The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Self Care

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inside: Beginner's Guide to self-care without feeling selfish. How to get started with self-care, and tips for success. 

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Self-care. What an elusive idea.

I have so many responsibilities at home, it's hard to carve out time for myself.

Dinner needs to be cooked, children need to be bathed, and all of their feelings need to be justified, as well as every. other. need. My palms are getting sweaty at the mere idea of all the things we need to do every day.

My cup is always empty, it seems.

Instead of loving on my children, I am angry. Angry about MY needs, and feeling frustrated when they won't listen.

Parenting without self-care is like trying to carefully perform brain surgery while your bladder to full to the breaking point. Heck, it's like trying to do anything when you have to pee.

Let it go.
Release the waste holding you back from being the best you.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is a broad term. Sometimes we call it self-love. 
In it's most basic form, it's taking care of yourself, and showing yourself compassion. In the same hand you would pick up the slack for your spouse so they can relax, you should try to take care of yourself also. 
Self-care is avoiding burn-out. 
Self-care is showing yourself compassion. 
Self-care is a healthy coping mechanism for everyday stress. 
Self-care is NOT selfish. 

Why is Self-Care Important?

Self-care is how you nourish yourself. It's also different for everyone. 
Leaving yourself last affects every aspect of your life. You get tired faster. 
You get overwhelmed daily. 
For me, my anxiety is almost always on overdrive, so if I'm not taking the time to fill my cup up, I'm quick to snap at my children. 
My anxiety turns into rage quickly if I'm not taking care of myself. It's not a risk I'm willing to take any more, now that I know the way to fix it. 

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Social Anxiety

Self Care is Not Selfish

This is such a common misconception with self-care.
We think taking time for ourselves takes time away from our children, or our chores, and that makes it selfish. 
How dare we do something for our own pleasure when there are dishes in the sink? 
Did you feel silly reading that?
The chores can wait. They'll still be there when you're done. 
The children can spend some time together, or spend time with their dad, neighbor, or the dust bunnies under their bed. 
It doesn't matter what they do (as long as they're safe, of course). They will all be better after you take care of yourself. 
Now we know what self-care is, why we should practice self-care, and we cleared up the most common misconception, let's talk about HOW. 

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How do You Get Started with Self-Care?

Whew. We got through all that, now what? How do you make time for yourself when your time is permanently booked?
Well. You make it. 
You say, “hey, I need to have some me time now.” and then you go someplace, and you have yourself some me time. 
Your husband won't mind. He will figure it out. No, really. He will. He can figure out how to take care of his own children for an hour or two. 
He might do it his own way or do something you don't approve of, like put the TV on. But that doesn't matter, because you are on your own time now. 
Let go of the control you want to have over everything for an hour and take a bath. 
Don't have a tub? Get a bucket, fill it with warm water, add some epsom salt, and soak your feet. 

Self-Care Ideas

Use your Amazon Prime Membership (don't have Amazon Prime?! Click here to start your free 30-day trial to see what you're missing) to watch The Man in The High Castle. 
Read the book on your nightstand you've been meaning to read. 
Stop watching that show you want to watch, and catch up on sleep.
Fold laundry so you don't lose your mind because no one can find socks.
I have a list of self-care tips for when you're trying to save money here
Listen to a book on Scribd. You can get a free two months here, and cancel anytime. This is my favorite place to get Audiobooks. You can take as long as you want to read or listen, and read or listen to as many as you want each month. Instead of picking one book a month, you can start reading and then change your mind. 
I love this because I'm the least decisive person alive. 
Plan your meals this week.

This is the perfect time of year to embrace self-care because consumerism says we should buy women more spa products. Take it in stride. Allow someone to buy you a self-care basket, or make your own. 

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How to Afford Self-Care

I have so many tips for this. 
I am a perpetually frugal lady. 
Spending money on yourself is the hardest thing to do, I get it. I have a few tips. 
Instead of spending money, you can take TIME for yourself. 
Read books you already have, or take a bath. Or do both at the same time. 
Meditation is a great way to practice self-care, and spend some time being present in your life. Meditation has been shown to increase your self-awareness, productivity, and help you release those negative thoughts holding you back. 

Make a sugar scrub for yourself. 
Before bed, I enjoy a lip sugar scrub. Take a small amount of brown sugar (because you're only using enough for your lips, which aren't very big) and mix in a touch of honey. When it makes a paste I apply to my lips and rub in a circular motion for a few minutes, then rinse. Moisturize afterward to keep your lips healthy. 
This may not be the most frugal tip. I like to find great recipes on Pinterest that are clean eating. Because meal planning will make future you say thank you. 
I LOVE meal planning on my time. I don't like sitting down and actually planning meals, but I do enjoy finding great meals I want to try. 
My new favorite way to look up recipes is the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle from Ultimate Bundles. It has different meal plans based on what you're looking for (one pan meal, quick dinners, paleo, etc.) If you're interested in the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle, click here. 

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Self-Care for Mental Health

This is my passion. 
I think as a society, we don't give our mental health enough credit. It truly defines our everyday life. 
If you're in a healthy mindset you will have a good day, and when something happens to affect your day negatively, you'll have the resilience to overcome it. 
Self-care is imperative for mental health. 

What Now?

Take a break from your life for an hour, right now.
Take a shower.
Go for a walk with your dog, your toddler, or your spouse.
Call your best friend and talk to her about whatever the heck you want.
Try your hand at watercolor. I love this wonderful company on YouTube (you can subscribe, or you can wait and still do them for free with them!) Here is one of their videos
Read a book. 
Take a nap. 
Find essential oils that relax you, and enjoy it. 
Take. A. Bath. 
Use those spa products your family got you for Christmas.

Then subscribe to my email list, for more self-care tips, reminders, and silliness. Delivered to you once a week.  

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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