Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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You deserve to live your very best version of your life. You deserve to feel your very best every single day. Self-care is not something that should be treated as “if I can get to it,” or the thing that you wait to do until after the kids are in bed or after you get home from work during the day. Your self-care is essential to your complete and total wellness. Your self-care is essential to your overall happiness and wholeness in life. You deserve to treat yourself in the full greatness that you are. You and your life are worth it. It is for that reason that your heart needs this dose of goodness – the three secrets to self-care in order for you to live your best kind of life!
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Today is about all things self-care, and my intention is to help give you ways to optimize your very own self-care routine so that you can actually thrive. And in doing so, I am also going to share with you the 3 secrets to self-care in order to find happiness, wholeness, and wellness in your life!
Self-care is an extremely important and buzz-worthy topic. It doesn’t take long to search within Google, Pinterest, or even look through your home feed on any given social media channel to see that topics pertaining to self-care are abundant. On Google alone, search results for self-care bring about several, very recently published articles providing information on how to incorporate self-care in your life. A search on Pinterest on self-care can pull up so many different self-care checklists, ideas, and routines. With so much attention to self-care, it is apparently obvious that the world is in greater need to prioritize and take care of themselves.
So what is self-care? Self-care, simply put, is to take care of yourSELF. And when you are taking care of your actual self, it is a task that requires you to take care of ALL parts of YOU. To take care of your mind, your heart, and your body, to take care of your emotions, and your relationships.
Specifically, self-care is about doing the things your mind, your heart, and your body need to be able to function. From Oxford Languages the two main definitions for self-care are first, “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health,” and the second, “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”
An article on Everyday Health explains self-care further. It means taking care of yourself in order to be your healthiest, so you can be well, so you can do the things you are to do in your every day. For you that might be your job, taking care of the kids, running a business. Self-care is to be able to take care of YOU and the people around you so you are able to accomplish ALL the things you want to accomplish in a day!
We need self-care. Searches on Google for self-care have more than doubled in the last seven years. Pinterest trends continue to show the emphasis on self-care as well. People are desperate for more self-care in their lives which brings up a shocking revelation that people are desperate to simply take care of themselves. Self-care is essential to our everyday life. It is what helps us cope with our individual and daily stressors. Not only do we need self-care to be able to cope within our daily lives, but the practice of regular self-care has been linked to the following: reduced stress, improved immune system, increased productivity, higher-self esteem.
But when you start talking and asking people about their self-care routine, it becomes very obvious very quickly as to the priority we place as humans on taking care of the most important thing – our own being. I did a poll over on Instagram this weekend in preparation for this episode and I asked my followers if they felt like they prioritized self-care in their daily lives? 78% said no!
I then asked “when you think of self-care what do you think of first” and I got some of the following responses, “exercise, pedicure/manicure, reading a book for fun, massage, Target runs without the kiddos, sleeping in, face mask, relaxing, something truly for yourself, something that brings you joy, alone quiet time, hobbies and friends. One response that truly stuck out to me was the toxic positivity that she thought of at work when asked the question. They preach self-care, but it’s not authentic.
I then proceeded to ask my followers what their favorite way to self-care was? A lot included doing things they truly loved, spending time alone, being outside for a walk. As a new momma, I have a large following of women in a similar stage of life as me over on Instagram, and I found it incredibly distinct that so many new mamas shared with me how their view on self-care has changed since having a baby. A lot of new mamas simply view the simplest of acts as a form of self-care, really anything that can provide a mental peace.
In the United States, we live in a culture that has it completely wrong! Our brains and minds are taught by advertising, the workplace, and all things social media that self-care is something extra. Something you do when you need to decompress, when you need to take a breather, when you need to unwind and unplug, stepping out of your role in life for a minute, or an hour, or two.
Our society emphasizes an expensive form of self-care, one that encourages you to go to the nail salon and spend $100 on a manicure and pedicure, or to book an even pricer massage, or to go stroll through the aisles at Target and spend way more money than you even intended or thought possible as you sit in your car and double check your receipt! Does anyone else all of a sudden become extremely incompetent in basic math skills as you look through your Target receipt or is it just me? There is no way those few things added up to that much!
Therefore, when you think of self-care there are two specific approaches that are usually thought of and tossed around. The first approach is self-indulgence.
This first approach to self-care preaches this false reality of needing to only take care of yourself through either expensive means OR in a way that allows you to fit in things only if possible. Approach #1 to self-care emphasizes that taking care of yourself actually is not a top priority, rather it is something that should be focused on and resorted to in the last means possible. Only when you are on the verge of breakdown, or anxiety is high, or your emotions and mental state is close to a panic, only then is it necessary to take a step away and focus on you.
