Self care is more than spa days and mani/pedis. Self care is the daily habits we employ to maintain the optimal health of our mind, body and spirit.
As a youngster, I only prioritized self care for very superficial reasons. As a mature adult I began to realize just how important self care really is. In fact, I now believe that Self care is the most important. More important than work or anything else.
One of the unintended benefits of the COVID-19 pandemic, is how much time we were all able to spend with ourselves. I personally learned just how much healing I needed to do and how self-care is more important than being a tired AF, workaholic.
After sinking into a deep depression I got into therapy and began my ongoing self-care/self healing journey. When I started my mental health treatment my therapist would always ask, "how are you going to practice self care this weekend?" She'd emphasize that I would not experience the full benefit of therapy if I did not simultaneously prioritize my physical and spiritual health. I soon realized that self-care is a holistic thing. Then I got even more excited after purchasing the Lavendaire daily planner that intentionally prioritizes self-care in daily practice.
As busy entrepreneurs, sometimes we forgo our self care rituals. We often reallocate the time needed for self care, to work on our precious brands. Yet the truth is, if you don't take care of you, you really can't take care of business.
Now that I understand just how important self care truly is, I try to set 3-4 daily self care goals and even jot down self-care actions I take that I did not necessarily plan for. For example, some days showering makes the list. Since, let's be honest, it's easy to not shower when you're working 100% remotely and we can just hide from the World. My daily self care rituals involve waking up extremely early, before the day takes off and I have no more time. I usually get our of bed, practice gratitude and affirm that the day will be good. Then I pray, meditate, drink water and coffee and practice yoga. On some days, I also journal, listen to uplifting/motivating Podcasts or read positive books that boosts focus, productivity or expand my knowledge base. On the weekends I usually practice my body care, and hair care rituals. Baths are my favorite. I also diffuse essential oils, take vitamins and try to drink at least a gallon of water/day to ensure all the good things are circulated and the bad things are flushed out.
The benefits of prioritizing my self care have been infinite. However there is scientific evidence supporting the notion that prioritizing self care is good practice. In an American Heart Association Journal, Dr. Barbara Riegel of University of Pennsylvania affirms scientific evidence proving that ignoring self care can lead to cardiovascular disease. The best approach to preventing the leading cause of death in Americans is to prioritize self care at a very early age.
Of course, a positive self care routine will lead to better skin, healthy insides and a positive mind. Who wouldn't want that.
Self care doesn't have to be expensive either. Just jotting down 3 things you are grateful for at the start and end of the day is self care. Splurging on your self care is good too. Our self care and self preservation is totally worth it.
Said all this to say, self care is so important. Small self care habits make a really big difference. Don't let your self care wait. Prioritize your heart, prioritize self care.