self-care is defined as any deliberate activity to take care of our emotional, mental and physical health. sounds simple enough right? yet many of us struggle with thinking about our needs. taking time to pay attention to ourselves in busy times and especially during crisis sometimes feels impossible and unrealistic.
i remember during challenging times in my life when a well-intentioned person would remind me to “do something for myself”, “stay healthy” or “take care of myself”, i wanted to scream because i felt so overwhelmed with seeing to everyone else’s needs and wants that i had no energy left over for myself. i even felt guilty about not having the energy to talk about a shitty situation.
bathintentions (read more about our story) was born from the acknowledgment that loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves stems from the intentionality of small gestures.
being gentle with yourself, loving yourself a little bit more and progressively finding out what works for you. that worked for me and this blog post will be about that.
the practice of gratitude
taking some time every day to recognize things in our lives that we feel blessed for can truly make us feel good and bring peace of mind. Journaling and writing down what we feel grateful for may sound like a woo woo idea but research and science backs up that the practice of gratitude makes people happier.
some days, i really needed to dig deep to find blessings, you know just those days where everything is shit. on those days, i wrote down that i was grateful for coffee or sunshine.
feeling blessed and allowing yourself to say it is a wondrous way to start off the day. give it a try, take a blank journal, we always have one just waiting for us to write in it, grab a cup of coffee and tea and write “i am grateful for:” and take it from there.
another activity that i love with the practice of gratitude is to use a rock or stone by your bed. before going to sleep, hold it and decide the one thing that you are the most grateful for in your day. it is a relaxing process to think of all that you have.
the art of letting go
we hang on because we feel obligated or we think we need to and let’s admit it… sometimes we want to control outcomes. releasing what no long serves us or what hurts us is about loving ourselves and feeling we deserve better.
learning to get to this mindset sounds a lot easier than it appears. i’ve read many books on how our brains and bodies react to our thoughts and feelings and it is incredible how much damage or good we can do.
i find that water supports releasing hindering thoughts and fears. i take a shower or bath and visualize the negative ideas going in the water and down the drain.
the appreciation of your body
our busy lives often bring us to neglect ourselves, even for basic needs. we skip a meal to rush to a meeting, we have another cup of coffee to jolt our energy and are concerned about our weight.
self-care at its minimum is about eating well, moving our bodies, and getting restful sleep. we all know these principles, but the struggle is real.
i am the first to admit that i wrestle with health goals. i put them off, i plan for next monday…being extra gentle with myself here is important. small steps, small achievements with strong outcomes is the way i navigate. i use routines and rituals for my health.
drinking enough water might take me a few weeks to implement and make it part of my routine, changing a habit is also about how we see ourselves. my water intake goal brought me to purchase a large bottle and bring it everywhere, that routine works for me.
customers have asked us if our « i am sleepy » pillow mist really promotes sleep. i wish it was that easy. we suggest integrating the relaxing scents of lavender, marjoram, tangerine, chamomile and ylang ylang into a nightly relaxation ritual that prepares you to sleep.
our bodies need down time that might require more than a flick of the light switch. dimming the lights, fluffing the pillows after a bath or shower in great fitting pjs with a spritz of pillow mist sounds a lot more conducive to sleep.
the sisterhood of self-care
the reality is that shit happens! we will all have our crisis and challenges where self-care is not even a blip on the radar. we care very much about the ladies in our lives and want to help but are sometimes unsure to overstep or overwhelm so we ask “what can i do to help?” or we say “let me know if you need anything”. well during stressful time, i must be honest, i had no clue what i needed or what could help…
maybe simply doing something – like bringing a meal, dropping off a cup of tea or sending a card will comfort and soothe. self-care is also about loving and caring about others when we have that energy. as women, we can support each other with acts of kindness, with quick texts and doing something that we know will bring them joy.
self-care is intentional. we can plan what we need, the activities might also be spontaneous, the opportunities will open up as we progress. we might need to reflect and be disciplined for some elements. it will all start with the intention.