Self-Care: It's Being Proactive, Not Reactive
Your doctor is mentioning it, your favorite life coach is talking about it, and there is probably an Instagram influencer on your timeline that is sitting in a tub talking about #selfcare. With so many people talking about it I feel as if self-care has been defined as a bubble bath or a full body massage for some. But no one is mentioning how important it is to be PROACTIVE in your self-care versus waiting until your world is falling apart and then being REACTIVE.
We have all had that day from hell on a Monday, and then all of sudden you are at home on Tuesday staring at the bottom of your second container of Talenti. What we need to think about is WHY that Monday was so terrible and WHAT could have been done to prevent the less than favorable outcome. This is when you have to exam the underlying issues. So you're probably saying "So tell me, Dom, what does self-care look like to you?". Glad you asked because I was going to tell you what MY self-care tips looks are.
Time management - Planning your week ahead will ease your stress levels and can be easier with the help of a planner. I know a lot of people love using their smartphone calendars but I'm old school and still using a physical planner. I have been an avid Erin Condren customer for about three years and it is the best money I have spent when it comes to daily and monthly organization. Their LifePlanner allows you to customize your cover with your name and select your layout. This item is also available via Amazon if you are not interested in the customization option and want faster shipping.
Checking in with your mental health status - Ask yourself sometimes on a scale of 1 to 10 how is your mental health. If you are constantly finding yourself on the lower end of the scale and having a hard time sorting through feelings I would encourage therapy. I know mental health and therapist can sometimes be considered taboo within the black community, but I highly encourage it as someone who has had a therapist. You would be amazed at how much this can bring balance to your life.
Focus on things that will benefit you long-term - Keeping a close eye on your credit score and your savings will help you in those UH-OH moments.
Knowing when to say "no" - Staying busy does not equal success, but can leave you feeling exhausted or like you are running on a hamster wheel.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded and level-headed individuals - Being in the company of these type of people will keep you on track and away from the drama.
Having a hobby, passion, or creative outlet - When you go to work you're giving someone else eight or more hours of your time, but what are you giving yourself? Interested in photography? Take that class. Enjoy cooking? Start planning your meals.
A planned monthly routine that is therapeutic - For me, this is typically mani and pedi or a full body massage from Four Seasons Body Works ($40 for a one hour back massage). If I really want to make this monthly routine even more relaxing I encourage taking that day off work in advance. I typically refer to this as my mental health day.
Treat yo self - You work hard? Then splurge a little on that trip, that handbag, or that nice dinner.
Enjoy your alone time - Even as a married person I enjoy my alone time. This is a time where you can disconnect from social media, work, and anything else that forces communication with others. One of my favorite things to do is guided meditation and is a great way to come home and disconnect from the day. I have included one of my favorite playlist below from Spotify.
What does your self-care routine look like? Are you doing a good job of incorporating self-care into daily life?