Admittedly, I’ve come at this whole “self care” journey from the wrong angle. I’m not a sensitive, touchy feely type of person and before I started *really* researching self care, it sounded a lot like something a sensitive, touchy feely type of person would be in to. I was wrong about that and I’m happy to admit it. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s been difficult to find ways to incorporate self care actvities into my routine that actually work for me. So, if you’re like me and you don’t feel like you’d be into Self Care, I’ve got some self care tips for you. (This post contains affiliate links. If you click one and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you!).
But, first, I want to explain a little how I came around on the idea of Self Care.
When I google “Self Care” or I do a search on Pinterest for “Self Care”, I find lots of things that don’t appeal to me. DIY At Home Spa Days, “get a hug” (that was on the second pin that I found and if you know me, you know I hate hugs, for real) and “clean a room top to bottom”. That was literally on a list of self care activities.
Cleaning a room top to bottom is so nowhere near my idea of Self Care that I almost wanted to write a note to the person who put it on their pin on Pinterest. “Excuse me, ma’am, don’t you get mind bendingly angry when you are cleaning? Don’t you hate cleaning with a burning passion like the rest of us? Please take that off your list THIS INSTANT!”. I didn’t write that note, don’t worry.
But what clicked when I saw that was that, for some people, (you aren’t going to believe this, I know, but trust me) for some people, CLEANING A ROOM IS SELF CARE! Nuts, right? But some people actually enjoy that and it gives them a sense of satisfaction and so, yeah, set your intention that your room cleaning time is something you’re doing for yourself, and sure, it’s self care.
Self Care Tips for People Who Aren’t Into Self Care
What is actually really enlightening about that whole “clean a room top to bottom” idea is that, it’s probably something most people already do! Which leads me to my first Self Care Tip for People Who Aren’t Into Self Care.
Self Care Tip #1
Figure out the things that you are already doing that are probably self care and you didn’t even know it!
There are very likely many small things that you are doing on a weekly basis that fall under self care and you don’t even know it. Which, by my definition of self care , automatically disqualifies it as Self Care because self care must be done intentionally. You have to deliberately practice self care.
Here’s the epiphany I had while I was researching Self Care. I realized, basically, everthing I’ve been writing about on this blog for the last five years, is Self Care.
I make stuff, all kinds of crafty sort of artistic stuff (I’m not artistic in any way other than whatever fearlessness artists have when it comes to making stuff. As far as a particular skill or technique, I don’t have any of that). Being creative gives me this feeling of “I just made a thing that didn’t exist before I made it”. Which is kind of an awesome feeling, to me.
I also love the feeling I get when someone says, “I like that wreath” and then I say, “Thanks! I made it”. I know lots of people think that sounds braggy, I don’t care. I’m not 10. I can be proud of myself, ok? You should be proud of yourself, too.
So, now, when I make stuff, and I set the intention that it’s part of my self care routine, it’s magically Self Care!
Same goes with following the Ketogenic Diet. I’ve been eating Keto since November of 2017. I’ve never felt better in my life, not ever. I look, well, I look way better, but I still don’t have 20 something me beat, which is fine, I mean this body gave birth to two children, there’s no going back from some of the damage that causes, but I still look way better than I did 25 pounds ago.
I’ve written about the positive Keto side effects I’ve experienced besides just losing weight and because of those, eating Keto is most definitely Self Care. It’s on my list of things I do for Self Care. When I ask for a cheeseburger with no bun and the lady at the fast food joint looks at me like she wants to punch me in the nose, I remember, this is self care. You’re doing this because it is good for you, mind, body and soul. (maybe not soul so much, but maybe a little).
Keto isn’t easy in that you have restrictions on what you can eat and so, following those restrictions with every bite I put in my mouth, is very intentional. I look at brownies and I make a conscious decision: “You will feel like shit if you eat that. Walk away. Nope, run away.”
I also love to write about clothes and makeup occasionally. Here’s the deal with this. For some people, shopping for clothes is self care. For some people taking 20 minutes to put on makeup is self care. If you say to yourself, I’m going to take care of myself by going out and buying a new shirt that is going to make me look and feel amazing and I won’t regret it all after I buy it, then yes, Self Care. Same with putting on makeup. If you feel more confident, beautiful, whatever, after you spend those 20 minutes, then go for it.
