Self-Care Ideas (And Why Self-Care is Important)

I’ve struggled with self-care over the years. Not only did I have a hard find simply thinking of self-care ideas, but I also tend to quickly talk myself out of it. I recently discovered I’m a 3w2 on the Enneagram – which means I am super achievement-oriented (3), but I also strive to help others with those achievements (2 wing). (Not shocking that I founded Blush now, is it?) Anyway. Somehow along the way, I decided self-care is neither useful for my achievements, nor does it help anyone else.

I could not be more wrong about that.

Self-care is necessary for SO many things in life, including achievement AND healthy relationships. And while self-care isn’t putting more work into Blush or cleaning the house (traditional “productive” tasks), it does clear my mind and refresh my energy. It allows me to be more patient with my husband – and therefore he greatly benefits. And it also paves the way for more productivity throughout the day.

But still, it’s difficult to come up with self-care ideas and the motivation to engage in self-care on a routine basis. So I’ve put together a list of strategies and thought processes to get yourself in the zone.

Nighttime Routine for Self-Care

One of the best times I can engage in self-care is in the evening. In the morning, I tend to bounce straight to work and am typically in my pajamas before I’m forced to change.

Yes, I am in my pajamas right now.

So at nighttime, when it’s socially acceptable to wear pajamas, I’ve found that it’s much easier to develop a routine that is strictly meant for my own self-care. And, there are OBVIOUS benefits which are very helpful for my achievement-oriented mind.

Here are some self-care ideas for a nighttime routine.

First, I’ll go through mine, and then I will elaborate so you can find some nuggets you can use as well.

  • Meditate for 10 minutes
  • Read for 30 minutes
  • Go through a skin-care routine
    • Wash my face with a makeup removing cleanser
    • Wash my face with a gel cleanser
    • Wipe radiance pads over my face
    • Apply a hydrating or nighttime serum
    • Apply a nighttime cream/moisturizer
    • Apply rosehip oil over face and neck
  • Brush my teeth for 2 full minutes (I’m such an adult now!)
  • Get in bed
    • Apply hand lotion
    • Apply Blistex lip balm
    • Apply under eye cream
  • If I’m still wound up, I’ll watch a comforting show for 30 minutes

I like this one because it FORCES me to indulge. I used to be one of those people who would take my makeup off and call it a day, but a friend forced me to come face to face with my skin (get it). So I decided this could be an amazing time to engage in self-care on the daily. It forces me to TAKE CARE of myself, and ideally I will continue to see the benefits.

PS – as my friend brought up to me, skincare doesn’t have to cost much. I love CeraVe products from the drugstore and you can do a full skincare routine!

And, if you’re looking for an expert to help you out here, I highly recommend following @skinmonger.

So let’s talk about YOU. If you don’t like my routine, I am mildly offended, but that’s okay. I came up with some other self-care ideas as a back up!

Here are some self-care ideas for a great nighttime routine:

  • Face mask
  • Hair mask
  • Crossword puzzle
  • Listen to calming music
  • Yoga/stretching
  • Night time tea
  • CBD Oil meditation
  • Knitting
  • Listen to a soothing podcast
  • Pray
  • Journal
  • Bubble bath

Each of these count as self-care. Again, self-care is meant to set you up for SUCCESS. It’s meant to focus on YOU and YOU only. It’s not meant to be shared.

It’s also meant to rejuvenate you or prepare you for whatever is coming next. Without properly rewinding for the next day, you’re going to continue to feel fried day after day. Every single one of these nighttime routine steps are meant to settle you down while you focus on your own reflection, needs, and dreams.

Don’t skip this. Even if you only have five minutes – pick at least ONE item above to adopt into your own routine.

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Self-Care Breaks Throughout The Day

I have a confession: I think the 40 hour work week is absolutely insane.

Like, you’re telling me that in one week, we are supposed to work 40 hours, sleep 56 hours, do chores and cook and clean and do other shit we hate for 10 hours, and the rest are meant for playtime?!?! THAT’S IT?!?!

We are burning ourselves out day in and day out. And I’m included in that. There has only been ONE week long stretch where I completely unplugged from Blush, and that was during my wedding.

No, it did not include my honeymoon.

So my point is, if we don’t build in self-care during the day, we can easily go long stretches without ever investing in ourselves. And eventually, we will all lose our pretty little minds.

Here are some self-care ideas of what to do throughout the day to keep yourself in a balanced, positive, non-burned out mood:

  • Take a walk around the block when you can get away for 15 minutes
  • Take a coffee/tea break and sit and reflect on anything other than work
  • Take advantage of your commute. Call a friend, listen to soothing music or an entertaining podcast.
  • Take “mental health” days whenever you can. (Again, I loathe the 40 hour work week and aim to push back at it whenever possible!)
  • Read small articles in increments throughout the day for re energizing My favorites are advice columns and AITA on reddit, but to each their own.

Point is, we won’t get through these brutal 40 hour weeks if we don’t routinely take time for ourselves throughout the day. Without mental breaks, our work will become sloppy, forced, and deserving of resentment. So don’t force it. Take time when you need it, and use the energy you’re building up to produce quality work you’re proud of.

Self-Care Affirmations

Part of self-care is living a life you’re happy with.

If you don’t need a break from your life, then chances are, you’re engaging in self-care on the regular within your work, family, relationships, and hobbies. You’re living a pretty intentional life.

