By naming the little things in your life that bring you joy or replenish you, you give them legitimacy and the power to become your self-care.
Name your self-care practices and make them a part of your routine. Call it your Friday five or your Pringles time, just make sure you name it and prioritize it. —Jenny GK
The Importance of Habitual Self-Care
Getting into a regular routine of self-care is giving yourself a mini gift every day. It's a way to show love and appreciation for your own well-being.
While many see self-care as an indulgence, true self-care actions are not luxuries but necessities. They keep us grounded, refresh us, and make us better equipped to handle the daily challenges of life.
In episode 76, Jenny brings up her weekly self-care routine in the form of her Friday Five. This involves setting aside just five minutes for herself each Friday to enjoy something she loves or just take a quiet moment to breathe and re-center herself. It might not seem like much, but this regular ritual is a bright spot in her week and goes a long way toward maintaining her sense of self.
Elyse Myers, beloved TikTok personality (and true ray of light in the internet space, #IYKYK), describes self care as the things you do to take care of your future self. So, even if you can’t make yourself shower today, your future self will be glad you did.
Prioritizing Reasonable Self-Care
We're often led to believe that self-care needs to be grand or elaborate, but the reality is that even small acts of self-care can make a big difference. When we focus on incorporating “easy” and doable acts of self-care into our routines, we ensure that we're doing something each day that nourishes us, rather than saving self-care for special occasions or when we're feeling burnt out. If you’re burnt out and thinking that a pedicure will fix you, it’s too late. As Elyse Myers said, “It’s a band-aid when I have a broken leg.”
During the episode, I gently challenge the notion that self-care must require a major time or financial investment. My routine involves little things like relishing a can of Pringles; Jenny mentions taking a few minutes to enjoy a stunning sunset. The key, we insist, is to be present in the moment and label these experiences as a form of self-love and care.
The Power of Naming and Habit Formation
Labeling these moments of self-care is an essential aspect of this practice. It's not just about doing something nice for yourself, but also consciously recognizing that moment for what it is—a meaningful act of self-care. Naming helps legitimize the practice and reminds us to repeat it regularly, thus reinforcing the routine.
We emphasize the value of acknowledging their self-care rituals as such. Jenny speaks of the satisfaction she gets from planning and executing her Faculty Friday Lunch, even though it is primarily for others—it’s a form of self-care for her. By specifically naming these moments, we can more easily identify what replenishes us and make it a consistent part of our lives.
Creating a Community for Self-Care
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it can be easy to neglect our own needs while focusing on others. However, if we're to lead healthy, fulfilling lives, it's crucial that we prioritize taking care of ourselves. (Also, to be clear, this is not “you can’t pour from an empty cup” toxic positivity. This is REAL. You have to put yourself first daily.)
What's more, self-care doesn't have to be a solitary pursuit. In fact, it can often be most effective when it's a shared experience. Jenny shares how she's incorporated this concept into her life through her Faculty Friday Lunch initiative—a weekly gathering that she organizes for her colleagues. Through this, Jenny creates a community and connection which not only benefits her but also those around her. This communal form of self-care helps each participant feel valued and less alone, illustrating that caring for others can be a form of caring for ourselves.
Closing Thoughts on Self-Care
Just as each person is unique, so too is their approach to self-care. It's about finding what brings you joy, peace, and relaxation, and making a habit of naming these actions as you incorporate those into your life.
Remember, self-care should not feel like a chore, but rather an enjoyable part of your routine that you look forward to. But, in the event that it does feel like a chore, think of your future self. Put that version of yourself first.
Listen. I feel that what could be seen as self-indulgences—my moment of devouring a can of Pringles, for instance—should be framed as valuable acts of self-care. The key takeaway here is to recognize whatever form the self-care takes, whether it's a luxurious bath or simply enjoying a treat.
As Jenny and I illustrate, self-care is a crucial aspect of overall well-being, and we should make it an essential part of our everyday lives.
Self-care doesn’t mean you have to take care of yourself alone. Start a Faculty Friday Lunch tradition with your colleagues, or plan a weekly connection activity with special people. Set up a weekly funny invite and create a themed playlist to enhance the experience. This can help you connect with your people and build a supportive community.
Incorporate a Friday Five routine into your self-care practice. Set an alarm on your phone for 5:00 p.m. every Friday to remind you to take five minutes for yourself. Use this time to focus on something that brings you joy or relaxation.
Find an accountability buddy to share your self-care goals with. This can be a significant other, friend, or family member who can help keep you motivated and on track.
Name and label your self-care activities as such. By calling it “self-care,” you acknowledge the importance of taking time for yourself and prioritize it in your routine.
Consider incorporating longer self-care sessions when needed. While the Friday Five encourages short moments of self-care, sometimes you might need a longer break. Allow yourself an hour or more to truly replenish and rejuvenate.
Embrace the mindset that self-care is not an indulgence but a habit. Regularly making time for self-care is essential for your well-being.
Take care of yourself.