I fell in love with the idea of enjoying facials, massages, and various other beauty rituals as a means of taking care of myself. All of these things are really great. But they fall into the category of what I call "self-care 101." These are the easy activities that we enjoy doing but they only scratch the surface of the layers that make up one's self-care journey.
Let's talk about some of the not-so-easy self-care activities that are just as important as getting a mani-pedi.
But first, I'll tell you a quick story.
Back when I worked in corporate America, one of my responsibilities was to address employee complaints. Often times, employees would request a transfer from one location to another because of disputes with their supervisor. They'd complain that their manager was too strict or had too many rules. Sometimes they'd ask to go to a location where they knew that manager was much more lax about following every rule. The person assumed that they'd be happier working in an environment with less accountability.
More often than not, once the transfer was granted, the employee would soon realize that they made a mistake. Because they already know the value of working in a well-run environment, the difference at their new location is like night and day. They assumed that having fewer rules would make them happier but they were mistaken.
The truth is, many of us thrive in an environment that consists of daily rituals, clear expectations, and various routines that support optimal outcomes. A well-run organization is one where a solid foundational structure is in place. In our personal lives, however, we often live unregimented lives. Don't get me wrong, we do follow some routines. But most of them are in place because if we don't do them, we will suffer a consequence (example, we go to work every day otherwise, we will lose our job).
On the flip side, there are rituals and routines we should incorporate and follow because they support our overall well being. Those are the first ones to suffer whenever laziness creeps in. Why? Because the consequences aren't immediate. Since the consequences seem far away (or non-existent) these self-care activities take a back seat.
Some examples of self-care rituals that tend to fall by the wayside are:
- Working out.
- Ensuring you eat the proper amount of micronutrients by eating adequate servings of fruits and veggies.
- Daily prayer and devotion.
- A regular cleaning and decluttering ritual.
- Spending time with friends/family
- Investing in your mindset by reading self-help books or attending seminars.
- Making sure you pay yourself first.
- Saying no.
- Saving money to work on your passion project.
- Learning a new skill.
- Knocking out items that have been on your to-do list forever.
- Finishing something you once started.
- Staying single for a while so you can get deeply reconnected with yourself and what you wish to attract.
- Doing that thing that you're afraid of.
- Giving up the habit that's holding you back.
A portion of the items on the list are enjoyable, but many of them aren't. It's kinda like working for a boss who's making you do things you don't feel like doing. But, there's a reason why she has such high standards. It's because she knows that a great running operation will generate greater rewards. Many of the employees didn't realize it, but transferring to another location where the manager didn't run a tight operation meant that they'd probably receive a smaller performance bonus (because the other location was underperforming in sales results). In the end, they were only hurting themselves.
We have to get really serious about our self-care. It's more than just splurging on skin products or treating yourself to your heart's desire. What we truly desire is to feel fulfilled. And most everything I listed above will contribute to your fulfillment.
Do you have to do everything on that list at once?
Just pick the one or two habits missing from your life that could really make a huge impact on your overall wellbeing. Once you get rolling, you'll continue to build on your self-care routine as time goes on. But, let's not forget that sometimes, the harder actions can contribute to you the most.