You know self-care is important and you might have even gone out and purchased one of those popular jade rollers. (And yes, it may or may not have ended up in the bottom of your cosmetics bag). Or, maybe you have a solid self-care routine that you practice religiously every morning.
But, when was the last time you paused to consider how effective your self-care activities are? Are you mindlessly going through the motions? Do you secretly dread one of them but keep doing it anyway because you think you should?
Why did I start doing this?
Take a look at each self-care activity and ask yourself, why did I start doing this? Where did this come from? Maybe you took a deep dive into Cosmopolitan’s Best Face Masks of the Year and ended up ordering Pixi Glow Mud Mask in bulk. After all, you can’t let them go to waste, right? And, we all have our favorite Instagram influencer shouting out Self-Care Sunday suggestions. No shame or judgement here, just identify why you starting doing what you’re doing. It might help shed some light on things as you sort out what to keep and what to let go.
What purpose does it serve?
Now, this might seem obvious but, dig a little deeper. Sure, that regular pedicure appointment keeps your toes looking fresh, but what does that do for you? Is it the only time you get to step away from work and truly relax? Does it serve as time for you to get together with your girlfriend and have fun? Or maybe, just maybe, it used to be one of those things but it’s not really doing much for you these days. Either way, take a moment to consider what you get out of each self-care activity.
Do I enjoy this self-care activity?
Honesty is the key here. It’s tempting to automatically say yes, because, why else would we be doing it, right? But, all too often we do things simply because we feel like we should, like self-care is one-size-fits-all and you’re just trying to make it work for you. Maybe you don’t enjoy the process all the time but the result is a more refreshed and energized version of you. (Like that spin class you signed up for or forcing yourself to wash your face before bed every night). If there are things that you don’t necessarily enjoy but you like the result, maybe consider ways to tweak the activity to make it more unique to your interests.
“When your wellness routine—AKA the rituals and habits you embraced to make your life better—is stressing you out, things need to change.” – Well+Good
Forget what everyone else is doing.
Social media makes this extremely difficult. Of course, you don’t have to do what you see everyone else posting about (insider tip: not everyone is actually doing it. Pictures can be deceiving). Essentially, the sole purpose for self-care is to take care of your mental and physical health. So, your self-care routine should be as unique as you. Social media is good when you need suggestions and new things to try. But, it should never come with a side of shame or pressure.
Separate the good from the bad.
The moment of truth. Decide what’s working and what isn’t. Get out a piece of paper and create two columns; one for self-care activities you feel are serving a purpose for you and one for things that aren’t. If something isn’t working for you, there’s no fault or blame. It’s simply not for you. And that’s okay! Why not give those extra face masks to your bestie or to your stressed out co-worker who needs a little TLC. Be brutally honest with your list. Get it all down on paper and see where things land.
Let go of what is no longer serving you.
All those items in the “not working” column? Stop doing them. Seriously. It’s that simple. Give yourself the freedom to let them go. Not only will you stop wasting time doing things that aren’t truly benefiting you, but you’ll create space in your life for the things that do. And there is a certain liberation that comes with letting go. Embrace a simpler, more meaningful self-care routine that serves. So, just let go. You deserve it.
Taking care of your well-being is a journey and your self-care routine will look different with each new season. As time goes on and you inevitably decide that you just have to try the next hot thing in Self-Care, remember to come back to this process every now and then. (Book mark this page in your browser for easy reference)!
What self-care activity have you decided just doesn’t work for you anymore?
Feature photo: Omar Lopez / Unsplash