Now, please hear me straight, if you are on a verge of breakdown, or the anxiety and panic is high, please, absolutely go and take a step away and focus on you, but the major point I want to stress here is this… the self-care should have already been taking place well before you get to that point.
Is there something wrong with self-indulgence? Absolutely not! I am one who loves to treat herself to a massage when I can afford to and schedule it into the calendar. I am one who enjoys a good manicure and pedicure, however I do feel like I am in the minority female population who rarely gets her nails done, maybe it’s because postpartum has wrecked absolute havoc on my nails.
To my point, there is nothing that is wrong with self-indulgence, the issue though is with equating self-indulgence to actual self-care because the two are not the same! And as a result, you have so many individuals running around frantically, not prioritizing their actual selves. Not prioritizing their health, not prioritizing their heart, not prioritizing their actual wellness at the expense of every single person around them. Which brings up approach #2.
The second approach to self-care is more of what I like to call healthiness & wellness! This approach is definitely one that more healthcare professionals and researchers cling to, but it is one that focuses on healthiness & wellness. Taking care OF YOU. Your actual self, every single day. Prioritizing YOU. Prioritizing your physical health, taking care of your body. Prioritizing your emotional health, taking care of your heart and your spirit. Prioritizing your mental health, taking care of your mind and thought processes. This second approach to self-care simply places the emphasis on making sure every single day YOU are taking care of you. Taking care of YOU in a way that allows yourself to thrive in the capacity to which you are meant to thrive.
To FEEL alive every single day. To wake up with abundant energy and feel well-rested. To feel emotionally recharged, and empathetic, passionate, and compassionate. To feel encouraged and excited. To feel hopeful and purposeful. To feel strong, to feel safe. This second approach to self-care is all about taking care of yourself in order to be your healthiest and strongest version of you.
There is a little variation into how many exact categories of self-care there are. Most will agree that there is physical self-care, mental, emotional, and spiritual self-care. Those are the four that are agreed upon by most. A few other categories to self-care include practical self-care and social self-care. I am going to dive into these different categories REAL quickly and then share with you the 3 secrets to self-care that you need to hear today in order to find more happiness, wholeness & wellness in your life!
This type of self-care is all about taking care of your physical body. Therefore, fueling your body properly with healthy nutrition, meals with substance, proper hydration, as well as prioritizing sleep in your life so that your body is well-rested and at peak level of function. Physical self-care also includes proper hygiene, and appropriate and necessary physical movement and exercise to stay healthy and strong.
Mental self-care is all about taking care of your mind and your thoughts in a way for you to remain mentally strong. Things such as reading, puzzles, anything really to engage your mind counts as mental self-care. Does my daily Wordle streak count here?
Emotional self-care is about being real, vulnerable, and honest with your emotions, the entire range of them. This is about being in tune with yourself and the big feelings that you feel, and taking care of them. Through therapy, writing, self-reflection are all ways to take care of yourself emotionally.
Spiritual self-care is the deepest layer of self-care as it pertains to what lies within our very heart and soul. Spiritual self-care is about going deep and doing the things that truly connect with your spirit. For those whose faith is important to them, spiritual self-care is about connecting in your faith and doing the things that build you up spiritually. Even for those not tied to a specific faith, spiritual self-care is something you can do to connect on a deeper level to yourself and the world and beyond. Spending time outside, in nature, in meditation can all help you achieve that spiritual zen.
Practical self-care is doing the things you need to do to be able to continue to do your life throughout the day. Practical self-care refers to keeping things in order around the home, doing your tasks at work, organizing and decluttering certain things to allow yourself to function at an optimal level.
Social self-care is the things you do to take care of, to nurture, and to further the relationships in your life. Hanging out intentionally with your family, your friends, within your community and doing the things you enjoy with those people. Connecting with people through phone calls, text messages, making time to truly connect with the relationships that matter the most to you!
Okay, now onto what I am the most excited to share with you – 3 specific secrets for you to know and to start living by to transform how you view and do your self-care. These secrets are to help transform how you implement self-care in order to find happiness, wholeness, and wellness in your life!
The first secret to self-care is all about balance. This first secret is this: Self-care at the core is about balance. In order to fully take care of YOU, you must prioritize balance in your life. The definition of balance, according to Oxford Languages is “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. Yes, I love this. At the core of self-care is understanding balance.
