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You’ve probably heard the term “self-care” used a lot lately. It’s become a popular buzzword in the media and in personal development circles.

However, you still may be unclear on what it means.

While the concept does involve taking care of yourself, it actually goes much deeper.

Read on to learn what self-care is, why it matters and how to get started doing it.

Why Self-Care is Important After Domestic Violence

Self-care is an important step when recovering from domestic violence. It helps to rebuild your well-being. We have given up our time to take care of ourselves and care for ourselves because the abuser demanded so much of our time or called us shellfish for wanting time to ourselves.

When you first practice self-care, it will feel uncomfortable, and you will probably feel anxious during the time you practice self-care. This feeling will go away the more you practice taking care of yourself. I can’t tell you how long that will take because it varies among each individual. Just don’t give up.

Your self-care may look different from another woman who hasn’t been through the trauma of abuse. When you are new to practicing self-care and right out of an abusive relationship, a day at the spa may not be what you need or getting your nails done. You feel sad, upset, lonely, anxious, and depressed. No, your self-care will look more at how to survive the aftermath of the abuse.

I know for me, my self-care didn’t look like all rainbow and flowers, mostly because I wasn’t feeling that way at all. I had just gotten out of a relationship that was Hell, and I was treated badly. I sure wasn’t feeling the rainbow and sunshine self-care tips that people told me about.

My self-care was more about working on myself and my way of living my life after the abuse. I was more focused on surviving the aftermath of the abuse and making sense of the mess of life that I had going on.

In this article, we will discuss and explore different ways that self-care will be beneficial to you and which self-care acts will help you during your healing from the abuse. Get you a cup of water or coffee and let’s dive into self-care.

About Self-Care

Self-care covers a lot of areas with regard to caring for yourself.

It involves nurturing your body, mind, and spirit.

It focuses on building yourself up so that your internal resources don’t become depleted.

Essentially, self-care is being as good to yourself as you would be to someone you care about.

It requires you to show yourself some compassion and encourages you to be vulnerable with others, asking for help when you need it.

What doesn’t fall under the umbrella of self-care are self-destructive coping mechanisms such as using drugs, drinking, gambling, or retail therapy.

These things only make you feel good in the short term and won’t help you on your healing journey.

The Benefits of Self-Care

There are lots of benefits to practicing self-care. Embracing this concept can be difficult for those who’ve always placed emphasis on the welfare of others.

However, giving all your energy to those around you without filling your own back-up leaves you depleted and empty. That’s no way to live. Instead, spending time and effort on yourself rejuvenates and energizes you.

Taking time to indulge in your own interests demonstrates your worth, leading to improved self-esteem and a more positive outlook on the world.

It teaches you a lot about yourself and provides you with insight into what you need to be the best version of yourself. Self-care helps you better cope with stress and to prioritize what’s important to you.

You’ll be better able to take care of others when you also take time to meet your own needs.

The 8 Areas of Self-Care

There are eight general areas of concern on which to focus when it comes to self-care. Every area of self-care is important as each influences the other. To practice good self-care, you need to engage in healthy activities which aid you in reaching your optimal success, based on your personal life goals.

Physical

Your physical body needs care to ensure its optimum health. To care for yourself physically, you need to move around regularly as well as perform basic exercises, eating right, and getting enough sleep. You also need to be mindful of your health needs, which includes going to the doctor and dentist for regularly scheduled checkups.

Some good examples of physical self-care include daily exercise, like walking, swimming, and gardening. Eating healthy meals that contain the right amount of calories is another way you can care for your body. Self-care may seem boring, but don’t worry. There are activities that can make you healthy and feel good about yourself, such as taking a long, hot, relaxing bath and getting a manicure, or pedicure.

Psychological

Understanding how your mind controls your actions can be very beneficial to you. By focusing on your psychological health, you’ll become more proactive. This leaves little room to be reactive when something offends you or goes wrong.

Caring for yourself psychologically includes learning about the human mind, practicing mindfulness, reading more, and learning new skills. Caring for yourself also includes disconnecting from the constant stressors and distractions that technology supports.

Emotional

Managing your stress levels and developing your emotional IQ requires that you purposefully focus on learning how to say no (or yes) with intention and purpose, instead of making a choice with little thought.

Caring for yourself emotionally includes cultivating compassion for yourself, making time for reflection on your feelings and decisions, and understanding your emotional boundaries.

