If you are struggling with fitting self-care into your day, you are definitely not alone, and these self-care tips can definitely help. But when you’re busy or stressed, it can be hard to believe it’s possible.
What’s more, if you’re like me, you might not fully grasp just how adaptable self-care can be.
In my early twenties, my understanding of self-care was pretty superficial.
I was starting a career as a therapist and although I was educated in what it takes to foster good mental health, my awareness of how to implement it left a lot to be desired.
Before we dive into 5 must know self-care tips I wish I knew in my twenties lets discuss what my beginner self care routine was.
This is a guest post written by Hayley Gallagher, the creator of The Centered Parent Blog. Scroll to the end to read more about our guest blogger.
A Flawed Self-Care Routine
I only occasionally prioritized my health back then. I exercised here and there, ate veggies once in a while, and even got my hair done when I could afford it. But I wasn’t taking care of my entire being, and I didn’t do it consistently. I also suffered from the misconception that seeing a therapist would mean I was not equipped to do the job myself. (smh)
Self care includes taking care of your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing
Back then, adding things like yoga, therapy, or journaling to my self-care routine was not on my radar. As a licensed therapist with nearly 20 years experience in the field, I can happily say I know better now.
I viewed self-care as special opportunities to treat myself
or skipping alcohol for a week to catch up on sleep.
I was making next to nothing back then and so I didn’t really think self-care was in the budget.
In my mind, quality self-care was for people who could afford the spa; it wasn’t for me.
Self-Care for Your Whole Self
But over the last decade, I’ve done a lot of research on the true nature of self-care.
I’ve discovered that self-care is more than skin deep, and I’ve amassed a healthy collection of self-care tips. I’ve learned from inspiring gurus on self, like Dr. Brene Brown, Dr. Jessica Clemons, and Dr. Bertice Berry.
I’ve learned to implement a self-care practice in my own life that I simply couldn’t have realized in my twenties.
I couldn’t realize it, not because I didn’t have the money, but because I lacked clarity on what I didn’t know.
I know now that self-care is about taking care of your whole self.
Self-care isn’t just physical, it’s not just about feeling beautiful on the outside, or achieving your ideal weight through exercise. Those things can be part of it, but true self-care is more well-rounded than just physical self-care.
True self-care includes caring for yourself on an emotional, physical, cognitive, social, professional, and spiritual level.
Keep reading to learn 5 simple yet beneficial self-care tips that I learned in my twenties.
5 Self-Care Tips: Lessons Learned
Over the last decade or so (and especially since I’ve become a mom), I’ve discovered that in order to be at my best, I need to keep my internal well full. During this growth process, I have found ways to fill my well that really work for me.
1. Self care isn't just superficial
Self-care is so much more than primping and polish. While feeling good about the way you look and taking care of your hygiene and appearance are important parts of a good self-care routine, they are definitely not the end of the story.
Comprehensive self-care includes caring for yourself on an emotional, cognitive, social, professional, and spiritual level.
For example, emotional self-care is all about finding what helps you stay centered, calm, and content.
The goal is not to avoid emotion but to welcome it and work with it.
This type of self-care is all about increasing your emotional IQ, regulating your emotions, and processing those emotions when they come.
If you’re interested in learning more, this article on self-care speaks to all the different types.
2. Good self-care is self-sustaining
It may seem counterintuitive, but the more self-care you fit into your normal routines, the more self-care you will do. In other words, quality self-care generates more quality self-care.
If you start with even a little self-care, you increase the chances that you will operate at a calmer baseline when challenges arise. Your level-headed responses will position you to manage problems more efficiently than you would have if you were stressed out.