You hear people talk about self care a lot. And with good reason. Self care isn’t just making sure our basic needs are met. Self care is what recharges us. And while the definition of self care may vary from person to person, in the end it is the key to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Are you still putting yourself last?
How many times have you heard your parents say, “When I retire, I’ll have the time to do the things I love.” Or, “When I retire, I’ll spend more time outdoors on the hiking trail.” Or perhaps you’re already at that age that you’ve promised these things to yourself. You’ll travel more. You’ll make time for brunch with friends.
The problem with this way of thinking is that you are always planning for a future you. So when you finally arrive at that point in time where you had planned to make changes, those changes never happen.
What generally occurs, instead, is one of two things. You either A) find that you’ve neglected self care (which includes a healthy diet and exercise, fresh air and healthy stress management) and your health won’t allow you to do all those things you planned over the years. Or B) you’ve trained yourself to put other people above you for so long, that when you finally do have the time to focus on yourself, you aren’t able to break a lifetime of behavior in which you were always doing for others.
Do you have trouble saying no?
My mother has always been the type of person who has trouble saying no. “We need someone to be treasurer for ABWA. Can you do it? We really need someone.” “Sure.” “We need someone to organize the PTA fundraiser. No one volunteered this year. Can you help?” “Of course.” “We’d really love to have a Cub Scout troop for our church. Can you run that?” “Absolutely.” “No one signed up to host a Princess House party? Would you mind hosting one?” “I can make that happen.”
Growing up I remember my mother being involved in everything. From work to church to school she did just about everything that anyone asked of her. And as a baby boomer, I feel like she was raised to be that homemaker, parent and activist. At the same time, however, roles were changing. So she also worked full time. She didn’t ask for help. And she eventually ran herself into exhaustion and a nervous breakdown.
My mother retired around two years or so ago. Guess what? She still hasn’t found the time to keep up with her flower gardens. She’s volunteering now more than she did when she was working. And why not? How else do you fill that void that work left open if all you’ve ever done is work?
More recently my grandmother has been unable to take care of herself. So my mother is only home one or two days a week. The rest of the time she’s helping my grandmother with everything she needs as the family prepares to move her into assisted living.
All of those things my mother said she’d do once she retired? Well, she hasn’t done them yet.
You shouldn’t wait until retirement to indulge in self care because self care is not an indulgence. Self care is a must for a happy, healthy life. Self care is a must for managing stress so you don’t get overwhelmed. Self care is healthcare. (Also, learning how to say “no” is pretty empowering too.)
An introduction to Soulplant Apothecary.
Recently I had the opportunity to try, what I consider, self care products from a small company called Soulplant Apothecary. Based in Zagreb, Croatia, this little Etsy shop is owned by Kristijana. Kritijana not only works as a transformational life-coach, aromatherapist and herbalist, she also crafts personal care products that she believes can help people live more soulful lives.
The principles behind Soulplant Apothecary tie together plant love, skin care and soul healing. So it’s easy to use these handmade products to better connect with your inner self. A daily skin care routine not only helps to soothe your body, it can also help calm your mind. So take that extra few minutes each day to really focus on your skin care needs.
I love all of the products I tried from Soulplant Apothecary. My hope is that you will love them as much as I do. As well, be sure to utilize skin care as a daily reminder to take care of not just your physical health, but your emotional health as well.
My favorite self care product from Soulplant Apothecary.
My favorite product from Soulplant Apothecary has to be Kristijana’s sacred space room + body mist. As a person who has struggled with anxiety throughout my life, I love that this essential oil mist helps to ground my energy and cleanse my space. Dubbed as a magic mist for soulful living, this mist been super helpful at helping me focus and concentrate on my writing and upcoming projects. Plus it smells amazing – something similar to sitting outdoors on a damp forest floor enveloped by woods and rich dirt.
In addition to the sacred space room + body mist, you can also shop for three other aromatherapeutic scents including happiness, divine feminine – and for him – divine masculine. Try your favorite scent to help you destress when you meditate. (Soulplant Apothecary’s sacred dust smudging blend is also lovely for this purpose.) Or cuddle up with that book you keep meaning to read. You deserve a break in your day to let the tension and stressors in your life go.
My roommate’s favorite self care find.
Having survived an emotionally abusive marriage followed by breast cancer, my roommate Bambi springs for a haircut and color as a treat to herself when she has a little extra cash. She’s a fan of flat ironing her hair (when it’s not raining) to smooth out her naturally kinky, curly hair. Therefore it’s no surprise that her favorite product from Soul Apothecary is the hair love restore + heal hair serum.
Thoughtfully crafted with a blend of argan, macadamia and rare abyssinia oil, this plant based hair elixir protects hair from damage and gives hair a healthy shine. Out of the plethora of hair care products on the market today, Bambi rates this hair serum as THE absolute best hair care product she’s used for straightening her hair. For super damaged hair, consider Soul Apothecary’s strength + volume version of hair love.
In addition to these products, Soulplant Apothecary also carries a wonderful flower mantra exfoliating plant powder, nourishing face cream, ritual bath salts and yoni sacred feminine oil – to restore the connection with your feminine power center. (Which is a whole other kind of very special self care. *wink*) To learn more about Soulplant Apothecary or to browse all of the great products created by Kristijana, visit her Etsy shop here.
More self care rituals that are easy to adopt.
• Spend a few minutes, either at the beginning or the end of the day, to write in a journal. This will help you visualize the achievement of your goals and be more mindful.
• Take a mid-day walk at lunchtime to boost your energy levels.
• Turn off your ringer and take a break from your phone. No one should be tethered to a phone 24/7. Choose a time frame out of everyday to disconnect from all your digital devices and just sit outdoors, watch the clouds and take in the view.
• Pick a day to say no to social media each week. Instead, invite a friend or neighbor over for a cup of tea and engage in a real conversation about something other than the news.
• Reduce stress with simple activities such as spending time with a pet, painting a picture, making soap, planting a flower or even dancing – like no one is watching, of course!
What are some of your favorite ways to practice self care? I’d love to hear your tips for reducing stress, practicing mindfulness or simply how you take time out for yourself each day. Alternately, if you are currently struggling with where you are in life, I recommend reading my article titled, You Are Not a Failure (Tips to Change Your Perspective & Get Your Mojo Back.)
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