For years I struggled with the idea of self-care because well, I hate yoga, bubble baths, massages – all of the top hitters when it comes to self-care options.
So how do you make an investment in your health with self-care if none of the standard options actually feel like rest or relaxation to you?
As a mom, everywhere you look you are bombarded with ideas about self-care:
How to make time for it and how important it is.
There is no doubt that there is no other group of people that need a bit of self-care more than moms and mompreneurs.
However, finding the self-care that works for you, and by that I mean actually feels like self-care, can be a little difficult because we are often given a very small pool of options or ideas on how to put into action this much-needed practice.
Finding the Right Self-Care
The key to finding the right kind of self-care is to find the things that make you happy when you do them.
It’s really that simple.
Self-care and “rest” do not have to mean sitting down or actually being at rest or having a stranger rub your back if that’s not your thing.
When the mind, soul, and body are happily engaged in any task, we can call this self-care.
Any activity that brings a sense of relief when we are feeling overwhelmed can be considered self-care.
For me, I find active, sensory things to be very relaxing, such as garden and yard work, cleaning and organizing my home, and cooking.
Why? Because I am very analytical, I spend most of my energy up in my head rolling every little thing around – yeah, it can get pretty weird up there.
So when I need to relax I want to do something that uses my physical self and that also gives me a real, touchable, instant gratification end product.
Self-Care is 100% different strokes for different folks.
Breaking Down Your Self-Care Needs
So let’s look at 5 different categories of self -care that most activities can be broken down into:
Now, let’s list a few activities in each category to give a clearer picture of what each of these types of self-care looks like in action.
Some of these may seem like “classic” self-help activities, while others you might not think of as self-care, yet.
Read through until you find the ones that seem like a right fit for you, then go ahead and use this list as jumping off point for other similar activities that feel even more personally enjoyable.
You will be surprised that in each category there may be something that feels like a good fit.
These types of self-care activities let you touch base with your emotions and let you process feelings you are having.
Check in with yourself and create time and a safe space to allow yourself some time to feel whatever feelings you are currently experiencing. Engage in an activity that simply makes you happy.
Try a mindful exercise, or using a mindfulness app on your phone. Create a vision board of all the things that make you happy.
Sign up for an online tutorial to learn something new. Listen to a podcast on a subject you are currently interested in. Declutter a space in your home. Read a book. Journal.
Unplug from social media (this can be long-term or temporary).
Give yourself permission to dedicate your mental bandwidth to something that doesn’t have a definitive end goal, or “daydream”.
Make mind maps of tasks or projects that you have been trying to tackle for a long time.
These can be restful, rejuvenating, or healthful for your physical body.
For physical exercise think running, hiking, walking, Pilates, yoga, bike riding, or playing a physical sport.
This can also look like gardening, yard work, or cleaning and organizing your house.
For your health, think drinking more water, eating healthy food and making a plan you can stick to so it becomes a daily habit.
And let’s not forget about rest, let yourself sleep in guilt-free, take a nap, take a long shower and use all of the hot water (it’s your time, remember?)
These activities often look like things not to do for those who are sensitive to overstimulation and those of us who are introverts and need to “recharge” with solitary time (hi, that’s me!).
A few big items here are to block out some time where you can avoid crowds, loud noises, and bright lights.
Set time aside to recharge in a solitary environment where you can relax knowing there will be little to no disturbances as you recharge your battery.
On the other side of the spectrum is the social recharge activities.
Those who are extroverts will find these types of activities especially energizing, however, everyone will find these to be feel-good activities to engage in at certain times.
Think about scheduling a set date and time to meet with friends as often as you need to (weekly, bi-monthly, you decide), have a game night or themed dinner night with friends or family.
Join a support group. Join a book club. Go to paint nights or other maker activities that let you be creative and interact on a social level.
Make Self-Care a Part of Your Life
Now that you have read all of these different categories for self-care, you might have a better idea of the types of self-care that will work for you.
The next step?
Choose at least one thing to incorporate into your schedule or routine this week.
Once you have that well ingrained into your week, try adding another item from the list. Before you know it, self-care will be something that you schedule into your routine as regularly as grocery runs.
For more tips on how to carve out the time you need during your days, read my post, here.
For tips on how to create a nighttime routine that will give you smoother mornings, read my post right here.
So what type of self-care works for you? I’d love for you to tell me in the comments!