When you hear the words ‘self care’ what comes to mind?
For a very long time I thought it meant biweekly spa days – complete with massage, mani/pedi, etc. As a busy wife and mother, that not only didn’t fit my schedule, but it certainly didn’t fit my budget! Not only was the money literally not there, but even if it had been, I’d feel guilty for spending on myself when there were other things I felt the funds would be better used for. I would be the one to justify $50 on a Lego set for my 7 year old (it encourages STEM thinking for pete’s sake!) before a mani/pedi for Mama.
Today’s guest post is brought you to by Erin Hill, of www.erinbhill.com
If you’re in the same boat, grab an oar, and let’s navigate this river of life with 10 amazing (and yet thrifty) ways we can take care of ourselves!
Self Care Tip #1 — Happy happy happy list
Make a list of the things that make you happy. You can start as early as you can and just keep a running tally throughout the day if you want. Be sure to leave out the “but”s or the “even thoughs” – just feel into the happiness If you happen to have a day where things aren’t feeling so great – you can pull out your list and smile because there’s so much that does make you happy. You can also add the things that bring you joy, the things you’re thankful for, and the things you want to soak up and have more of.
Self Care Tip #2 — Do a little purging.
The spaces around us are a reflection of what’s IN us. I find that when I allow things to pile up literally- it can affect how I feel. When we take some time to straighten up our physical spaces, it allows room for the good stuff. It’s the basis of Feng shui and minimalism. Most of us have too much crap (or too many people!) To be a one cup per person household. But we do have at least one space that we could situate. Maybe your hall closet or under your bathroom sink is making you sigh every time you open the door. Maybe you need to sort thru your undies and toss the 15 year old grannies Pick a space and make room for something good and beautiful.
Self Care Tip #3 — Do a body scan!
Find 2 or 3 minutes (or more if you’d like). Start at your toes, and REALLY feel them – focus all of your energy into your toes. Ask them if they are well, and if there’s anything they need. Then proceed to your calves, knees, thighs, etc.
Women’s power is in their essence – we are quite intuitive when we allow that part of ourselves to be heard. See what comes up for you and if there’s a part of your body that needs some extra attention that you can provide.
Self Care Tip #4 — Make a list!
Take a few moments, and some deep breaths – and make a list of reasons why you’re amazing! It might help if you look through the eyes of someone else- like your kids, spouse, or parent. It might feel weird at first, as we tend to give compliments WAY better than we receive them. If you get stuck, ask around. Allow yourself to receive the love and kindness of those around you.
Self Care Tip #5 — Daydream!
Sit back, take a few deep breaths (in to the count of 6, hold for one count, then out to the count of 6) to allow your body to settle. Then dream! What does a ‘best day ever’ in the life of (insert your name here) look like? Take in all the sights, the smells, the tastes. Pay attention to the brand of soap in the bathroom, the thread count on the sheets, the meals. Every detail that you can dream – make a little mental note of it. Then, when you ‘wake up’: see where you can incorporate your dream life. Maybe it’s rearranging the furniture, or making some art, or putting that fancy soap or sheets on your wish list for an upcoming event like your birthday or Christmas if you aren’t able or willing to ‘splurge’ on something like that (*yet)
Self Care Tip #6 — Meditation
You don’t have to be a monk or yogi to meditate. You can take a few minutes when the mood strikes you to focus on your breathing. There are some great apps that you can get for free or maybe a few bucks that have meditations you can have with you on your phone. Or there’s a bunch on YouTube. You can search on specific topics too like abundance, stress relief, etc.
Self Care Tip #7 — (((HUGS)))
Hugs and snuggles are a great way to feel safe, protected, and loved. Challenge yourself – if it’s not usual for you to speak up when you need something – ask for a hug! It’s important to be able to ask for your needs to be met, and not everyone is as intuitive as us ladies at picking up on when someone could use a squeeze.
Self Care Tip #8 — Allow good enough – to be good enough.
If I don’t clean the bathrooms or get the laundry done in a certain period of time (usually that I’ve imposed on myself) it’s really NOT the end of the world. We can’t be 100% – 100% of the time. We have to give ourselves credit for all that we DO do, and cut ourselves some slack when we need to. I’m sure we all have things that we beat ourselves up for not doing to the best of our abilities, or at all – (especially we Queens of Multi-tasking). Chances are – the only one beating us up – is US! Give yourself some room to be ‘good enough’. Perfect doesn’t exist.
Self Care Tip #9 — Say NO
We tend to take on WAAAAAY more than we can/should, right?! We will take on everyone elses crap plus our own then wonder why we’re exhausted – or be resentful that we took it on in the first place. When you say “NO” – you’re honoring yourself by taking care of you first. Maybe it’s saying no to a weekend event because you’d rather catch up on some sleep (naps!!!). Maybe it’s someone asking you to bring a homemade goodie and you say no, but offer to bring something store bought.
PS you don’t have to be rude – you can say no thank you 😉
Self Care Tip #10 — Start your day on the right track.
How do you start your day? If it’s full of stress and disorganization – flip it up – List a few things you’re grateful for, as well as some of the emotions you want to create and/or give to the world today.
I developed a free PDF you can print and use daily:
**As a bonus thrifty tip – print just one copy and place in a frame. Use dry erase markers and reuse it daily!
It’s far from selfish to take care of you.
Even on airplanes they say you have to put the mask on yourself first.
While I have other financial priorities now (like my 16 year old with driver’s education and the increased insurance rates of having a new driver) – I’ve learned that I also have to prioritize ME.
My $8/week core class at the local gym and $10-15 a week for a ‘real’ yoga class are things I can do for myself without breaking the bank. On the weeks where I don’t get to class, or there’s an unexpected expense or I’m just not up to it – I rely on the activities I’ve shared above.
Now it’s your turn! Do you have a free activity you’d like to share?
Leave a comment and let us know – what does self care look like for you?
A Beautiful Mess, LLC was created by Erin Hill to educate and inspire women to Care for themselves, Communicate their needs, and Connect with their tribe of fellow women who “get it”. Erin is a blogger about life, a coach for women, and a healer of souls – including her own. She lives in Cambridge, Maryland with her husband and 3 children who are all her greatest teachers. You can follow Erin’s blog, and receive weekly inspiration for your busy life at www.erinbhill.com