Many times, when people talk about self-care, they think it’s selfish to do something for themselves. However, I believe we need to first fill up our own bucket if we are going to be able to fill up the bucket of someone else. We can’t properly take care of others unless we take care of ourselves. We will become resentful of those always needing us and we will become tired and burnt out. This of course is no way to live.
I bring up self-care now because we are in full swing of the holiday season and many of us are getting ready to head out of town to see family or hosting them instead. This is the time of year where we are scrambling to buy presents, fighting the large crowds at stores, malls, on the streets, in parking lots, etc. We tend to feel so overwhelmed by the long to-do lists that the furthest thing from our minds is self-preservation. It’s more of a, “let’s get through this” attitude.
I know for me this week, I’m running around finishing up some projects, working, packing, and finding time to shop for gifts. I tend to be a procrastinator and last-minute shopper. My reward for making it through will be a trip to see my family next week. This also has me thinking about what I can do for myself when I come back to the city, which has prompted my thoughts on self-care.
I think in general I could probably use a little more of that in my life. As a freelancer I can usually be found running from one job to the next and doing it all over again the next day. I’m sure many of you can relate with the hours and schedules you keep. It’s hard to find the time to juggle all the responsibilities of work, family, social life, friends, kids, significant others, book clubs, networking, meetings; I could go on. We can’t even imagine in all that, taking a minute for ourselves. But if we don’t our health suffers, not just our mental health, but also the health of our body and relationships with others. Doing something nice for yourself shows others the value you place on your own self, showing them the respect you deserve and expect.
I have recently discovered how much I enjoy baths and face masks. I used to think a bath was a luxury I did not have time to enjoy. However, as the weather has been colder, I have found a few weekend nights where I want to stay in, put on that face mask and soak in a bubble bath. I end up feeling refreshed and renewed. Or there are times I curl up on the couch with tea and a good book. All these activities force me to slow down and take a break. That’s the essence of self-care, it’s doing something for yourself so that your body and brain can take a break. When allowed to rest, we are more productive when tackling the next project or that overpacked schedule. My tip this season is to make sure you schedule in some downtime for yourself. If you can’t at the moment, then make that a priority for the new year, doing whatever you enjoy that gives you some peace and quiet.
My own self-care next week includes: not working, watching movies with my youngest nephew, very little social media, and no blog post. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday! I’ll see you in the new year!