Self-care is so important. Without it, we end up like a car driving on an empty gas tank. We might coast along for a while but eventually, the tank runs dry, the motor takes its last gasp, and we end up on the side of the road, broken down and unable to go anywhere.
And let’s be really honest with ourselves here. If we don’t take care of ourselves, no one else is going to do it for us. I mean, sure, our kids will sometimes do nice things for us. And parents and friends will sometimes cook us dinner, take the kids for an evening or otherwise do something kind and generous for us.
But what we need is more than just an occasional nice thing. We need consistent breaks, consistent refilling of our cup. And that means it’s on us. Because we’re the only ones who know how full or empty our cup is. And we’re the only ones who know how best to fill it.
So this week, I’m sharing my top 10 best self-care tips with you. These are all things that anyone can do - and in my opinion, should do.
Pick and choose which ones to do. Or use them like a bucket list and do them all. The choice is yours. But I highly recommend doing at least one because it will make you feel so much better about yourself and your life.
1. Write yourself a love letter
We all need a little love now and then. And sometimes the best love is self-love. Take some time to sit down and write yourself a love letter. Tell yourself all the wonderful qualities you love about yourself, all the accomplishments you’ve achieved no matter how big or small, and all the goals you’re so proud of yourself for striving for. Take this a step further and send it to yourself as a scheduled email for a date several months from now. Surprise yourself by reading it again when it pops up in your inbox.
2. Treat yourself like your best friend
You would never tell your best friend that she’s undeserving of love or that her ass is way too big, so why do you say it to yourself? Stop being so mean to yourself. Instead, talk to yourself the way you’d talk to your best friend. If she came to you with the thought, complaint, problem, etc. that you have, what would you say to her? That’s what you should say to yourself.
3. Turn your phone off
I get it. As a mom, you feel the need to always be available to everyone. But sometimes you just need a break. A moment to yourself so you can just breathe, exist, and not be waiting for that next problem. So turn your phone off now and then. It doesn’t have to be forever - just 30 minutes can be enough. If the kids are home with you, go ahead and turn it off for a whole weekend. Worried about someone else having an emergency? If they really need to reach you, they’ll find another way.
4. Meditate on what you need
Sometimes we feel like something is missing or we need something, but we have no idea what it is. It’s just a sense that something… isn’t quite right. You can deal with this by meditating and asking yourself what you need right now. When you sit in that stillness and silence for a few minutes, your mind, body, heart and soul all get a chance to communicate and offer up what it is you need. Then you can give yourself exactly what you need and feel content as a result.
5. Invest in yourself
We spend a lot of money on our kids, our homes, our cars, groceries, bills, and so much more. But we don’t tend to be as free with the money for ourselves. Taking the time to invest in yourself can do wonders. And keep in mind that investing in yourself isn’t just about money. It’s also about time. Invest in a book that can help you advance at work, a class that will teach you a skill you’ve always wanted to learn, or buying that domain name for the business you really want to start. Even small investments count.
6. Let go of the past
Are you still beating yourself up for a mistake you made a year ago? Or worse, a decade or more ago? Look, the past is what it is. You can’t change it. So why are you still holding on to it? Let go of the past so you can live in the present and plan for the future without holding yourself back. Part of letting go of the past also means forgiving those who have wronged you. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it.
7. Be vulnerable with someone
We often hold our feelings in for fear of being hurt or seen as weak, a victim, or otherwise vulnerable. But being vulnerable is one of the best ways to build relationships with others. And it invites them to be vulnerable with us. Naturally, you don’t want to be vulnerable with everyone, and you’ll be different kinds of vulnerable with different people. But take the time to open up and be honest with someone. It can change everything.
8. Take time for something that makes you happy
When you’re busy raising children, working full-time, and taking care of a house, finding time to do things that make you happy can be a bit of a chore. But if you take the time to do things that make you happy now and then, you’ll find you’re not only happier in that moment, but in the other moments of your life. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, either. Take the scenic route home or enjoy your favorite movie after the kids are in bed.
9. Treat yourself to coffee, dinner or a movie
Spend a few bucks on something a little indulgent for yourself. Grab an expensive coffee. Go out to dinner or see a movie by yourself. Enjoy the time alone. Enjoy doing something just for you and not waiting for someone else to go with you. Not only can it make you feel more empowered and independent, but it can also just be relaxing.
10. Make a big, scary change
Been contemplating a super short haircut? Thinking about buying that new car? Maybe you’ve been eyeing that bright red lipstick and wondering if it’s a good idea? Do it! Make the big, scary change! The thrill of doing something that scares you can encourage you to take more chances. And it’s very rare that the change you’ll make will have a life or death, make or break impact on your life.
Make sure you take some time for self-care this weekend. Whether you use one of these tips or do something else, taking care of yourself matters. If you use one of these, feel free to reply to this email and let me know how it went for you!
P.S. Don’t forget to join me weekdays at 7:45 a.m. Eastern for your Daily Dose of Self-Love meditation on Insight Timer!