What does self-care look like to you? Do you have self care practices?
In an age where people are realizing that a life driven by work, alone, is no longer okay, it is important to have self care practices in place for the days that make you want to throw your hands up in the air and just walk away....even better, it is important to practice self care to prevent those days.
As a full-time teacher and part-time candle expert, I am the first person to admit to being burnt out. Having to deal with personalities unlike your own all day every day can be exhausting on the days it isn't rewarding. So, what am I doing to take care of myself? I'm glad you asked!
5 Practices for Self Care in the age of Burnout
1. Schedule days off of work.
Don't wait for your body and mind to be screaming at the top of their lungs to listen to them. Be proactive and prepare for the hardships that future you will face. This means, looking at what projects are coming, what holidays are too far away, and how many weekends you've been using to do the many human things that adulting requires and building in your own meaningful breaks.
2. Return to your favorite hobby or pick up a new one.
You remember that thing that you never have time for anymore? Make time for it. Even if it's 30 minutes that you've carved out at the beginning/end of your day. This practice contributed to candle making, for me (and something new that will be in the shop by the end of this year!!!) You will be reminded of your purpose and passion. You will remember (or learn for the first time) why you love it and what it means to you.
3. Do the things that need to be done.
Sometimes, self-care means finally doing that load (or let's be honest, three loads) of laundry that has been staring at you since last week. So, load the dishwasher, open the blinds, clean those empty candle jars you’ve been saying you would for weeks now, vacuum the living room and let your space feel like home again. Push back your curtains, it may take some time but you will be able to smile at the steps you've made towards the light!
4. Be intentional about your downtime.
Some days, it may feel like staying in bed all day is "self care" but it can actually be letting your burn out win. Self care is well intentioned sleep, tv time, and reading, but it isn't laying in bed and doing nothing all day. I know, I know, but hear me out.. set an alarm that forces you out of bed, then plan out your day to maximize your intentional practices to take care of you and your space. For example, an episode of your favorite tv show, a long walk at the park, lighting your favorite candle and taking a bath, then dinner you've prepared for yourself.
5. Say NO to things you don't have time for.
Saying no isn't always easy but it is a weapon that allows for you to prioritize your own well being over the obligations or expectations that others might have placed on you. Give yourself the necessary space to focus on the things that bring you joy, fill your cup, and help you grow.
The days where we feel most like ourselves (the self we envisioned/dreamt of) are the days we are working towards every day!