For so long, I have detested the phrase “self care”.
I am so focused on helping and caring for others that focusing on myself, even for a second, just seems selfish.
But I have learned that when I am running on empty, I can’t fill anyone else up. There is literally nothing left.
The BEST thing you can do for yourself (and frankly for others as well) is to pay attention to, and take care of, yourself.
And self care is not always selfish. Seriously.
Below, I have complied a list of free things you can do TODAY to take care of yourself.
Get out into nature
Getting out into nature and under the sunshine is so refreshing and good for your body.
This can be anything from taking a quick 5 minute walk around the neighborhood, to spending time at the beach, to hiking in the mountains.
Did you know that as a military family member, you can get into all national parks with no entrance fee?
Spend intentional time with family
I love spending time with my family.
And putting intention behind it can be healing and energizing.
This can look like going on a date with one of your kids, playing a team building game, or finding an opportunity to serve in your community with your family or loved ones by your side.
NOTE: Know your limits and bounds. If family time is exhausting or draining, find an alternative that works for you, such as intentional time with friends (or even alone).
Some days, I have little to no time in my day for anything extra.
But I always have 5 minutes at some point in my day where I can sit down and breathe, even if it’s at the very end of my day.
Headspace is an excellent app for quick and meaningful meditation. As a military spouse or family member, you can get this app for FREE!
I highly recommend taking at least 5 minutes to do some form of meditation as self care, whether that is praying, doing breathing exercises, or using an app like Headspace.
Nurture your love language
So often we hear about love languages, and connect that with how to show love to others.
But it also applies to YOU and how you can be kind and show love to yourself.
For example, because my love language is acts of service, I can intentionally do something for myself that will make life easier, cozier, and happier.
I like taking the time to make a quick treat for myself and putting on my favorite show. That simple act reminds me that I can show myself love, too.
If your love language is words of affirmation, create or find positive affirmations for yourself that you can read at the beginning or end of each day.
Listen to something
The big three are music, podcasts, and audiobooks.
While you do a household chore, take your morning commute, or even take a shower, turn on your favorite song/album/episode/book!
This small, yet powerful, act can change your mood, boost productivity, allow emotions to flow, and so much more.
Here’s what I’m listening to today.
Did you know that you should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces?
So if you weigh 160 pounds, you should be drinking 80 (or more!) ounces of water a day.
Water can do SO MUCH for you, like promoting clearer skin, flushing out toxins, and keeping you hydrated.
Drinking water is an excellent form of self care throughout the entire day.
You can count how many glasses you’ve had, or even get a water bottle with measurements so you don’t lose count/need to keep refilling.
Listen to your body
I can’t stress this one enough. The BEST way you can take care of yourself is to listen to your body’s needs.
This could mean saying no to an event, getting a babysitter so you can sleep, distancing yourself from draining people (or friends), and so much more.