Self-care is self-love. This is a phrase that I live by. I think that when it comes to showing love to myself, one of the best ways I can do that is through self-care.
Self-care can take on many forms. There’s the ever popular bubble bath and face mask that seems to have become an Instagram trend in and of itself; I like to call this “fun and pretty self-care.” The flipside of that is, as I like to call it, “boring self-care,” which can be simple things like brushing my teeth, going to the doctor, or simply going to bed early.
Life is unpredictable and ever changing, it has constant ups and downs. When it comes to self-care, I think it is important to have some tools in your back pocket for the days that are harder. I think having these things at your disposal without necessarily having to think about them can be extremely beneficial.
So, what is a “Self-care toolbox?” you ask, well sit right back and let me tell you!
When I found myself experiencing some more ups and downs than usual, figuring out how to practice self-care on the down days honestly became exhausting. As a way to help ease some of the exhaustion, I spent some time on an up day creating a toolbox of things that I know are go-to methods of practicing self-care. I created a note in my phone so that I could refer to it the next time I found myself in need, and having it
there in writing without having to think of things saved me so much effort and stress in the long run.
I broke it down into two categories: Necessary Self-Care and Secondary Self-care. The necessary things that I need to function as best as I can regardless of circumstances, and the things that are great to do if I have the time and resources to do so that day. I like to view self-care as a practice of self-awareness, and for me, self-care involves a lot of checking in with myself and being aware of what my body and mind are in
need of. When I put all of this together, I was able to come up with two lists of self-care practices to have at my disposal.
Have I eaten enough today?
Have I maintained my hygiene (washing my face, brushing my teeth, etc) today?
Have I taken my medication today?
Have I gotten any fresh air today?
Have I talked to any friends/family today?
Did I get enough sleep last night?
Put on a movie I know well and don’t have to devote my full attention to
Having a hot bath with a nice scented candle
Making a hot cup of tea (did you know it’s easier for your body to relax when you’re warm?)
Taking a nap
Reading a book/magazine
Playing with my cat!
Self-care can look SO different from person to person. I think that it’s important to remember this when creating your self-care toolbox. On a good day, focus on what makes you happy, and calm as well as what you need in that moment. Take stock of these things when you find yourself in a good place, that way, the next time you find yourself in a not so good place, you won’t have to think too hard about ways you can
improve your mood that day.
What’s in your self-care toolbox? Remember that when it comes to tools like this, it’s always better to have them and not need them, than to need them and not have them.