acknowledge it then release it…and turn towards steps to not do it again, remembering that life is a learning process.
If we were perfect we would not need a perfect God. Remember that a perfect God loves you, and get to know what He says about you which will, in turn, squelch negative self-talk.
13 :: Eat Chocolate
Yes! My favorite. Make it dark for some antioxidants. Add some nuts for some satiating protein. Make my amazing No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Freezer Slice and hide it in the freezer for only you to find when you need a moment of indulgent self-care!
You are Worth Self Care
As I finish writing this post, I am thinking of you who are reading it and I so desire you to know how loved you are, and how much you are worth! Life can be rough. Crisis comes, as does little annoyances that cause us to need a minute!
Take the minutes you need. Leave the housework if you need to. Dirt will wait. Embrace imperfection.
You are so valued and I pray you feel it!
There are so many ways to self-care. Do any of the ways listed above appeal to you? We are all wired so differently, so add any way you can think of to self-care to the list in the comments below.
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