Does self-care need to be time-consuming and expensive?

by Aga Lawrynowicz

This post originally appeared on Aga’s website, Choose Clarity.

In one of our recent events, I spoke about the importance of self-care rituals and how to incorporate them into our busy days.
At some point, one of the participants said: “Now I am confused. I am already very busy, how should I find time for anything else? And what actually are those rituals?”

We were grateful for this question because it gets right to the essence of self-care. Self-care has become a very popular term lately and there are many misconceptions about it.

What is self-care?

Self-care is an activity that focuses on taking care of self and nourishing the self. Since everyone is different, there is no self-care prescription that fits us all at all times. For one, self-care may mean chatting with a dear friend and for others, it may mean a run or a solitary walk.

Also, in different situations, we may need a different way to nourish ourselves. That is why being in-tune with yourself is very helpful.

Does self-care require a lot of time?

You don’t need much time to take care of yourself. It can be taking five conscious breaths in the morning, or drinking a cup of tea in stillness, or going for a run. The sky is the limit – anything that makes you feel good. And you know that there are things that feel like a balm for your soul and they don’t take much time.

That being said, remember that taking care of yourself is like recharging your batteries, and if you reserve a good amount of time to do it, you will feel better and will be able to tackle your daily tasks with more energy and joy.

Is self-care expensive?

It doesn’t have to be expensive. The truth is that the most effective ways to take care of self are free! The trick is to prioritize them.

Sitting still, going for a walk in nature, getting enough sleep, breathing, and stretching are free and can be very powerful!

In fact, when you book an expensive body treatment but neglect connecting with yourself, you may end up staying in your head and stewing in resentment. You may come out with your body renewed (that is already great) but your heart neglected.

But how can I add self-care to my already busy life?

That is right – our modern world is quite busy and new wellness habits seem like a burden to be added to our already long to-do-lists.

Guess what! You don’t need to add anything to your lists! It’s not about adding to your busy life. It’s all about a shift!

It starts with an evaluation – there are certain things that you need to do: kids need to be taken care of, bills paid and you surely have your own list of non-negotiables. The first thing is to see how we can do those things in a way that is easier and almost nourishing to us. How about listening to your favorite music while cooking? Or taking conscious breaths while moving the laundry? Or putting away your phone during the day. There are many little ways that bring more presence to our daily mundane activities.

Another idea is to make a list of a few things that you are longing to do more often, but never have time for. Reading a book, taking a short solitary walk, meditating, or working out are some examples. Once you have your list, do at least some of the activities first thing in the morning. Try it for a week and I promise you will see a difference!

Make your self-care a ritual. Even if it’s something very little and short, creating rituals around those self-care activities makes them sacred.

This was a guest post by Aga Lawrynowicz, founder of Choose Clarity and strategist, mentor, and life coach for moms. Creating a community for women is her passion. A former explosives queen — she spent over ten years working as an engineer in the oil and gas industry — now Aga is a mother of two, step-mother of two, and a huge fan of mindfulness. You can learn more about her by visiting her website and following her on Instagram.

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