Social

Did you know that your life often reflects the vision of the people who surround you? Having supportive people around you, who want the best for you, ensures that you’ll be a much more centered person with a more contented life.

Caring for yourself socially includes honoring your commitments, asking for help, spending time with those who matter to you, and also making a point to meet new people who uphold the similar values as you.

Professional

Whether you work for yourself or someone else, share your strengths while maintaining clear, professional boundaries. It’s important for you to know what you want professionally and to set clear goals while maintaining your boundaries.

Caring for yourself professionally includes knowing your strengths and your purpose in life in order to attain your professional needs. To be at your professional best means that you develop a plan based on your goals. This plan helps you to enhance your professional knowledge, skills and grow in your professional field.

Environmental

Your environment affects your ability to get things done. For example, an organized workplace and a clutter-free home environment, enables you to reduce or eliminate undue stressors. This can make an enormous difference in your thoughts, attitude, and your overall outlook.

To care for your environment, you’ll want to get rid of clutter, monitor technology usage, clean your home and workplace daily. Keeping your environment clean, safe, organized, and comfortable helps to set the stage for your success.

Spiritual

Your personal values are often influenced by your spiritual beliefs. These beliefs often make you feel complete, guide your decision-making. They also help bring you more satisfaction and contentment in life.

Caring for yourself spiritually integrates many ways to focus on how to live life to its fullest, according to your belief system and stated morals. This may also include meditation, journaling, spending time in nature, or other ways to grow spiritually.

Financial

We all need money in order to build the lifestyle we dream of having. However, being financially responsible requires that you educate yourself about how to control your money and make it for you instead of against you.

Caring for your finances means knowing where the money is coming from, where it’s going, as well as how and when to spend it wisely. This includes how to pay your bills and taxes on time without stress.

Self-care is sometimes challenging due to pressures from society to put yourself last. However, the truth is that self-care is essential to your health, overall happiness, and every area of your life.

Examples of Self-Care

There are countless ways to add self-care into your routine.

The key is to choose activities that are most enjoyable to you and provide you with the most benefits.

Going for a walk in nature is great for those who enjoy the outdoors. This is one of my favorite ways to practice self-care. I feel my higher power through nature. I believe that God has his way of making nature calming.

Other forms of exercise like yoga, running, or going to the gym work well, too.

Spending time with friends can be rejuvenating, but so can say no. This is so important about saying no. You have fun with your friends and love hanging out together, but there will be days that you just feel like you want to stay in and have alone time. This is okay as long as you aren’t isolating yourself from people, but taking time for you to rejuvenate yourself.

Treating yourself to a favorite, affordable indulgence like a movie or ice cream cone are all good examples.

As it is taking a bath or meditating. Also, journaling about yourself. No rules, just write. When I journal, there are no rules at all. The only rule I have is that I write down exactly how I feel and what I am going through. That I don’t leave anything out. I will even journal out the feelings that are hard to talk about. This is a very freeing experience.

These are just a few of the ways you can easily incorporate self-care into your life.

Now you know what self-care is and what it’s important.

You’ve also got some ideas of how to get started, so you’re well on your way to adding this useful practice to your life.

Girl doing yoga

Start & End Your Day With A Little Self Care

Like any new habit, adding self-care into your life can seem kind of tricky. You probably wonder how you’ll manage to find time to do anything extra for yourself, let alone how you’ll remember to do these things. One of the best ways to get started is to build your activities into predictable parts of your day. To make something a habit, it has to happen regularly. Keep reading, and I’ll show you some tricks to making self-care a routine part of your life.

Make It Personal

The first thing that will help you in creating your self-care rituals is to choose activities that are meaningful to you and that you enjoy. This is your practice, so you want to be sure it’s customized in order to get the most out of it. Consider making a list of things that help you to feel relaxed, peaceful, excited or happy. These activities should be able to be done in a short amount of time and easily fit into your life without special equipment or tools. At least as you begin your practice, the things you decide to do should be as simple as possible.

Fit It In

You should add your self-care rituals to the most convenient parts of your day. Choose times that are already somewhat flexible so that incorporating something new into that space will be less stressful. Many people go with morning or evening routines, right when they wake up and before going to sleep each night. Getting up fifteen minutes earlier than usual and setting aside a window during the usual nighttime schedule are usually things most folks can do. However, maybe designating your daily lunch break as your self-care time might work better for you. Consider activities like writing a gratitude journal entry before bed, listening to music while having your morning coffee, or going for a short walk over your lunch hour. Trial and error may be required, but find a moment to call your own every day.

