Three Ways to Practice Self-Care
Self-care has been a buzzword for a while now. There are thousands of articles about how taking care of yourself is essential in stressful times. But so much of the advice given is quick fixes:
- Light a candle.
- Drink a cup of tea.
- Get up from your office chair and stretch for a minute.
Not to say that these ideas aren’t valuable – they are – but what about self-care that makes a true, lasting, and meaningful difference to your life? What about long-term self-care?
Three Self-Care Ideas That Actually Work
1. Outsource the Things You Hate
In Oliver Burkeman’s book: Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, he says:
“Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks.”
The secret? The time management solution to everything? There isn’t one.
But, accepting that it’s actually not possible to do it all can be liberating. There are only 24 hours in a day. No time management ‘solution’ will allow you to cram in everything you want and need to do.
So, neatly fold up your Superman or Superwoman cape (it’s been strangling you anyway!) and then chuck it into the nearest trash can. And then, allow everything in your life to fall apart. Kidding!
Sit down and make a list you’ll enjoy making. Make a list of the things you hate to do and the things you’re just not good at. Then, go through the list and check the items that you can hire someone to do.
With apps like TaskRabbit and Thumbtack, hiring someone to do just about anything is easy.
And, chances are, since they are paid to do the task, it’s likely they do it better than you.
- You hate cleaning? Someone out there LOVES to clean and will make your home spotless.
- Burn every meal you make? Get delicious meals delivered to your home once a week by someone who knows their way around a kitchen.
- Your list of home maintenance jobs is currently longer than your arm? A handyman or handywoman can knock out that list for you in a day.
There are even people who will organize your closet, clean out your pantry, and do your grocery shopping for you. Chances are, if you need help, there is someone out there waiting for your call.
And all this extra help is a lot less expensive than you think.
Time is our most valuable asset. Stop filling it up with things you dread doing.
2. Identify What You LOVE Doing
Ok, now that you’ve made your list of ‘things I hate to do’ list, let’s go the other way. What do you LOVE to do?
Because there is no point in outsourcing jobs and then filling that empty time with more mundane chores and to-do list items.
The key to true self-care is to take the time you have and fill it with things you love doing – not with more work.
And this stuff doesn’t have to be fancy! It just has to be true to you.
- Love napping? Take a nap.
- Want to spend more giggly fun time with your kids? Do it!
- Maybe dogs make you happy. Go to a dog park and soak in all that goofy goodness.
Life shouldn’t be about crossing things off of a never-ending to-do list. You’ve bought yourself some time by outsourcing chores. Now use that time wisely by doing things that light you up and make you feel alive.
3. Cosmetic Dentistry: The Ultimate in Self-Care
NYC Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Francine Estrada with practices in Midtown Manhattan and Gramercy Park suggests Cosmetic dentistry is long-term self-care.
Case after case, her patients tell her how having a beautiful smile has made improved their lives and that they:
- feel more confident
- smile more often
- feel they can connect with people easier
- aren’t self-conscious anymore
- socialize more
The list goes on and on. When you feel better about your smile, you feel better about your self.
And unlike a new haircut or outfit that may bring temporary happiness, cosmetic dentistry lasts.
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