As a body positive blogger, I find that there is a common misconception about body love and self-care. You can feel confident with yourself and still also have the desire to take care of yourself. A big personal challenge I’ve taken up is focusing more on self-care this year. No, I’m not talking about treating myself to bath bombs or a night of wine and Netflix. Self-care looks different when you work for yourself like I do now. By definition, self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Robin and I are constantly fine-tuning how we take care of our minds and bodies, but there is one activity we do weekly that has been making all the difference.
We get away from screens and leave the house.
It may sound simple, not groundbreaking at all, but boy is it hard to do and so very important.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a total workaholic. If you leave me alone, I could easily spend 7am-9pm in front of my laptop working. And I enjoy it! But dude, 14 hours of working each day is so not good for your body or your mind. It’s also not good for a relationship. Robin and I live in a small studio, but some days it felt like we didn’t even see each other because we’re both busy and sucked into our own tasks. At the end of the day, we were having little to chat about over dinner.
The first step of self-care is tackling problems head-on. To change, we decided that at least once a week – even if we’re busy and have projects – that we’d put down the screens and leave the house. And not just leave, but do something together out in the city. Sometimes it’s lunch or a walk in a new neighborhood. But a favorite of ours is heading downtown to the Starbucks Reserve Bar, picking up coffee and hitting up the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. We talk to each other, or stare out the train window. We move our bodies together and refresh our minds.
To start, we love to swing by the new Starbucks Reserve Bar in SOMA to treat ourselves to a Reserve blend (my favorite is the Rose Honey Latte!) and earn ourselves Stars through our Starbucks Rewards Visa Card. If we’re in a hurry, I can order the drinks through the Starbucks app ahead of time, but when we’re not rushed, we sometimes like to sit down and enjoy the bar a bit before heading off to the market. If you aren’t familiar with the Starbucks Rewards Visa Card, you get instant Gold Member status by joining and a lot of other perks, like earning Stars for purchases everywhere. Stars help you earn drinks so we can do more farmer’s market days!
After picking up Starbucks, we like to walk the few blocks over to the Ferry Building to shop for flowers and fresh veggies. That’s another aspect of self-care we’ve been working on – actually eating veggies and fresh fruits. We travel a lot and when we’re home, it’s so hard to stock the fridge with veggies when all I’m craving is pizza and things covered in cheese after a long trip. Shopping a farmer’s market together in a no-screen day provides us a time to meal plan and chat about cooking together. (We also earn ourselves Starbucks Stars!) If you haven’t been to the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building, it’s a must for a local or San Francisco visitor! They have them Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Self-care for busy gals like myself really boils down to nailing down a potential problem and changing your behavior before it becomes out of control. For Robin and myself, we saw that all the screen time was wreaking havoc on our bodies, we weren’t moving as much as we should or eating as well as we should, and above all, were lacking some time to just be together, without distractions. Our little weekly routine is something I look forward to each week now! It’s not always easy, sometimes we’re slammed with projects, but we always make time to grab a Rose Honey Latte from Starbucks, earn some Stars that come in handy later, get some fresh air and catch up away from screens.
Keep scrolling for a list of what self-care my look like for you!
Self-Care for you may be…
Cutting out a toxic friend or family member.
Waking up 30 minutes earlier each day so you can do yoga or meditate or just relax a little before tackling the day.
Setting designated no-screen times, even if you’re swamped with things to do.
Calling your Mom and asking for advice. She’s smart, I’m sure.
Saying no. And sticking to it.
Staying home to read and recharge your brain instead of going out with friends.
Not feeling guilty about not going out with friends.
Moving your body more, even if you think it’s impossible to find more time in a day to do so.
Taking control of your finances.
Building better credit. The Starbucks Rewards Visa Card can be used to help build credit while giving you coffee and food rewards!
Going to a therapist.
Finally getting help for chronic pain.
Crying when you need to. Finding reasons to laugh just to laugh.
Napping when you need to, so you have a fresh mind.
Looking yourself in the mirror and reminding yourself that you are beautiful, inside and out. It’s ok if you don’t believe it yet, you’ll get there.
I could go on an on, but I think you get the drill. Self-care can be a lot of things, it can just be one thing for you. You can love yourself and still want to work on yourself. I’m here for the self-care movement of 2018.