Real self-care requires effort.
Unlike the Donna and Tom mantra from Parks and Recreation to “treat yo self,” taking care of yourself probably won’t feel like fun until afterward. In fact, you won’t even want to get started. However, you also don’t want to waste the rest of your week feeling jittery, anxious, and stressed. You’d like to feel refreshed instead, right? Give yourself these five gifts.
Don’t waste your week feeling anxious.
Not because you need to lose weight; not because you ate too many cookies last night; but simply because you will feel better afterward. I empathize with the mental battle to begin. I understand that you’d rather wait until tomorrow. You will need to fight against momentum at first because stress tends to de-motivate. Push through the grumpies.
That pile of clothes won’t evaporate on its own. Some portion of your stress really does emanate from your external surroundings, and that’s the part you can (usually) control. When your internal angst becomes too distracting, try eliminating some chaos from your physical world. You will likely feel the difference. If not, at least you’ll have clean clothes.
Eliminate some chaos from your world.
For me, at least, crusty pots in the sink color my overall impression of my home. You may not think of yourself as an aesthetically-oriented person, but a clearer counter will lead to a lighter sensation in your stomach. A few minutes scrubbing a pan could mean the difference between a home that feels disgusting and a general sense of satisfaction.
Stop by the grocery store on your way home. Instead of compiling a comprehensive shopping list, though, buy only enough ingredients for one meal. Then leave the store quickly so you don’t feel intimidated. Cook dinner, even if you already ate. You’ll be hungry again later, and food in the fridge makes the day ahead less daunting.
Maybe I’m the only one who does this, but for some reason, I tend to procrastinate on bathing. This includes showers, too. Since basic personal hygiene provides an undeniable boost to my moral, however, I tell myself to finish all of the tedious steps. Shave. Blow dry your hair. Lather on the lotion. Now you won’t need to spend your day feeling greasy.
Basically, do the stuff you don’t feel like doing.
Only then can you lie on the couch and watch a movie guilt-free, knowing you’ll crawl into bed feeling better than you felt before. Don’t get me wrong — I love mindless entertainment as much as the next girl — but an hour on YouTube makes my night worse, not better. A couple of quick chores, on the other hand, improve my mood drastically.
Every time you postpone a passive activity in favor of active rest, you give yourself the gift of true refreshment.
What’s something I didn’t include on my list that recharges your batteries?
The Reluctant Bride