I actually hate shopping for clothes at a store AND I get bored after about 5 minutes with makeup, so for me, it’s more about finding the most efficient way to get me into that cute top and looking as far from 43 as possible with as little fuss as possible.
That means I love services like Stitch Fix and the Thred Up Goody Box that I got not long ago. They take the painful part of shopping out of the equation for me. I don’t have to go anywhere, I don’t have to slog through RACKS and RACKS of stuff. I can click a button and the stuff comes to my house. So, now when I place those orders, in my mind, I’m doing it to take care of myself. I’m avoiding something that I don’t like doing (shopping) and I’m doing something that makes me feel happier and more confident (getting cute clothes). Totally self care.
So think hard about some of the things you might already be doing that could fall under the definition of Self Care. Set your intention that those are indeed You taking care of YOU and you’ve got the beginnings of a Self Care Routine.
Self Care Tip #2
Prioritize Your Time to Include Self Care
I don’t have a planner. I barely use a calendar. Ok, I really don’t use a calendar at all. I’m a wing it type of person. Don’t be like me, it’s not a fun life when you miss important stuff.
If you have a planner or you can use a calendar like a real grown up, then making time for self care is, conceivably, very easy. Put a half hour in your planner for self care every week. That’s how planners work, right? Seriously, I don’t know.
If you’re like me and you’re not into planners and calendars, then you can sort of back yourself into finding time to do your self care activities.
My favorite way to make more time for myself is to say no to things. I know, how terribly selfish of me!, but, I can’t do everything. I simply can’t, neither can you. Nor can anyone else.
So, get some guts and start saying no to things, ok?
I wrote all about how to say no, in case you’ve forgotten how. Use the time you were going to spend to make a cake for the PTA Bake Sale to do some self care for yourself. The PTA will survive. Cake is terrible for you anyway. Also, store bought cake is just as good. It’s probably better. (UNLESS! of course, if you LOVE to bake and baking makes you calm/happy/peaceful/whatever then set your intention and baking can be self care).
If you need to, trick yourself into making time for Self Care. For instance, if it weren’t for this blog, I would probably not make as many things. If I weren’t making as many things, I would miss out on chances to feel good about what I made. The blog needs content and so therefore I have to make things sometimes. So if you can find another reason, outside of self care is important and you should do it, to make your self care routine a priority, then do that. Just remind yourself that whatever you are doing is taking care of yourself.
If I were going with the PTA example, and if baking is part of your self care, it would be something like this: “I have to do something to contribute to the PTA. I’ll make a cake for the bake sale because I love to bake and it can be part of my self care routine this week”. There are actually several wins in this scenario. 1. You did something you love and it was self care. 2. You donated your time and energy to the PTA in the form of a cake. Charity is a great self care practice. 3. Because you are donating the cake, you didn’t eat the CAKE! Wins all around.
I wrote all about how Self Care Quotes help me remember why Self Care is important. Stick your favorite self care quote on your bathroom mirror.
Whatever method you use, find a way to make Self Care a part of your life consistently.
Self Care Tip #3
Start with Micro Self Care Activities
If you are still really on the fence about this whole self care thing, do something tiny.
When you’re cleaning the house, turn on your favorite playlist. See if it makes cleaning a little more tolerable. It totally does for me. Distracts me from the aggravation, 100%. It’s hard to belt out “Whatta You Want From Me” from Adam Lambert and be annoyed at the same time.
Smell something good. This literally takes a second to do. Sniff your favorite candle. Smell your coffee before you sip it. Get one of these Essential Oil Bracelets from Amazon and give it a whiff every now and then.
Pet your dog. Or your cat. Unless you have one of those cats that scratches you if you pet it for too long. Ignore that cat and find another animal to pet.
Do something tiny, a second’s worth, but do it with the idea in your mind that you’re doing it because it’s good for *you*. See if your mind starts to change a little about Self Care.
If you need some inspiration for what Self Care Activities to pick, I’ve put together a list of 34 Self Care Activities that aren’t sensitive or touchy feely at all. Sign up for my newsletter below and I’ll send it to you!