10 Ways to Practice Real Self-Care

Bath bombs, glasses of wine (or caffeinated soda), chocolate and shopping sprees aren't ways to practice REAL self-care. REAL self-care is actually caring about yourself and trying to help yourself get better and healthier. Here are 10 ways to practice REAL self-care.

Self-care. That’s a hot topic right now. Every blogger, everyone online, is talking about the importance of self-care. There are lists upon lists of ways to self-care NOW. How to drop everything and all responsibilities and self-care now. The most important person to take care of is you. Do what you want. Ignore all else. That is self-care.

I have to disagree. Self-care is not ignoring responsibilities. It is not putting yourself in front of others. It is not indulging. It is not an excuse to be lazy, to eat what you want, to give yourself unnecessary “grace“, to buy what you want, to get away now. No. Self-Care is actually caring not only about yourself, but for yourself.

Bath bombs, glasses of wine (or caffeinated soda), chocolate and shopping sprees aren't ways to practice REAL self-care. REAL self-care is actually caring about yourself and trying to help yourself get better and healthier. Here are 10 ways to practice REAL self-care.

Self-care is not only caring ABOUT yourself, but FOR yourself. Click To Tweet

According to Raphalia Michael, MA, a licensed counselling Psychologist,

Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health…Self-care isn’t a selfish act either. It is not only about considering our needs; it is rather about knowing what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves, being subsequently, able to take care of others as well.

Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is taking care of our whole health so we can life intentionally.

Self-care shouldn't be selfish. It should be used to regain strength to keep living. Click To Tweet

When I first heard about self-care, I liked it. It seemed the whole purpose was to give yourself a break so that you didn’t break down mentally or physically. I needed that. I needed that when I was breaking down mentally and physically. And, the fad continued. It was ok to sluff off being a mom and let Justin take the kids, because I was doing “self-care.” It was ok to take numerous naps during the day, because I was doing “self-care.” It was ok to buy myself little trinkets, because I was doing “self-care.” It was ok to eat out and get Pepsis and chocolate, because it was “self-care.”

No it wasn’t. Those were indulgent, destructive excuses. I don’t want you to fall into the same trap that social media gives us for false “self-care.” Instead, here are some ideas on how to give yourself some real self-care.

Bath bombs, glasses of wine (or caffeinated soda), chocolate and shopping sprees aren't ways to practice REAL self-care. REAL self-care is actually caring about yourself and trying to help yourself get better and healthier. Here are 10 ways to practice REAL self-care.

Buy Clothes that Actually Fit

I struggle with getting my pregnancy weight off. And, in fact, I’ve almost put back all the weight I gained while pregnant. I could have a limited wardrobe and most of my clothes staring back at me, mocking me for  not losing that weight. I could try fitting into them and looking bulgy and fat. I could, in a fit of despair, go on a shopping spree and spend money that I probably shouldn’t. Thankfully, I don’t do that, but some of you might. Be practical. Buy basic wardrobe staples that actually fit well and are comfortable. I say staples because they are easier to mix and match. I recently went to Target and Old Navy and bought a handful of new pants and shirts that fit my body type now without showing my muffin top or curves and pudges I don’t want shown. They aren’t fancy and are all solid colors. In fact, most of them are the exact same shirt, just different colors. But this way, I can change up my hair, my accessories, my shoes, and have so many different styles. And, don’t forget to actually get dressed. Just putting on a bra and something that isn’t a T-shirt helps your attitude dramatically. Then, brush your teeth, put on any bit of makeup, and at least touch your hair. You’ll be surprised how much that does for your mental health.

I was also really struggling with the way I looked in my church outfits, especially because of the lines of my new garments. But, then I found this adorable Denmark basic gray dress.

** I received this dress from Cleo Madison in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Bath bombs, glasses of wine (or caffeinated soda), chocolate and shopping sprees aren't ways to practice REAL self-care. REAL self-care is actually caring about yourself and trying to help yourself get better and healthier. Here are 10 ways to practice REAL self-care. Bath bombs, glasses of wine (or caffeinated soda), chocolate and shopping sprees aren't ways to practice REAL self-care. REAL self-care is actually caring about yourself and trying to help yourself get better and healthier. Here are 10 ways to practice REAL self-care.

It is from Cleo Madison is a modest clothing boutique that is determined to help you find adorable and affordable clothes that fit your modesty standards. To be honest, this is actually my second dress from them. The first one I received was a super adorable, knee length, short sleeved dress I loved. However, their site doesn’t list coordinating sizes. I got a large, but it was not true to size. It was super, super small and tight. I couldn’t even get it over my bosom! I definitely had a bit of a breakdown and bad-talked my body. I didn’t even go to church that day. Thankfully, Cleo Madison was able to help me out. They sent me a return slip to return the dress and get a different one. So, I chose this one.