Take care of yourself wrote on a card

Be Flexible

It’s best to come up with a routine that works for you and stick to it. Committing to a particular schedule will help you to create a habit and ensures that you get the self-care you need. However, try to cut yourself some slack. Some days are more hectic than others. You may not be able to fit in your anticipated self-care activity, and that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day, and you can try again. Soon, you’ll find yourself wanting to take part in these rituals, and getting back on track will be easy.

Getting into the practice of regular self-care doesn’t have to be difficult. Making a few adjustments to your existing schedule can free up some space in your day. Choose things that will refresh you and that are simple in nature will make getting started a breeze.

Try Something New Today To Care For Yourself

Creating habits and adding activities to your calendar help increase your chances of sticking with your new routine.

Another way to keep things interesting is to treat yourself to things you’ve always wanted to do.

Adding new and novel experiences to your self-care routine is like giving yourself a little gift every day.

It’s a great way to stay motivated to do things to care for yourself.

Pamper Yourself

Taking physical care of yourself in a pampering way makes us feel good.

Pampering is a go-to for many people when it comes to their self-care routine.

Think of something you’ve never done before. It doesn’t have to be expensive.

A small act of indulgence can have the same effect as an extravagant one.

A bubble bath with candles can be soothing if this is something you don’t do very often.

When was the last time you just had time to go and soak in the tub and think about absolutely nothing?

This is still my favorite way to pass the time. I get candles and lit them, put in oil that smells wonderful or bath bombs, put on music I love, and read my book. This brings a smile to my face just to think about how I allow myself to have this time.

Girl in a bubble bath

Celebrate Today

Celebrate the day by seeing how far you have come on your healing journey. You have left the abusive relationship, and that takes a strong woman to do that. Completely changed your life around and have been living life again on your terms. You have your freedom back and no longer have to answer to anybody but to yourself. You won’t be questioned about every little thing you have done today.

Make a grateful list of everything you have today to be grateful for. I have given you some examples in the paragraph above. Make today the best day you have had in a while.

When I was on my journey, I would celebrate the day by doing what I wanted when I wanted to. As long as it was legal. I would plan the day how I wanted to spend it and love that nobody could take that way from me. Wrote many grateful lists to celebrate the day with. I was finally free.

Enjoy the Little Things

Self-care really doesn’t have to be on a grand scale.

The tiniest gestures can be the most meaningful. Indulging in small free or low-cost treats allows you to spoil yourself more often.

What are some little things you’ve never done for yourself that you can start adding to your life today?

Have you ever bought yourself flowers? Give it a try.

You’ll get a boost every time you see that beautiful bouquet on your table or desk.

Think of your favorite food item, the one you have on special occasions.

Why not make one day a week a little more special by trying a new version of it?

For example, commit yourself to taste a new truffle each week at your favorite chocolate shop. Get creative with it.

Adding new experiences to your self-care routine keeps things interesting and can also help make them more meaningful.

The novelty will also expand your world and enrich your life. Plus, it’s just fun!

Recovery Guide

Have you left your toxic relationship but still feel lost, confused, and lonely? Do you wonder why things haven’t gone back to normal?

In the toxic relationship recovery guide, you will find the answers to those questions. The guide will direct you on what to do after a toxic relationship ends.

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    Turn Self-Care Practices Into Daily Habits

    Cultivating habits is the best way to simplify your self-care routines. When you turn your self-care practices into habits, it’s much easier to get motivated and stick to your goals. But how do you create a habit for your self-care? The following tips will help you turn your practices into long-term daily habits.

    Choose Your Habits

    The best way to develop new habits is to choose the habits that will impact your life most. However, it will also help you know why you want to build that habit. For example, if you have a tough time walking every day, make it a non-negotiable habit for every other day, until you work up to walking every day.

    Commit To Each Habit

    When you decide to make something a habit, you need to commit to the action for the long term. This means you need to give it time, to ensure you have the right resources. Remove any roadblocks that limit your success. For example, if you want to walk 30 minutes a day but you don’t have the right kind of shoes to walk in, it won’t be easy to maintain your walking commitment.

    Visualize Your Habit

    Once you’ve diced what you’ll do and committed to it, take some time to visualize what success looks and feels like. You can write in your journal, create a vision board, or meditate on the idea to see it in your mind enough to motivate you while you are developing the habit.

