What does self-care mean to you?

After our trip to Oregon a few weeks ago, I noticed that my sister’s health is much improved over how it’s been in years past.  It feels like she’s somehow always had a chronic cough and felt tired all the time, however continued to exacerbate it by trying to postpone her bedtime as late as possible.  Now in her 30s, she’s trying a new autoimmune diet that seems to be working for her and her body.  She and her fiance are eating more fresh produce and less prepackaged meals, getting more sleep, and cutting out a lot of alcohol.

Family with our Spork order in Bend
Through what I’ve seen, most people don’t seem to quite prioritize taking care of their bodies until their 30s.  Maybe it’s the college hangover effect or the mad and frantic hustle of trying to make it in your career.  Or maybe it’s that that habit was never formed as an adult person - you feel and look immortal in your 20s - so it takes about a decade to get around to it.  Either way, here I’m sitting in my mid 30s, just now getting the gist of how this all works.  Below are just some examples of how I (very recently) define self-care:

Getting someone in to professionally clean the carpets because DOG.  I’ve been told that we should do that every six months (whoops, we’re behind)

Slathering this vitamin C serum on my aging face, underneath this snail mucin formula.  When did the skincare rabbit hole get so expansive?  And expensive?

Sitting down for an uninterrupted period of two hours to get into a book.  Uninterrupted is a term used lightly because of DOG who likes to lick the book out of the way so I can join him in another game of tug-of-war

Going to get a haircut after going without for five months because work.  I cut four inches off - that should last me for awhile

Ordering a mess of these spring scented candles for the house because the dog is farting everywhere.  We haven't changed his diet, so I suspect it's because of all the grass that he’s eating (not sure where he picked that habit up from)

Biting the bullet and finally signing up for a professional wardrobe box from here.  As someone who hates going into stores to shop for clothes, this was the least stressful, most efficient shopping exercise I’ve ever been through.  From the first box, I kept a blazer and a dress.  It was the first work blazer that I’ve owned that has interior pockets.  The innovation - pockets just like in men’s jackets!  All joking aside, it’s the best work blazer I’ve ever owned and worth every penny.  I have another box coming in May and can’t wait.

From putting this short list together, I’ve quickly realized that self-care means spending money to either save time or for general maintenance (house, skin, wardrobe) but it’s not necessarily defined that way for everyone.  What does self-care mean to you?  Ordering a meal kit delivery service?  Signing up with a personal trainer?  Or is it meditating before bed?  Bingeing a Netflix series once a week?  I’d like to hear what has made a difference for you.


Comments

  1. That's great to hear about your sis, Ruth. Yeah....I don't think I even started thinking about my health until I had kids. Although I did start working out when I was young, it was more for aesthetic reason than anything else and never really had a healthy regimen. Sigh:(
    BTW, that vitamin C serum sounds great!

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    1. It smells and looks like orange juice - I'll report back to you and let you know if it works!

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  2. I definitely didn't really start caring until the end of my 20s/when I hit 30. I try to eat better, take more natural approaches to things instead of pills/prescriptions, be active more often, & caring less about other people's opinions & doing what I want/know is right for me.

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    1. Totally agree about not comparing yourself with others!

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  3. If it saves you time or headache it's totally worth it!

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  4. I tried starting self-care in my mid-twenties because "I should" but it didn't really start to stick until I hit 30...mainly because by 30 I suddenly knew who I was, where I wanted to go, and who I wanted to be. I spent my mid teens through my 20s in this mad scramble of trying to figure out my who/what/where. Since I had all of that figured out by 30, I suddenly had time to dedicate to the little things, like taking the time to apply moisturizer with SPF to my face every morning and a more intense moisturizer at night, dedicating time to the gym and being TRULY fit, and venturing out into owning horses that I was paying for directly out of pocket while trying to establish a work/life balance in my new all-consuming job.

    My self-care has gotten more important the older I get. I will turn 40 this summer. Currently my self-care involves dedicating enough time to the things that make me happy so that I can *relax into them* and enjoy them while I'm doing them. It has required a very unconventional approach to my career, but this approach has also kept me from becoming an over-involved manic workaholic. Having the ability to enjoy the things that make me happy has translated into other areas: for example, I prefer to eat healthy not to look a certain way, but because it properly fuels my body so that I can enjoy said things even better.

    I'm currently in Brianne's camp: moving forward with doing the things that I want to do + having my own opinions and fearlessly expressing said opinions, regardless of what others think. :)

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    1. I don't think it was until I got into my 30s that I realized that eating healthy in order to feel good made me feel better overall than eating to look a certain way. I'm still stuck on the career train but realizing I need to figure that path out. Long-term, I'd like to prioritize my health a lot more than I have been

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  5. i need more self care in my life. Having started working out again now I find the dogs like the yoga mat and I have to get there fast before there are three dogs on it. SIGH....

    I need to read more but tend to fall asleep reading...

    I need better clothes but work at home.

    Ha i am a mess :) glad you are figuring it all out :)

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    1. You do need to take care of yourself - it's very important. The dog likes to get right underneath me on the yoga mat as well - maybe I should just get him his own :)

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  6. Which candles are the best scents? I need some new ones.

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    1. Okay, we just got those delivered and I love the blood orange and the armitage street scents - enough to order some more as soon as these burn out!

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  7. I understand about self care lately...
    nice post.

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  8. Pilates has been one of my most-consistent self-care routines. Nothing fancy, just at home with a mat and youtube videos. I take good care of my skin morning and night (some lessons from beauty school sunk in, I suppose) and I get as good of a night's sleep as I can...with a small boy who is close to sleeping through the night but still not quite there...

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    1. Yesss to sleep! How long does he sleep every night before waking up?

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