The Art of Self-Care

8THIRTYFOUR blog: Self Care Graphic two girls performing a skin routine

Too often, we forget to give ourselves credit for the many roles we fill. Juggling full-time jobs, raising families in the digital era, side hustles, inflation…and somehow, it’s still easy to feel like you’re not doing enough.

Which brings us to self-care. We’re not talking about a gratitude journal or your 50-step skincare routine. There are simpler ways to take better care of yourself in your daily life. Sorry to break it to you, but doing too much is counter-productive and unsustainable.   

Social Media Breaks

It’s time to break the cycle of “doom scrolling.” You might be thinking, how do you take a break from Social Media when it’s your job? So glad you asked. It’s actually a great middle-ground for taking a break – content can be shared and posted, inspiration can be acquired, and then you can turn it off at the end of the work day.

Of course, it can be more difficult when it’s your personal account. If you’re not ready to dive into a total detox, we love setting time limits on our social apps. Admittedly, it’s hard not to slam the ignore button. That’s why it helps to have your next action in mind. Before you start your scroll to unwind, look around and decide what you’re going to do when the time is up. 

8THIRTYFOUR Blog: Self Care Blog Graphic a women with an eye mask on her face
8THIRTYFOUR Blog: Self Care Blog a stack of towels on a stool in a bathroom
8THIRTYFOUR Blog: Self Care Blog a women in a bathtub reading a book with tea

Small Win Snowballs

While “small wins” is inching towards a cheesy self-help buzzword, it can do wonders for mental health. Oftentimes, setting a small, achievable objective for yourself is the mental vacation you need to slow down the whir of the world. That can boil down to some light cleaning around the house for 5-10 minutes. Perhaps it’s cleaning up that downloads folder and the Google Chrome tab collection(shoutout marketers). There are probably 5-10 things within eyeshot of you right now that you could easily make better.

That one task usually ends up snowballing. Eventually, by the end of the day, the “why am I not a rockstar yet?” thoughts slowly fade into “I got things done today”, which helps your ability to dive headfirst into those bigger goals with more confidence & gusto.

Intentional Relaxation

Sometimes you have to work hard to relax. You don’t get replenished by just sitting on the couch and giving in to the urge to do nothing. Instead, do nothing, but intentionally. This can look different for everyone, but no matter what it takes, you have to make sure your surroundings and environment are set up so that you can fully let go of any mental hurdles-the enemy of self-care. If your entire house has to be tidy and you want clean sheets at the end of your relaxation night, put that night on the calendar. The day before, set aside time to get those things done. Or maybe all you have to do is go out of your way to pick up your favorite sweet treat.

The legwork to set yourself up for a perfectly relaxed night, big or small, is an act of self-care. Think about the little things you would do for your partner, bestie, or loved one who had a hard week. Combine all those things for yourself. The ROI on the effort is seriously insane and worth the trouble. To be clear, this isn’t a weekly thing. Setting aside a night or two per month like this each month typically does the trick. 

Find the Little Joys

So, the world’s chaotic, the news is terrible, and it feels like everything’s up in flames. You’re rushing out the door and forgetting your lunch on the counter and just remembered a report that you were supposed to get out before the end of the day. And if you’re like us, anywhere from one to nine dogs are following on your heels.

It’s easy to get lost in the cycle of everyday life. One of the best ways to ground yourself in the present is to play a game (don’t worry, it’s easy). Try to find one thing each day that makes you smile. We don’t mean anything big like picking up a new hobby or whatever. Nobody has time for that. We’re talking about silly little things that can break you out of your go-go-go attitude.

Need some examples? Put a sticker on your water bottle that makes you laugh. Make a habit of looking at your garden before you start your commute. Or stick something in your pocket that’ll remind you of the good times. Our personal favorite is the TikTok trend of putting a toy dinosaur in your pocket each day. It’s silly, right? Why would an adult have a toy dinosaur with them? Because it is silly. Because halfway through your three-hour meeting when everyone’s droning on and your eyes are fluttering closed, there’s a little plastic stegosaurus that, against all odds, is working in an office with you.

A lot of the time, self-care comes across as a big, serious term that’s backed by a lot of data and hard-to-achieve goals. Mantras and meditation and envisioning and manifesting and habit-building. But if you ask us, it really just comes down to treating yourself a little bit more like someone you love. Use the small wins to encourage yourself, put your phone down, and set yourself up for better days through these acts of self-care.

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