I love how light weight it is for a long sleeve dress. I could wear it in 80* Texas weather! It also doesn’t show any of my bulges at all. You know how happy that makes me? And, since it’s plain, I can easily decorate it with a belt or a kimono or other lightweight, long cardigan type thing. Or, just keep it plain but wear a statement necklace.

Cleo Madison was amazing to work with. They are so kind and willing to work with you on sizing. They are also very patient…it took me a while to ship back the old dress that didn’t fit, but they still sent the new dress!

Bath bombs, glasses of wine (or caffeinated soda), chocolate and shopping sprees aren't ways to practice REAL self-care. REAL self-care is actually caring about yourself and trying to help yourself get better and healthier. Here are 10 ways to practice REAL self-care. Bath bombs, glasses of wine (or caffeinated soda), chocolate and shopping sprees aren't ways to practice REAL self-care. REAL self-care is actually caring about yourself and trying to help yourself get better and healthier. Here are 10 ways to practice REAL self-care.

Go to Bed Early

Don’t take naps numerous times during the day. Try to focus your sleep intentionally. Don’t stay up until all hours of the night on social media, binge-ing on Netflix, or even reading. That’s not self-care. Allowing your body to get the proper amount of sleep at the proper time is self-care. Go to bed after you put your kids to bed and don’t wake up until the morning. I’ve done that a few times and I feel super refreshed afterwards.

Drink More Water

So many posts I see on self-care show girls downing their favorite wine or champagne. Personally, I don’t drink alcohol because I’m Mormon. But, I don’t care if others do or not. I mean, I like to indulge in Pepsi, myself. However, you drinking a few glasses at wine at night because you’ve had a rough day, or me buying a bottle of Pepsi everyday because I have a rambunctious toddler and clingy infant is not self-care. It does more damage to our body than good to our soul. Drink more water. There are so many studies done, more than I can link to, that prove water’s positive affects not only on our physical health, but also our mental and emotional health as well.

Exercise

Self-care doesn’t always have to be “alone-time.” I don’t really get that opportunity much. So, I work out with my kids. I throw them in the stroller and go on a jog. They love being in the outdoors and watching the world go by. We have plenty of parks nearby, so I’ll run to a park. The kids can play and I can workout. The kids have fun and I get healthier by taking care of myself. Win-win. Find a gym membership, find an app, go on a run, meditate, do Yoga, turn on the music and do a dance routine. Whatever it is, get moving. You will feel better and your body will thank you.

Go Home

This one can be a bit more expensive. But, if you are close to a mental breakdown, talk to your parents. Go home for a week. Right after I had Evelyn, I was suffering very badly from PPD, plus, Evelyn had infantile dyschezia. My mom offered to fly me and kids back to Utah for a week. It was such a wonderful and needed break. I got to be back in my comfort zone at my mom’s house in the state I love and have a lot of help around me while Justin worked. No matter how old we are, we will never stop needing our moms.

Read a Book

Don’t veg out on Netflix for “self-care”. It does nothing to help you. Yes, it’s nice to zone out sometimes, but call it what it is–vegging out, zoning out. It’s not self-care. Read a religious or motivational book. Listen to a TED talk. Learn something. Become inspired. It will reinvigorate your soul.

Take a Hot Shower

Many self-care photos are these luxurious bubbles baths with all the trappings: bath bombs, candles, wine, and a book. Personally, I’ve never really been much of a bath person–I find them boring. But, sometimes when I’m stressed, or I’m feeling under the weather, I’ll take a hot shower. In the steam, I am able to refocus, I am able to take a break physically, I am able to get the boost I need. It’s quicker than a bath and much more effective.

Go on a Date

Get a babysitter. Take your spouse, your significant other, your partner (or if you aren’t with someone, your roomate, a friend, a family member) and go out on a date. Have a nice dinner and do a fun activity. Sometimes, you just need to strengthen a bond, to feel that you are cared for as much as you care for someone.

Get Spiritual Help

If you are religious, read your scriptures, or sacred writings. Devote  your time to your God or deity. Talk to a religious leader. Pray. Meditate.

Get Medical Help

Don’t disregard the medical help that is there. Talk to your doctor if you have a physical or mental ailment. Don’t look down on medication. I take an anti-depressant and it has helped my anxiety a lot over the years. I still get anxious and I still have a lot of depressing days. But, it’s better than it would have been otherwise. Don’t be afraid to find a therapist. Many work with insurances, especially if you get a recommendation from your doctor.