Which, by definition, balance is all about evenly distributing the weight of something in order to remain upright and steady. In order to remain functioning and fully alive in your life, alive fully in your physical self, emotional self, mental self, social, and spiritual self, you must find the balance in order to stay standing. In order to not fall to pressure, to stress, or to cave against a bad day. In order to fully take care of you, you must have balance.
When you incorporate an understanding of balance to your self-care, it unlocks the key to happiness. By understanding balance in your self-care you are stepping into so much freedom. Think of it this way. Self-care is all about taking care of you. But when you start to unpack what that looks like, when you start to actually sit through this list of self-care, things become overwhelming really, REALLY fast.
In order to take care of you, the way that YOU are intended to be taken care of requires plenty of sleep, proper hydration, healthy nutrition, abundant exercise, moments for mindfulness activities, quiet time, an appropriate work-life balance, and the list goes on and on. This list is straight up overwhelming. This list on its own footing causes immense stress and anxiety.
Therefore in order to succeed in any capacity to take care of yourself, one must find balance. This balance allows you to take each day as it’s own and to prioritize different parts of your day to maintain the balance that you need to stay healthy, to stay well. This balance is about not setting yourself up for failure by having ridiculous expectations that are impossible to meet. This is all about incorporating balance to be successful as YOU day in and day out.
The second secret to self-care is to be incredibly honest with yourself about where you are currently and how you are really doing. To truly make a habit of being more intentional with how you take care of yourself and practice self-care, it requires us to be extremely honest and vulnerable with ourselves. How are we doing really? And not just the quick “I’m good” answer, but the answer that is deep within our hearts. How are you really? Take a moment and let that question sink in. Let it penetrate deep in your mind, in your spirit, in your soul & your heart, how are you doing, really?
Take that question and think about how you are doing physically? How is your health? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you hydrating the way your body needs you to hydrate? Are you moving your body so that you can truly thrive? What about your emotions? Are you prioritizing taking care of you and allowing yourself to work through the big feelings, not shying away from the hard things, and working through the challenge? What about your mind? How is your peace?
Be incredibly honest with yourself. This secret to self-care is so important, if we are not honest with ourselves then how can we expect to make that improvement. The first step to truly taking care of ourselves and making self-care the priority it deserves to be is being so honest with the areas where you are falling short, so that you know where to prioritize. The key here is to start small. Work on implementing just one small change at a time. Once you feel like that has become more consistent to your self-care, than add another, and another. As you keep adding new things, continue to be incredibly honest with yourself on how you are doing and make any necessary changes.
The third and final secret to self-care that I am going to share with you today is purpose. Have a purpose to your self-care and understand the purpose in it! I will say that one more time, the third and final secret to self-care is to have a purpose to your self-care and to understand the purpose in it! Take some time to personally reflect on the patterns and processes to how you live daily. Think on and reflect on your physical self, your emotional self, your mental self, your spiritual self, your practical self, and your social self. As you think and reflect, find your own purpose to your self-care.
Focus on your why! Focus on why this matters to you! Why does it matter to you to work on your physical self? Why does it matter to you to focus on your spiritual self? Your emotional and mental self? Be real, be honest, and don’t shy away from the hard thoughts. Because the hard thoughts are the only thing that stands in our way of the breakthrough, and if you can work through the hard, you can find the release. Your breakthrough is coming. Sit and work through this to find and understand your purpose in taking care of yourself. When you are able to do that, you are giving yourself the key to succeeding by giving yourself the reason to make these changes and to start taking better care of yourself.
You deserve to live your very best version of your life. You deserve to feel your very best every single day. Self-care is not something that should be treated as “if I can get to it,” or the thing that you wait to do until after the kids are in bed or after you get home from work during the day. Your self-care is essential to your complete and total wellness. Your self-care is essential to your overall happiness and wholeness in life. You deserve to treat yourself in the full greatness that you are. You and your life are worth it. If you are looking for more encouragement check out this read on 11 Simple Ways to Find More Joy In Your Life!
I sincerely hope that this message meant something to your heart. I truly hope that something from this episode reached the depths of you and encouraged you in a way that is life-giving. I hope you leave today’s episode and go back to your day feeling encouraged, feeling capable, and feeling confident that your best day is within reach as you start to take a little better care of you, because remember, you absolutely deserve it. I would love to continue this conversation further over on Instagram @thebestdaypodcast and I will see you next week for another episode of the podcast, until next time friends, have the best day!