I heard a quote once that said, “the most important relationship you have is with yourself, so treat it as such.” This stuck out to me and has been in my subconscious since I first heard it. Many of us don’t take the time to care for ourselves and our needs. We often push them aside to focus on others or completely ignore them. I do that a lot.
It got me thinking about why I do this, and honestly, we could go down a huge rabbit hole, but for the sake of time and boredom, I won’t. In short, I pride myself on being a good person by being there for friends and family and helping others. Even if it’s something small like texting a friend to assure they’re okay, I’ll do it, and reassure myself that I’m a good friend by being there for others.
In some ways, it helps me acknowledge I’m not heartless. I just think it’s something we’re all supposed to do, as people.
Although, as I mentioned before, the attention given to other people’s needs can cause me to neglect my own. So, in the past 6 months, I’ve been actively trying to do activities specifically dedicated to myself. They’re nothing grand, but taking some time for me and my needs is key to rebuilding a healthy relationship with myself.
Now, I’m not a self-care guru by any means, but here are some things I do to love and make myself feel good that you can try too.
Completely easier said than done. This is something that I’ve been actively working to fix...but I haven’t gotten to it yet. Buh Dum Tss. Terrible joke aside, for me I don’t ever feel accomplished if all my work gets pushed to the last minute. Instead, panic to get it all done properly in a timely manner. Thinking about it, I could spend this time (doing work) doing anything else, but instead, I’m obligated to complete it because I would wait so long to actually put my mind to it.
One way that I prevent my procrastination is by planning my week. I have planners and a whiteboard calendar I’ll write my work and school schedules on. Even chores or errands get put on there as well. What helps is spreading work over several days instead of bunching it all into one. Not all of my work is due on Sunday but most of them are. So, I’ll schedule two classes of work on a Thursday for example, and then two classes of work on a Sunday. There my mind isn’t over congested, and I still have space in between to occupy my time elsewhere.
2. Move Your Body Everyday
You’ve got to get some motion within the muscles so you don’t clam up. You don’t have to perform super intense workouts because that can be intimidating. I find that the simpler can be better, as long as you’re moving and grooving.
I always sit in criss-cross applesauce and after so long my hips get cramps. I’m a 22-year-old feeling like a 92-year-old if I don’t move my hips a little. So the easiest way to help that is to move. It’s an oversimplification because movement can come from different activities, but do whatever is comfortable for you. One thing I do is stretch in the morning or before bed to loosen up my hips especially. I also have a foam roller too I use to alleviate knots and tightness in my body since that can also affect bodily functions.
Or even just walking can be helpful. Walking doesn’t get the love it deserves. It’s minimal bodily strain, it can be relatively easy (unless you hike), and you can do it practically anywhere. I try to walk on my treadmill or outside almost every day. Although it may not be as intense as other workouts, I still feel accomplished after I go for a walk.
3. The 10 Minute Rule
Take 10 minutes to do some self-care for yourself. Whether that be some leisure activities, beauty care, mindfulness, or something that’s dedicated to you only. If you don’t have time, make time, you can even schedule it into your planner if that helps.
This isn’t something I schedule; however, I acknowledge there are things for myself I love doing. For instance, I love painting my nails. Some people like going to a nail salon and getting them done (which also checks boxes in this category), but not me. I like picking nail polish colors and creating fun color combinations. The act of painting my nails is relaxing to me. I don’t know why. It becomes a little event, get the nail polish, put on a movie or television show, maybe light a candle and I have my own DIY spa.
We can lose interest in our hobbies and joys really easily when being caught up in work or school. So that’s why taking a minimum of 10 minutes for yourself is just enough. There are other things you can do, and do anything that fits your interests. Reading a book, drawing or painting, skincare, yoga, meditation, and listening to music.
There you have it, some ideas that have helped me take on life. The most important thing for anyone trying to take time for themselves is that self-care doesn’t have to be large. It can be little steps or routines. As long as you take time for yourself, you’ll see a huge difference.
By Kim Monetti