The following article was written by Brad Krause, writer for and owner of Self Caring.
Self-care is a word that many of us have heard, some of us understand, and few of us actually make use of. When you participate in activities that improve your physical and mental health and happiness, you are engaging in self-care. However, how those activities benefit differs from person to person. Something that relaxes and inspires one person, such as painting, may be boring or even stressful to another. Here are a few ideas to help you find self-care activities that cater to your interests and needs, and help make your life more fulfilling.
Meal Delivery Service
Whether you want to bring healthier dinners to the family table or you simply want to save time on preparing meals, a meal delivery service is an adventurous opportunity for self-care. If you watch television or listen to podcasts, you’ve probably heard advertisements for any of the dozens of meal prep services out there, including Blue Apron, Home Chef, or Sun Basket. You can have fresh, organic ingredients delivered to your door along with recipes that are fast and simple. These services take the time and stress out of shopping, preparing and making meals, boosting your heart and immune system with high-quality ingredients. If cooking is part of your self-care regimen, you’ll be able to explore some exciting new ideas in the kitchen. If the last thing you want to spend your time on is whipping up a meal, these services free you up to spend more time doing self-care activities you really love. An added benefit is that many meal delivery services charge less than $10 for a meal.
Make a Reasonable To-Do List
Our fast-paced, success-driven culture thrives on mile-long to-do lists, along with the guilt we feel when we can’t check everything off. Revamp your to-do list so it is actually achievable. Consider breaking big tasks into manageable chunks. For instance, if it’s time to work on your family budget, you may feel overwhelmed by all the different ways money comes in and goes out. You can get more accomplished by breaking this project down into smaller tasks — on Monday you can make the budget spreadsheet, on Tuesday you look at spending, on Wednesday you put in income, on Thursday you analyze savings, and on Friday you polish everything up. Instead of feeling pressure and stress every time you push “making the family budget” off another day, you’ll feel a satisfying sense of accomplishment in every small win.
Of course, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t achieve everything on your to-do list. You may discover that you simply don’t have time for everything, which is a problem many busy people have. So, it’s important to know where you can outsource the work. Need someone to walk the dog every once in a while? Hire a dog walker to help keep your pooch fit, a job that can run around $15 and $20 for a 30-minute walk. Need a few extra hands with cleaning your house? Call in a team of cleaning experts to tackle the job. Just keep in mind that cleaning services in Albany will cost you between $110 and $234. Knowing where you can cut a few corners can definitely help make that to-do list more manageable.
Take a 15-Minute Break
Our calendars are packed. From kids’ sports practices to dance recitals, project deadlines at work to raking the leaves before it gets too cold — there is always too much to do and not enough time. And, honestly, that will never change. That’s why for self-care, it’s crucial that you carve out at least 15 minutes of “me time” every day. That might sound unreasonable when looking at your overbooked calendar, but if you get creative with it, you can easily make it happen. If you enjoy reading, spend 15 minutes of your lunch break on a good book. Keep it in your car so you can pull it out anytime you have a few moments to spare. For those who love music or dancing, get up 15 minutes early in the morning to sing and dance to your favorite songs. It may sound corny, but music in the morning is a huge mood-booster.
Self-care, above all else, is a choice, and sometimes it’s not an easy one. It means saying “no,” slowing down and unplugging — things our modern society does not equip us to do. However, if you make the choice and learn to stick with it, you will notice changes in your mind and body that empower you to give more to yourself and others.