When you think about self-care what do you think about? Staying in with a glass of wine, a book, and a face mask? You can read about self-care on every major blog, site, and publication. Self-care is in! And I’m really happy to see people talk about taking care of themselves. Nothing in your life is going to work if you’re body and mind aren’t.
But one thing I’ve noticed about the most popular self-care posts is that they only seem to focus on the R&R part of self-care, which is important, but it doesn’t cover the scope of what it means to take care of yourself. So, this blog post isn’t going to cover the topics that you normally see covered. I’m going to talk about the parts of self-care that are just as important, even if they don’t sound so relaxing.
- Cleaning house: When I was younger I didn’t think having a clean space had anything to do with how I felt. When I started having to take care of my own space I realized that it does. Decluttering your mind with relaxation isn’t going to go so far when you look up from your book and are surrounded by external clutter. So yes, I’m that person telling you that self-care involves cleaning. Vacuum your floors, scrub your tub, and get rid of all the clothes and pens you don’t use. Not only will a clean house be rewarding and help with your stress, a lot of people are surprised to find how relaxing cleaning can be. Put on your headphone, play some music, or you could still get that book in with an audio book.
- Removing the toxins: There are a lot of toxic things in our lives and most of them are really hard to get rid of. One of the hardest ones to remove from your life is toxic people, we don’t want to deal with the consequences of pulling away from people who are supposed to be our friends. We put off confrontation, because, after all, it’s not relaxing. It’s stressful, it’s messy, but guess what? It’s self care too.
- Picking up hobbies: Hobbies keep us sane. We not only enjoy them, but we are building on our own skill sets, we’re growing, we’re becoming more marketable and more interesting. It’s nice when you have something to show for your downtime and that’s something hobbies give us that the TV simply doesn’t.
- Checking off all the small things on your to-do list: Most days are spent crossing out all the big items on our to-do list. We get rid of the urgent ones and we move the small things to tomorrows to-do list, then the day after that, then the day after that. Those small things might not be the most important, but they still need to happen or they wouldn’t be on the list to begin with. Taking a little time to cross them off your list will keep you from having to see them day after day, and most the time they don’t take a very long time.
- Taking care of your mind: Our R&R tends to focus on distraction and drowning out all the noise instead of going through it all. People address their thoughts in a lot of different ways. I personally like to take time to pray and to journal, but no matter what way you do it, there isn’t much denying the importance of unpacking the week and taking a big long look at your life and your emotions. It might not be as relaxing, but feeling the weight come off your chest is always worth while.
Self care is wonderful, but it’s not helpful to treat stress if the thing that’s causing your stress will be there the moment your weekend of R&R ends. So here’s to tackling what causes our stress.