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Four meaningful, do-able ways to DIY self-care

Pedicures and charcoal masks aren’t the only way to treat yourself.

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Recognize every sip (or chug) of water as a tiny act of self-care. - MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • Recognize every sip (or chug) of water as a tiny act of self-care.

In a culture in which the answer to "How are you doing?" has become a rushed humblebrag about being busy, it's no surprise self-care has become a hot topic. Industry response to our cravings for a little respite from our own lives has been to commodify self-care and market it to us as the antidote to our collective frenzy.

The result is that self-care has turned into a service that must be paid for, which can feel inaccessible to many. But it should be as much a part of everyday life as eating and breathing, and not something you feel like you have to earn first.

And here's the thing: Maybe you actually hate pedicures. And you might not always have time for a long, hot bubble bath. Truly meaningful self-care feels good to you, and it's also inherently do-able. Here are a few ideas for finding your own version of it this year.

1. Be mindful
You're already engaging in all kinds of self-care, but likely not mentally labelling it as such. For a huge perspective-shift, next time you take a sip of water or a deep breath, notice these as tiny acts of self-care.

2. Put your own oxygen mask on first, fill your own cup, blah blah BLAH
Cliche, but true. When you say yes to everyone and everything else, what are you saying no to? Practice ways of saying no that feel good to you. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

3. Create
Especially if it involves your hands more than your brain. Your love of making macrame planters is more than just a weird retro hobby—creating is the adult form of play. Even just a few moments in creation mode will leave you feeling energized for the rest of your day.

4. Find your body
Most of the "busy" we engage in happens between our two ears and in front of a screen, resulting in a floating head-type phenomenon. Just notice that you have a body, first. And then try to listen to it. You might notice your sweet meat-self has a lot of wisdom to share.

Ultimately, the paradox of self-care is that even though you may feel you don't have time for it, the more engage in it, the more energetic and productive you are. Self-care doesn't take time, it makes time.

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