Update Your Prescriptions

Not just medicine prescriptions. If you haven’t been to a dentist in a while, go. I went for the first time in two years and I will tell you my mouth feels so clean and fresh and lighter, if that is possible. Also, if you wear glasses, update your glasses prescription. Get a new pair of glasses if they are old or scratched up. And, a great place to get new glasses is GlassesShop.com.

**I received a pair of prescription sunglasses from GlassesShop in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Bath bombs, glasses of wine (or caffeinated soda), chocolate and shopping sprees aren't ways to practice REAL self-care. REAL self-care is actually caring about yourself and trying to help yourself get better and healthier. Here are 10 ways to practice REAL self-care.

Glasses Shop actually sells both prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses. And, this is the second time I worked with them. But, I was thankful they reached out…because…I lost my previous pair of prescription sunglasses! That’s right. I was so sad because I loved them so much! Somehow they got lost in my recent move.

But, I love this black pair. I’ve never had lenses this large, and I kind of feel on-trend. Haha. They are a good quality and sturdy. They block out the sun very well. I’m glad to finally have sunglasses again since even during Texas falls and winters the sun shines bright. However, again, it took a while to adjust to the prescription. I’m not sure if my distance between pupils was mis-measured or if it is just something I have to get used to with prescription sunglasses.

Bath bombs, glasses of wine (or caffeinated soda), chocolate and shopping sprees aren't ways to practice REAL self-care. REAL self-care is actually caring about yourself and trying to help yourself get better and healthier. Here are 10 ways to practice REAL self-care.

And, Glasses Shop want you to love them too! Use the special coupon code GSHOT50 to get 50% off any of their eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses (with the exception of sales frames)!

How do you practice real self-care?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • Christina Bruner Polovich

    These are all really good points. And I really like the fact that you emphasized buying clothes in the correct size I’m keeping your medications updated. Those two things a lot of people seem to over look.

  • jaimemckee

    I exercise as part of my self care. It feels good for me, and everyone around me benefits from my good moods.

    • Exercising is a great way to practice self-care. I’ve gotten out of the habit this past month, but I need to get back into it…my body aches for it.

  • Trish

    These are great tips! I find reading, exercising, and going to bed early all really help with my self care. I try to have at least one night a week when I go to bed early and just read. It is wonderful.

    • Definitely! I do to! Thank goodness for husbands who are willing to take care of the kids!

  • Taking care of yourself is so important, especially for moms. How can we take care of our kiddos if we are not taking care of ourselves, right?

  • Rochelle Epstein

    Thank you for kicking my butt to remind me to do it as I don’t excluding dieting and walking. I love that dress it is beautiful and looks so great on you. I do drink a lot of water, excluding my coffee in the morning that is actually all I drink, love it. Now am going to write your tips down and start working on me 🙂 Once again thanks

  • This is a great post and all great ways to practice real self care. I am glad you shared this, we are important as individuals too!

  • Theresa

    I love the dress on you. So pretty! I do real-self care by indulging in good-for-me activities. I workout 4 days a week. I take 20 minutes to read a little of a good book each night. I find nourishing recipes to treat myself with every now and again. It’s so important to do good things for yourself every now and again. It’s really helps sooth and growth the mind, body and spirit.

    • Thank you so much! It’s one of my favorite dresses now!

  • I like your tips. I do agree that some people have a “treat yo self” attitude when it comes to self care. Self care, like everything else in life, should be intentional. I’ve been working on getting out of bed earlier/going to bed earlier (I was guilty of staying up really late and then sleeping in for “self care”), going on a walk/run every day, and the clothes that fit one is one that I’m working on as well. I gained back all of the weight I’d lost while pregnant with Emmy (I know, I’m weird losing weight while pregnant) and I’d thrown away my “big” pants after I bought new ones at this time last year, swearing that I’d never fit into them again. So I’m working on getting new ones so I can feel like a normal human instead of wearing yoga pants and skirts all day every day.

  • Self care is so important but so many of us ignore it. I find that I’m more productive when I take some time to myself. Doesn’t even have to be a big thing either.

  • I love this perspective! I believe self care is different for everyone, it’s not a one size fits all.

  • Eileen Mendoza Loya

    I do agree that self care is not being selfish. I wish I could put that into practice. Sometimes I feel guilty when I spend to pamper myself. In the back of my mind, the nagging thought about spending that money on me instead of getting something for the family. That should stop. I need to learn to love myself more so I can be more effective in loving others.

    • Yes! You have to take care of yourself to take care of others. Just like on an airplane–putting on your own oxygen mask first is not selfish–it allows you to be able to care for others.

  • Crystal

    I still go home when I need a break! Moms are the best! Your suggestions are all fantastic, especially loving your body and dressing it well. Your dress is so lovely on you.

  • I whole heartedly agree with you on this definition of self care and I didn’t even know it! You’re so brilliant!!