If you click your heels and say “self-care” three times, two face masks, a candle, and a bottle of wine suddenly appear. Just kidding. I have my favorite self-care activities and I take them very seriously.
Everyone and their mom is talking about self-care. The word is everywhere and it’s hard to escape. As cliche as it sounds though, I made a commitment at the beginning of 2020 to re-think and cultivate healthier self-care practices. My pre-2020 self-care practices were trash; (over)eating and shopping were “self-care” for me instead of truly investing in activities that create peace and promote personal development. So for 2020, I had big dreams of living my best life and incorporating new practices every month.
*Enter COVID-19* Coronavirus ruined my original plans. I had to accept early on that even if 2020 did not look like how I envisioned, I can still improve. I won’t bothering sharing what I had originally planned as my new and improved practices in the beginning of 2020. As it turns out, the practices that I thought I needed in the beginning of the year are far from what I truly needed. (God has a funny way of showing you that you can plan for anything and everything, but He is in control.)
Here are my favorite self-care activities:
Therapy was not on my list of self-care practices at the beginning of the year. But I finally caved and started seeing a therapist at the end of January. I was hesitant about therapy. I didn’t know whether I could trust a stranger enough for them to help me. Also, I teetered back and forth with feeling as though I may or may not benefit from therapy.
I got lucky. My therapist is my favorite person that I’ve met this year. Not only is she patient, she’s tough on me when I need it. She also helps me to see life patterns that I did not identify.
Therapy can be expensive, but it’s worthy investment. If you haven’t tried therapy before, or are interested in starting sessions, I highly recommend it ASAP. Research therapists in your area and read their profiles until you come across a therapist whose profile resonates with you. There are also remote options as well, such as Talkspace or Betterhelp.
Turning Off My Phone
Before and at the beginning of the pandemic, I was less intentional about disconnecting from my phone. I would simply turn on the “Do Not Disturb” feature and think I was relaxing. I completely ignored the fact that I would feel tempted, and would give in to that temptation, to at least check my phone for messages or notifications.
I was also using my phone for more than 8 hours every day, based on my Screen Time Report on my phone. Suddenly, my phone started dying in the middle of the day. To my surprise, I felt relieved. I suddenly wouldn’t feel pressure to check messages or Twitter and Instagram. I used this free time to unwind. Now, I schedule time throughout the week to disconnect (the right way). I take time to breathe, stretch, reflect, and be present.
I discovered the Insight Timer app out of pure struggle.
I have a hard time falling asleep. Nothing works for me. I’ve tried counting sheep, meditating, and reading. Instead, the rain and thunder sounds on the app help me fall asleep. You can use the app for purposes as well. The app features guided meditations, affirmations, and other calming music.
What does self-care look like for you right now? Take some time to really think about your practices. Self-care is more than just trendy activities, face masks, and drinking wine. What do you do to relax and recharge? How do you cultivate your personal development? For me, the above activities allow me to relax, disconnect, and create an atmosphere suitable for self-reflection.
2020 is half-way over. Let’s challenge ourselves to rethink and cultivate our self-care practices.
What are your favorite self-care activities?
UPDATE 10/20/20: Turning off my phone is now my favorite self-care activity. I love disconnecting from the world and social media. Read more about how I practice self-care here.