Happy Sunday, everyone!
Every Wednesday, blogging buddy Aaron over at The Confusing Middle posts a “Sunday Scribblings” prompt for other bloggers to ponder and respond to on the following Sunday. If you’re a blogger looking for more inspiration, I highly recommend jumping in and joining in on the fun!
This week’s prompt is: Self Care!
Self care has always been tough for me. Most of the time when I try to do any sort of self care, I end up just feeling guilty that I’m not being productive. In recent years, I’ve been working on finding more ways to practice self care and actually enjoy myself at the same time. Here are a few techniques I found to identify what I should do for self care and how to incorporate more of it into my life!
Figure out what you need
After I started working remotely, I found myself feeling more exhausted and drained than ever. This persisted even when I started working for a company that I loved and doing a job that I enjoyed. I still ended each week completely drained. I realized that I was feeling drained because I am an extrovert and I wasn’t getting enough human interaction. Once I figured that out, I could start incorporating regular social activities back into my calendar. Recognizing what I needed was the first step to adding self care to my schedule.
Make a ritual out of it
I’m a morning lark who unfortunately wakes up way too early. For the longest time, I would wake up and begin my day by doomscrolling, effectively ruining my mood before I even started my day. At night, I would be too tired to do any of my self care activities, so I would just mindlessly watch TV. Since I have an hour or two in the morning before I start work, I’ve created a morning ritual where I wake up and do something just for myself. Whether it’s reading, meditating, or playing video games, I take some time every morning to do something that I enjoy. Now that it’s a regular ritual, it’s easier to take that time for myself.
Find something that keeps you from picking up your phone
Most of the time when I’m trying to relax, I find myself stressed out anyway. Even if I’m just sitting and watching TV, I end up doomscrolling on my phone and feeling crappy. Last year, I found one self care activity that keeps me from picking up my phone: puzzles. Puzzles require more of my focus than most other things and also occupy my hands, so I can really dive into a puzzle without being distracted by other things.
Schedule more self care for the future
I love massages. I’ve always loved getting massages and find them to be very relaxing and helpful to release the stress-related tension in my neck and shoulders. My senior year of college, I got regular massages to combat the stress I was dealing with. Since then, I’ve gotten them intermittently, but I could never fully enjoy them because the entire time I was focused on the fact that I didn’t know when I would get another one. Now, at the end of every massage appointment, I schedule my next one. Whether the next one is a month away or three months away, I schedule it on my way out so that I know another massage is happening soon and I can enjoy the massage while it’s happening.
One way to make sure you incorporate self care into your life is external accountability. Sometimes, I find myself unable to do things for myself, even if they’re things that I know I enjoy, so having some sort of external reason to do it can help. For example, joining an axe league helped give me a bit of external accountability to get out of the house and socialize. Now, every Thursday night, no matter how exhausted I am, I have to go and throw axes. I’m forced to go interact with others and have a great time in some friendly competition. It is so good for me, even if I don’t feel like going on a particular week.
Finally, yoga is one of the biggest self care activities that I’ve adopted over the past few years. I struggle to do many more intense forms of movement, so yoga is perfect for me. I’m thrilled that I have found a form of movement that not only helps me become stronger and more flexible, but also gives me space to slow down and reconnect with my breath. Even though I love yoga, I don’t always make the time for it. Having a yoga buddy that will go with me definitely helps. But recently, I realized that there’s an even better way to give myself some external accountability as far as yoga is concerned: becoming an instructor. I am strongly considering starting a yoga teacher certification course in the fall. This is what worked for me as a Zumba instructor — I mean, I had to go to Zumba if I was the teacher, right?
Self care can be difficult, especially when you’re stressed out all the time. But I hope that these tips help you add more self care into your schedule like they did for me!
Image by Tiny Tribes from Pixabay