Many of us have heard the term self-care. You might imagine a bubble bath, a day off from work, or even a nice meal from your favorite restaurant. But we often forget the other side of self-care and what it means to care for your emotional needs without the frills.
The term self-care was created as a reminder that it’s important to be kind to yourself and do things for yourself that soothe and heal the soul. In modern-day America, it seems self-care comes with a price tag, like a vacation or a facemask. But self-care is much more than that. It’s doing the little things every day that make your life easier and keep you grounded.
Here are a few ways self-care can manifest. They may not look or feel glamorous, but these tasks are the other side of self-care; the side many forget to incorporate into their recovery routine.
- Shopping: It’s important to have the things we need in our homes. This includes everything from hygiene and cleaning products to food to clothing. Write some lists and take the time to ensure you have what you need when you need it. Being prepared at home can help keep you on track and negate future stress.
- Meal-Prepping: We may work one job that takes up most of our day, or we may work many jobs that we piece together to pay the bills. For most of us, our employment takes up the majority of our time. Meal-prepping is a great self-care tool that ensures we stay healthy throughout the week by taking one day to cook and package our needs. This could look like making lunches and dinners on a Sunday and prepping snacks to help us in moments when we may not have a lot of time. Nourishing the body is just as important as nourishing the soul.
- Cleaning: Cleaning may be a drag but waking up to and coming home to a clean house can shift your mindset and your energy. Whether you like to get it all done at once or work on one small task a day, self-care means having a clean and organized space which reflects a stress-free and comfortable home environment. You’d be surprised how nice it feels to come home to a clean space after a long day at work!
- Laundry: Just like cleaning, having clean clothes connects to self-worth. Waking up each day knowing you have a closet full of options can reduce the stress of starting your day. Take one day each week to get that laundry done or focus on one load per day. Work it into your schedule in a way that feels natural and comfortable.
- Making and Keeping Appointments: Going to the dentist, therapy, or yearly physical can feel anxiety-provoking, but ensuring you’re keeping yourself healthy is paramount. The more times you keep these appointments and make health a priority, the easier it is to face these appointments in the future. Take the first step and keep your commitments. Every time you do, it reflects your self-worth.
- Car Maintenance: Just like getting your teeth cleaned once or twice a year, following up on car maintenance is a great proactive strategy that could save you a lot of money in the long run. If you’re blessed to have a car, show the car your gratitude. Putting time and money into your car before something major happens reinforces your gratitude and will save you a headache in the long run.
- Check-ins: Phoning a friend to say hi, calling a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while and even checking in with a mentor or sponsor are all important parts of self-care. It shows your support group you are thinking of them and want to build a deep and meaningful relationship together. Sometimes in the middle of recovery or bought of depression, it’s easy to ignore the world. Remember that cultivating relationships is an important part of healing and growing. Take the time, even once a week, to check in for them, and for yourself.
The Reality of Self-Care
Now that we see a list of what feel like chores, it’s easy to see how we can forgo these behaviors for a facemask and a nice movie, but these routines are an important part of staying healthy, clean, and sober. Ensuring you have food in the house shows your body you appreciate and value it. Making sure you have clean clothing reminds yourself you are worthy. Going to the doctor or dentist means you care for your health and wellness. Start to cultivate a balance of these needs with the facemasks, and you’re on your way to a balanced life.
Do things come up? Yes. Are there some days we simply need to sit down after work and not cook? Yes. Do we need an afternoon to rest instead of the dentist appointment we made six months ago? The answer is absolutely yes. We don’t want to make self-care a stressor. We want to keep it aligned with our recovery process. Don’t let yourself spiral out from guilt if you go a week or even a month without cleaning. It’s okay to order takeout if it’s in your budget. It’s okay to put the laundry off another day. These in-the-moment shifts align with self-care, too. The goal is to get into a routine that keeps your mind healthy and your body active, because with that learning process, you will begin to see when to rest and when to work.
If you or someone you know is struggling to take care of themselves due to a mental health issue or addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. The Summer House Detox Center in South Florida was founded to help those struggling with addiction and mental health issues get clean and work through trauma. We offer addiction treatment in West Palm Beach and provide all the tools required for your recovery. The inability to take care of yourself is not shameful. It’s a product of disease. Call (800) 719-1090 today or Visit us at 13550 Memorial Highway Miami, FL 33161 to start your journey to health, wellness, and happiness.