International Self-Care Day!!

Celebrating International Self-Care Day 2020

July 24th is a special day for us here at Self-Care Is For Everyone, it’s International Self-Care Day! This day is all about self-care and the benefits it brings us, and being held on 7/24, it reminds us that these benefits are experienced 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Self-care is a practice that gives back to us daily, in so many ways - physically, mentally, and spiritually. And just in time for International Self-Care Day, it seems we are collectively figuring out the benefits of it: “self-care” has become a trending search on Google! 

So many people are searching for self-care tips, self-care ideas, and self-care activities that it’s bumped it up to trending status and it’s more popular than ever. We love this, knowing it’s a reflection of more and more people getting involved in self-care practices and taking better care of their mental and physical health. We’re so honored to be helping to spread the self-care love to a world that needs it so much.

        Art on tee by @avamariedoodles

International Self-Care Day is a day to celebrate practices that we want to remind you we should be doing all year long! The benefits of self-care are endless, from the physical benefits of moving and nourishing your body, taking your medications, and spending time outdoors, to the mental benefits of feeling more stable and in control of your moods and emotions. Self-care contributes to us having healthier relationships, more productive work lives, and better personal relationships with ourselves - all things that create a happier, more fulfilling life. You deserve that life, and self-care is a doorway to discovering it.

Especially during our current climate of stress and tension, which is likely responsible for self-care being a trending search term, now is a better time than ever to incorporate it into your routine and into your life. We need self-care to remain healthy and balanced during times when we’re not experiencing exorbitant stress, so when we are experiencing higher levels of stress, it’s that much more important to offer ourselves compassion and methods of caring for, comforting, and soothing ourselves. These are all things various methods and styles of self-care can accomplish.

Contrary to what a lot of people believe, there’s many ways you can bring self-care into your world without a lot of free time or extra money - many self-care ideas and practices are quick and free! Since self-care ranges from physical to mental to emotional, implementing healthy boundaries with your friends and family is just as much a self-care practice as treating yourself to a pedicure or Friday night bubble bath. For more ideas on how to add self-care into your routines, especially if you’re a self-care beginner and are looking for tips and ideas to start with, take a look at our blog post Self-Care for Beginners + Creative Ideas to Help Get You Started. In the blog post, we outline physical, mental, and spiritual self-care, plus where to begin. If you’re a more seasoned self-care practitioner, we invite you to practice community care by offering your knowledge and self-care ideas to those who are beginners and are looking for guidance! You can be the reason someone learns to speak more kindly to themselves and take better care of themselves, mind, body, and soul, how great does that feel? Here are some ways to help spread self-care into your community:

- Share about self-care practices on your social media. Use your social media as a place to help others learn about self-care and your favorite self-care practices! Not only does this give your friends and followers a chance to get to know you even better, it gives them ideas to implement into their own lives to begin or enhance their own self-care.

- Start conversations around self-care. You know that friend who seems a little burnt out or overwhelmed? This is a perfect time to start a conversation around self-care and help them find ways to nourish and replenish themselves now and in the future. Self-care is a learned practice for many people rather than being instinctive, take this opportunity to help educate your friend and contribute positively to their lifestyle and wellbeing.

- Have your favorite resources ready to provide to others. Write down a few of your favorite therapists you follow on Instagram who promote self-care, some of your favorite self-care related blog posts and articles, and any podcast or YouTube series you love around self-care and have your list with you to share when the opportunity comes up. You’d be surprised how often great resources are found through word-of-mouth! 

Art on tees by @blessthemessy and @avamariedoodles  Photo by @Hayleemaz

One more space we want to honor self-care in is the “boring” self-care space, the area of self-care that includes things like brushing our teeth, washing our faces, and showering. This kind of self-care can be overwhelming to some, and can become especially difficult when experiencing depression or grief. Often with depression, the “boring” self-care not being taken care of, teeth not being brushed, showers not being taken, hair not being combed, is one of the first indicators that depression has set in. Here are a few tips to help ease the difficulty when going through this experience:

Make your showers as enjoyable as possible. This means using a body wash in one of your favorite scents, lighting a scented candle while you shower, putting on a playlist. If you don’t have a body wash or candle and aren’t in a space to go to the store, consider placing a small order on Amazon so your shower essentials can be delivered right to your door. Create an environment that soothes and calms you while you’re showering, a sensory experience that helps you breathe deep and rest while doing an essential task.

Set what you need out in the order you need it. For your morning or bedtime routine, lay a towel out on the countertop and set these things on it in order: face wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush. This can include anything else you feel you need, for example a moisturizer or mouthwash, but just the very basics are also absolutely good enough and will help you feel like you’ve taken care of yourself. Go through the steps one by one, everything you need right there on the towel waiting for you. Put it back in line when you’re finished with it. This is a simple, no-nonsense way to do the very basics without having to fuss or go through getting things in and out of cabinets or drawers. Bonus, when you see your items laid out on your towel, you’ll be even more likely to go through your routine instead of skipping it.

Make a schedule that is easier to keep up with. If you can only shower four days per week while you’re experiencing a depressive episode, aim for four days per week instead of feeling guilty that you’re not showering every day. Adjust your expectations. Our brains aren’t able to perform at full capacity when we’re experiencing depression, and it’s perfectly reasonable to adjust our expectations of ourselves during this time. Creating a schedule that reflects what you’re going through and what you’re currently capable of will help you feel pride when you accomplish a task, rather than feeling guilt over what you haven’t accomplished.

In addition to these ideas for those experiencing depression or grief, another idea we love as a way to celebrate International Self-Care Day is to create a self-care kit for your home, or even a small kit to carry with you! Having your self-care tools in one place enables you to go to your kit, choose something that feels good to you in the moment, and have it available and ready to use without having to look for it or prepare. This can also increase the likelihood of you practicing self-care when going through a difficult time. We often need self-care the most when we don’t feel like doing it, so having your tools available to you will make it so much easier to choose something and create space for it even when you’re feeling down or having a lower energy day. Here are some ideas for things to include in your home or to-go self-care kit:

- Weighted blanket for anxiety or stress

- Calming essential oils

- A journal and pens to explore your emotions and thoughts

- Headphones to enjoy your favorite music

- Play-Doh or slime for sensory therapy

- A fuzzy blanket or stuffed animal for sensory therapy and comfort

- Yoga mat to practice your favorite yoga poses or rest

- Meditation app with guided meditations

- Coloring book and crayons, colored pencils, or markers

- Kleenex

- Hot tea for self-soothing

- Your favorite movie or book for distracting when you need it

Self-care can look many different ways, and in fact, should look many different ways! There’s so many facets of self-care that it’s healthy to incorporate it into our lives in multiple ways and have several favorite self-care practices so we always have a go-to that will work for our situation. Try different things and over time you’ll find out which ones you love and which ones don’t quite resonate with you, and that’s okay! Creating your self-care routine is like creating a little manual all about you, you’ll learn which practices to use when you’re feeling overwhelmed, which to use when you’re feeling anxious, burnt out, sad, and more. Think of your self-care as a guide to a healthier, more balanced, fulfilled version of you! Happy International Self-Care Day from Self-Care Is For Everyone - we hope you’re wearing your favorite reminder and practicing your favorite form of self-care today!

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