It’s that time of year when spring cleaning posts start popping up on your newsfeed. I’ll never discourage you to clean out those cobwebs and buff the baseboards– but put down the rag for a second. Instead of making a cleaning list for your home, why don’t we conduct a self-care audit?
Respond to these statements honestly:
- I know what brings me joy and I do it often
- I take time to listen to my wants and needs, and I change my schedule accordingly
- I recognize the signs of burnout and know how to avoid it
If you answered no to any of those statements, it’s time for a self-care intervention.
LET YOUR INNER CHILD CALL THE SHOTS
Being an adult in 2022 can be exhausting. Each week is a cycle of work, running errands, cleaning, making meals, and lounging in front of the TV or scrolling through social media to decompress. Let your inner child run wild and make a list of the things you love to do or are curious to try. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Try an aerial yoga class
- Go for a bike ride
- Taste a new food (or treat yourself to a childhood favorite)
- Complete a puzzle
- Take a walk through a field of wildflowers (I won’t tell if you pick a bouquet for your house)
You don’t have to do every item on your self-care day, but consult this list next time you’re tempted to spend a weekend on a Netflix binge.
ADOPT AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Bad days happen. It’s an inevitable side effect of adulting. What you do with those bad days can change your life, though. To combat the disappointments, hurts, and anxieties, I recommend starting a gratitude jar. Use receipts or scraps of paper and write down one thing that happened during the day that made you smile. Fold it up and stick it in the jar. You can save these gratitudes for December 31st, or pull a few out every time you need a reminder that there’s good in the world.
PUT SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE CLOCK
I can hear you now, “TikTok is a great source of inspiration for self-care trends!” Yes, but even good things in excess can become unhealthy. Utilize the App Limit and Downtime features on your phone to moderate the amount of time you spend online. When you’ve got a phone in your hand, it’s easy to zone out from your emotions. Put the phone down and zone in to what’s really going on inside your heart and brain.
“NO!” IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE
Author and entrepreneur Derek Sivers once said,
“if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.”
Hustle culture relies on 100% availability 100% of the time, but hustle culture benefits the person asking the question– not you. As you practice self-care, you learn that “no” is a complete sentence and “free time” isn’t synonymous with “available time.” Take care of yourself by taking time off and setting boundaries with friends, colleagues, and family.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Sometimes, self-care looks like ice cream. Most of the time, self-care looks like vegetables, vitamins, and exercise. When you put good things into your body, your body is fueled up to give you the energy you need to get through the day. Take a cooking class to learn how to make healthy food taste delicious. Who knows– you may find that you love kale once you learn how to make it!
This spring, cleaning your house can wait. Instead, focus on clearing the inner gunk that’s built up over time. You only get one life– live it in a way that brings you joy!