If that’s you, wow. Lots of respect going your way.

If that’s not you, do not for one second shame yourself. I have built an entire job that was meant to be TAILORED to fit my personality and I STILL need to escape most days. I’m not sure if it’s my temperament or the fact that I have a narrow pool of interests and the shit I don’t want to have to do irks me. Maybe I need to work more on my boundaries.

But again, not about me. This is about you.

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Changing your life to fit your personality takes a lot of work. I strongly suggest working with a life coach to get cracking on that – my team is so skilled in this department. But if you want some quick tips, this is what I strongly advise:

Watch your self-talk, missy.

If you are constantly berating yourself over your weight, success, salary, personality, achievements, and anything else you can pick apart, you are going to be SO empty of love that even these small self-care tasks won’t make a dent.

So do me a favor. Repeat these self-care affirmations daily to boost yourself up. And, if you need help eliminating negative thoughts, I have you covered.

  • “I have unique talents meant to share with the world.”
  • “I am loved.”
  • “I can do hard things.” (Thanks for that one, Glennon!)
  • “I am capable of so much, and deserve rest.”
  • “The more I take care of myself, the more valuable I become.”
  • “Self-care is not lazy, it is essential to happiness in life.”
  • “I am worth everything life has to offer.”
  • “I deserve to rest.”

Invest in Yourself

I try not to push advice that is inextricably tied to finances, because I know not everyone has disposable income sitting at their fingertips.

But this time I’m going to break my own rule.

I want everyone reading this to set aside funds, whether that’s $10/mo or $500/mo, to invest into themselves and themselves ONLY.

Here’s why:

When we invest in things, we become attached to those things. We cheer for them. We want to see them grow. We want to see them succeed. We want to see them WIN.

This is why when we donate to a political candidate, we want them to win. This is why when we invest time into a relationship, we want to see it through. This is why when we purchase a house, we treat it better than if we were renting.

Makes sense, right?

So when you I N V E S T in yourself, your attitude towards yourself changes.

You want to see yourself grow. Succeed. Smile. Produce. Excel. Win.

Yes – you can invest time into yourself (see above). You can say nice things to yourself. You can do nice things for yourself (see above).

I want you to do all of those things. But I deeply want you to put your hard-earned money into yourself as well.

You work 40 hours a week more than likely and your paycheck goes towards crap you don’t even want to spend it on. Car payments. Rent payments. Insurance in case something bad happens. Cell phone bill, which we all know is a necessity. Internet. Netflix (also a necessity). None of this is really considered a luxury – these are just bills.

What are you telling yourself when the MAJORITY of your adult life is spent working for money, and you don’t even get to invest any of it into your own happiness or self-care?

You’re telling yourself you don’t matter.

Stop doing that.

Allocate a percentage of your paychecks into a fund dedicated to just you. I don’t care if you dip into it once per day, once per week, once per month, or even do a “Treat Yourself” Parks and Rec style palooza once a year.

The rules are as follows:

  • The money is not to be shared unless you truly believe it will enhance your self-care.
    • Good example: Bringing your friend along for a pedicure and paying because it makes you feel good and you enjoy her company
    • Bad example: Making a compromise on the purchase you’d been looking forward to because you want to be more accommodating to others.
  • The money is not meant to do something you know will improve your life, but you do not enjoy.
    • Example: Spending your funds on a fitness routine that you don’t enjoy but you know is good for you. That’s a great purchase – but that’s considered self-improvement, not self-care.
  • The money is not meant for a purchase that will cause anxiety or destruction later on
    • Example: Spending too much on something that you cannot afford and doing into debt in the name of “self-care”

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So what that in mind, here are some self-care ideas:

  • Invest in a life coach or a therapist. This is my BEST suggestion to dig into who you really are and find true and meaningful results. Did I mention Blush life coaching starts at $99/mo?
  • Book a spa day, or focus on physical hygiene at a salon.
  • Spend money on improving your hobbies, like paying for private lessons or renting out space so you can thrive.
  • Book conferences or retreats that fill your soul with love and head with inspiration.
  • Invest in tools or materials to push your talents.
    • At this point my husband has purchased the entire store of Home Depot to fund his carpentry habit. And it’s working.
    • A nice camera, a fun workout wardrobe, new shoes, skincare products, gardening equipment, or craft supplies also are good starts.

If you can follow those three rules, then spend away.

Indulge. Relax. Enjoy the money YOU earn. Implement our self-care ideas so you can finally unwind. Invest in yourself so you can begin to be as devoted to your own success as you are to your puppy’s livelihood, your favorite political candidate’s outcome, or your retirement portfolio’s performance.

Self-Care Quotes

“To be a good parent, you need to take care of yourself first so that you can have the physical and emotional energy to take care of your family.”

Michelle Obama

“It is so important to take time for yourself and find clarity. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.”

Diane Von Furstenberg

“Talk to yourself like someone you love.”

Bren√©  Brown

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of the rest of you.”

Katie Reed

“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.”

Audre Lorde

“Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause.”

Cecilia Tran

“Self care is so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

Eleanor Brown

“It is essential to our well-being and to our lives, that we play and enjoy life. Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing.”

Marcia Wieder

“Taking care of myself doesn’t mean ‘me first.’ It means ‘me too.'”

L.R. Knosts

“True self-care is not bath salts and chocolate cake. It’s making the choice to build a life you don’t need to escape from.”

Brianna West

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