And when something can be sold, the opportunity will be seized upon. The wellness industry was worth $4.2 Trillion (!) at its last assessment + is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. We are thirsty for self-care + many of us are willing to pay for it.
We may think of self-care as moments of rejuvenation + indulging in luxuries...big or small. And often we use it as a sort of soft joke...a wink in the direction of...I work hard. I'm exhausted. I deserve this extra cookie or drink or dress. It's self-care. And sometimes it is just what we needed...and sometimes it's not.
Here's what I'm getting at: what we deem as "self-care" might not truly be self-care, if it ultimately makes us feel worse rather than better. Often the self-care we think of first actually adds to our stress, busyness, money woes or neglect of health.
My most default method of "self-care" is probably sweets. I love a good dessert or ice-cream. I also like to eat dinner out. The food is good, and I don't have to cook. Both of these are fine on occasion, but done too often would (and sometimes do) cost me peace of mind concerning both my health + my budget.
When it comes to diet, the wellness industry would like to sell us lots of supplements + powders + pressed juices as "self-care". None of these things truly sustain us + most are quite expensive.
The true self-care in this department comes when I do things like:
-buy more fruits + vegetables...maybe roasting a couple of big cookie sheets full of vegetables + keeping it them in the fridge for easy meals
-buy fruit instead of a cookie or fancy drink
-cut up lemon to squeeze into water instead of drinking soda or juice
-make a smoothie at home instead of buying one out (saves sugar + money)
-find simple ways to prepare food ahead
-find something I like + eat it over + over...like carrots + hummus then switch to tomatoes + guacamole...decreases decision fatigue + I can keep it stocked
-take a trip to the farmer's market
Time spent boiling beans never feels like a sparkly self-care moment, but having all those jars in the freezer sure does! Those jars save me time + money + waste + nourish my family. Time spent boiling beans has ripple effects. It genuinely makes me a bit giddy every time I pull a jar out during dinner prep. That is self-care redefined! :)
We instinctively know that the true self-care comes from:
-moving...stretching, a few sun salutations, walking, yoga, whatever movement you enjoy
-getting into nature...walking, hiking + biking are great, but so is finding a shady spot for lunch...when it's hot sit on the stoop in the shade in the morning for a few minutes or at least by an open window
On these hottest of days...move, do yoga, or stretch under a fan...get the air moving. Play some vibey, soft music. Getting on the floor changes everything. Take a walk as the sun comes up. Play some happy, energizing music loud + dance. Sign up for a class or a membership, if it's in the budget + you know you'll go...but it's not self-care, if our budgets can't support it. ;)
Whether or not I feel like tying my shoes to go for a walk in the morning, the outdoor air always holds something to notice...heat, humidity, a breeze, a change. I feel small in the bigness of nature...even in my neighborhood. I usually walk with my girls, so there is conversation + closeness. And back at home, I feel like I've done it (!)...the chore of exercise no longer looms over my head. My legs + my lungs feel stronger. There is a lightness + usually a smile. Now that is self-care...no debt...no guilt...less stress.
A healthy diet, movement + a little time spent in nature can set us up for another crucial aspect of self-care...sleep. A regular schedule for bedtime + waking is helpful. A twenty minute nap can be a rejuvenating treat as well. :)
While our circumstances + preferences will vary greatly, I think our thought processes can have something in common along the way. Self-care is not truly self-care if it leaves us feeling more stressed about our health, time or money. True self-care promotes true thriving. :)
Also in this series :: roots + time