What is Self Care, Anyway?
If you browse social media discussions, you’ll many reactions when self care ideas are shared. Some responses are very positive and others very, very negative. Some see self care as synonymous with self-centeredness (hence the negative stigma) and avoid the term like the plague.
In reality, there is a huge difference between a self-centered entitlement mentality and a commitment to taking care of yourself. And, that is exactly what self care is — a commitment to taking care of yourself. It is taking time to nourish yourself spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and relationally so you can capably pour into caring for others.
If you are not healthy yourself, how can you nourish others?
Intentional Self Care Ideas and Suggestions
We’ve talked about planning to plan, but we often end up with the same challenge when it comes to self care. We may intend to do things to strengthen our health and relationships and work to avoid burnout, but if we don’t plan for it we probably won’t do it.
As you are creating your daily and weekly schedule, make sure to deliberately carve out time for self care. Mark it on your planner! You are much more likely to follow through if you have it set in the schedule.
Not sure what types of activities fit the self care category? Ultimately, it’s things that help you feel refreshed, energized, or nourished. But sometimes it can be hard to know where to start if we’re not used to taking care of ourselves. So, here are some self care ideas to get you started.
Self Care Ideas to Help You Stay Connected
- Take a moment at the end of each day and consciously list a few good things in your life.
- Write a letter.
- Plan a date night.
- Go out for dessert with a girlfriend.
- Join a book club.
- Teach a friend your favorite hobby.
- Join an online interest group.
- Plan a play date. (Kids optional?)
- Swap meal prep with a friend. One night, you cook for both families. The next night, have your friend cook.
- Let your kids help, even if it’s imperfect.
- Text, phone, or message a friend every day to check in on each other.
Self Care Ideas to Help You Continue Learning
- Take a class.
- Learn a new hobby or refresh an old one.
- Learn a new skill with one of your children.
- Spend ten minutes a day working on a new language.
- Try a new recipe or cooking technique.
- Find a friend to hold you accountable to learn one new thing this year.
- Find a peer review group to help challenge your progress in a skill.
- Join a Bible study.
- Teach something outside the homeschool community (Sunday school, a sewing class, a cooking class, etc.).
- Read an article a day in your favorite magazine.
- Start a daily journal and write at least a line a day.
- Renew an old skill, such as playing an instrument.
Self Care Ideas to Strengthen Physical Health
- Write something encouraging and put it where you will see it every day.
- Take a leisurely walk on your own or with a friend.
- Sleep in.
- Take a nap.
- Schedule weekly rest time. Start small, if you need to, but protect it!
- Decorate an insulated cup and keep it full of water to help you stay hydrated.
- Set a timer to work for a 25-40 minute stretch, then take a 5-7 minute break.
- If you sit a lot during the day, get up and do 10 side or front lunges every hour or so.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Set up a standing work station.
- Get a massage.
- Find a walking buddy.
- Burn a candle or diffuse an oil with a calming scent.
- Choose one day every week or two to go ahead and dress up a bit and fix your hair, even if you don’t go out.
- Plan your snacks instead of munching the kids’ leftovers. Choose items that are healthy, but also satisfying.
- Enjoy a small piece of chocolate every day.
“Have Some Fun” Self Care Ideas
- Watch your favorite movie or TV show.
- Read a “just for fun” book, even if it’s just for 10 minutes every day.
- Try out a new hairstyle.
- Enjoy a weekly or monthly special dessert day and prepare your favorite!
- Pick a bold, new nail color and paint your nails.
- Sing! Play some fun music you can sing along to or grab a few karaoke tracks and sing just for the fun of it.
- Play with a pet.
- Take a bubble bath.
- Enjoy some gardening.
- Get a manicure or pedicure.
- Play a game – either solitaire or with the kids.
- Set a timer and enjoy your favorite social media or Pinterest surfing guilt-free until the timer goes off.