Do you find yourself always making room on your to-do list for everything and everyone except yourself? You’re preaching to the choir here! Self-care shouldn’t feel like a chore, but I’d often find that I’d put off my “me time” until I’m in full burnout mode. Taking care of ourselves is something that should always be top of mind, but it’s far from taking bubble baths and wearing a sheet mask. True self-care taps into our emotional, physical and mental health needs. Today, I’m sharing my self-care toolkit which features 10 tips I practice weekly to maintain a healthy head and body.
Penciling in Time for Self-Care Toolkit
We all want to practice self-care, but it’s so easy to put ourselves at the bottom of our to-do list. I’ve had a lot going on in life, and not adding myself to my own to-do list was damaging my moral. My #1 tip for practicing self-care is penciling the time to make it happen. Every night, I make a to-do list for the next day and do a massive brain dump before going to bed. On the TOP of my to-do list, I categorize my self-care items. Things like “write in your gratitude journal,” “do your skincare routine,” and “drink water” may seem like basic functions but you’d be surprised by how often I forget them. Write down your most essential needs to feel human, and do those EVERY DAY. Checking off a box on paper helps me stay accountable.
Asking For Help
You might have caught on already, but Cup of Charisma is a judgment-free zone. I feel like talking through life’s issues can help crush stigmas. If you’re a long-time reader, you know that I’m a trauma survivor. Couple that with the general struggles of being a millennial, and therapy is almost a no-brainer.
I put off finding a counselor for several years after moving to Houston until the stress of work and societal triggers began to impact my mood. While I did find a therapist I genuinely love, I basically picked her photo from a lineup because she had a great smile. It was overwhelming. Thankfully, there are now sites like Mental Health Match in Texas make finding a therapist so much easier. The site allows you to take an online quiz, connecting you with professionals who are a match for your specific personality and needs.
(Remember: there is nothing wrong with being stuck, lost, sad, fearful, or stressed. You are doing just fine!)
Tackling Health in a Holistic Way
I get it. No one likes going to the doctor, but it’s something we have to do for the sake of our vitality. Aside from using ZocDoc to schedule my appointments conveniently, I also have taken a new approach to my wellbeing. Last month, I started acupuncture and NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques) at Phoenix Rising Acupuncture to treat my autoimmune disease. I have had Hashimoto’s disease since I was eight, a disorder where my immune system attacks my thyroid. I can be taking medications and have normal TSH levels but still feel exhausted, depressed, foggy, and overweight. Cue: acupuncture.
Lori Earley, the founder of Phoenix Rising Acupuncture, specializes in autoimmune disease and has helped me uniquely reconnect with my health. In addition to my thyroid meds, I make Lori’s recommended changes to natural products and herbal supplements. It’s made a remarkable difference over the last few weeks.
Investing in a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is CRUCIAL to your productivity, health, and happiness. I tend to toss and turn in the middle of the night, so I’ve started two new things that have helped over the last month.
- CBD has become an enormous help when it comes to relaxing before bed. I use Plant People’s Drops before bed and tablets in the morning. If CBD isn’t your thing, I’ve found that magnesium can do the trick.
- If you toss and turn, try sleeping with a weighted blanket. These are also fantastic for anxiety! My partner got me one as a gift, and my restlessness ceased. The blanket should be around 10% of your body weight to be effective. Essentially, it feels like you’re getting a big hug from an inanimate object!
Cutting Down Screen Time
I know Instagram and the internet are a huge part of my job, but that doesn’t mean I let my phone control my life. I strive to use my computer for most of my tasks and schedule things in advance for efficiency. I’m out with my partner for a walk or dinner date, I let him carry a phone, and I take a small break from technology. I am struggling but striving to be more intentional and present when possible. Here’s a challenge: Check out your phone’s screen time and make a goal to reduce it by 20% this week.
Maintaining a Healthy Skincare Routine
This might sound superficial, but taking care of your body can contribute to a considerable difference in your self-esteem. I look forward to spending 10 minutes pampering myself in the morning and evening—that time feels special and personal. (P.S. here’s a list of my skincare routine and favorite products!)
Learning to Say No
My biggest challenge is learning how to say no. It’s a huge focus when I go to therapy sessions because I let my love for helping others and being well-liked outweigh my own needs and goals. (Can you tell I’m a two on the enneagram?) When I don’t want to disappoint someone, I try to find ways to deliver by sacrificing sleep or spending less time on my own projects.
A tip: define your ultimate goal and vision for your life. If a project doesn’t fit into that criterion, politely decline. People will respect you more for valuing yourself and your time.
Feeding My Brain
Have you tried taking an online or local class to better yourself? If you are capable of finding programs that fit your budget or able to get sponsored through work, continued education is truly a gift.
Try enrolling in one new activity a year. This year, I’ve enrolled in a few online writing courses with Stanford and Catapult to finetune my creative writing. From photography workshops to language courses, there are so many opportunities out there to enrich yourself.
Being Financially Responsible
Truth bomb: it’s OK to not have everything together in your twenties and thirties. I’m still a work in progress (just ask my accountant). I firmly believe that seeking out experts and resources is essential to growing in any area of life.
Three tips to get you started:
- Pick up a copy of “Worth It” by Amanda Steinberg. It’s, well, worth it.
- Start tracking your spending habits using sites like Mint, or You Need a Budget
- Ask the experts! pHERsonal finance day is hosting a virtual day of financial workshops on Aug. 23 at just $20! Use Code “Charisma Money” to let them know I sent you.
Making Time for Friends
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, staying in is my #1 resolve. While a little R&R at home is a good thing, barricading yourself on your couch can be unstimulating and a bit depressing. I love quality time reading in the privacy of my place, but I try to force myself to go to one to two social gatherings a week. Sometimes the days I want to cancel are the days I need to be around people the most.
Dress // Bag (similar) // Shoes (similar) // Earrings (similar)
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