    Plan The Details

    Write down what you want to do and plan how it’ll all work so you can record the results too. For example, if you’re going to walk 30 minutes a day, you’ll need to write down exactly how you will fit it into your day, when, where, and how – include all of it. Include how you feel when you do it, how you feel if you don’t do it, and how to mitigate roadblocks.

    Implement The Plan

    Now that you know how to create the habit, you’ll want to do the actions you’ve committed to doing. Don’t rely on willpower or anything but time telling you that you must do this action right now and just do it.

    Track Your Progress

    Don’t rely on your memory, to be honest with whether you lived up to your own objectives or not. Instead, track everything you do during the initial habit-setting moves to know what’s working and what’s not working.

    Assess and Tweak Goals

    On a regular basis, you need to make you’re your goals and actions support are giving you the results you want. If they don’t, you need to make changes that support the results you want to achieve.

    Repeat the Process

    Never give up.

    Make A List Of 5 Simple Self-Care Routines You Can Fall Back On When Needed

    Beneficial habits like self-care often go by the wayside during stressful times.

    It can be difficult to focus on anything but the bare minimum when life gets hard.

    The fact is, though, that these are the days when you most need to take care of yourself.

    One way is to have a self-care toolkit to help you out during these instances.

    Having a list of self-care routines can make it easier for you to implement them when needed.

    There are some other tricks you can employ to get you through the tough times, too.

    Keep reading, and I’ll share them with you.

    Make a List

    Let’s start with your self-care backup plan.

    This is a list of at least five activities you can easily fit into your life during the most stressful periods.

    Having such a reminder on hand will let you gain the benefits of caring for yourself without having to think about it too much.

    The list can be made up of small tasks like going to bed 30 minutes early, so you have time to fit in your self-care the next morning.

    Take time to make sure you have your boundaries set up with people in your life. You have created a safe place to heal. Doesn’t have to be anything big.

    During times of trouble, the very basic foundations of self-care can be the most important.

    Notebook with self-care ideas wrote in it

    Make a Care Package

    Another way to boost your chances of keeping self-care the focus during hard times is to prepare a care package ahead of time.

    This can include some of your favorite little indulgences like a good book, herbal teas, a facial mask, fuzzy slippers, and a classical CD.

    Include anything that brings you joy. Being able to reach for this package when you’re stressed can mean the world and make a huge difference to your outlook.

    The care package I made myself was made up of some simple things in life such as my gel pens, an uplifting color book, my favorite quotes, my favorite self-help book, and a mini journal.

    It can be just one thing, just as long as it is something you will grab and use during your self-care time. Make the item something that will help you build yourself up and help you feel peace.

    Involve Your Crew

    When things look bleak, you may require a bit of help to get back on track.

    That’s why it’s a good idea to reach out to trusted friends and family now to enlist their help for the future.

    Talk to your closest confidantes and let them know you would like them to always encourage your self-care routine.

    Share with them the benefits it’s provided you and tell them you’d appreciate their assistance if they see you aren’t caring for yourself as well as you should be.

    Sometimes those who know us best can see things we don’t.

    When your crew knows to look out for you in this regard, they can reinforce your self-care needs during times of stress.

    Taking steps to plan now can make maintaining your self-care routine easier in the future.

    Always remember it’s during the hardest times that you need to nurture yourself the most.

    Self-Care Doesn’t Have To Cost Anything

    Lots of people get the wrong idea about self-care.

    They think they have to be deserving of it.

    They feel like it’s splurging to do something good for themselves. It can seem extravagant.

    I’d like to change that mindset today.

    Self-care is something you deserve. Everyone does.

    It benefits us all, along with those around us, when we put our own well-being at the forefront.

    You can’t take care of others when your own well-being is suffering.

    Let’s take a look at some free and low-cost ways you can care for yourself.

    Take a Time Out

    Sometimes just a little bit of alone time is all you need to feel rejuvenated. So why not give yourself a time out?

    Lock yourself in your room with a nice cup of tea.

    Listen to some quiet music.

    Just sit still and think for a bit. It’s a luxury we all can afford.

    Waste Some Time

    We often feel pressured to be productive all the time. Being busy is a sign of worth and accomplishment.

    However, it really doesn’t have to be that way.

    Just kicking back and doing nothing is important to recharge our batteries.

    Let yourself have some downtime to do something frivolous like binge on your favorite Netflix show, take a nap or just sit and pet your cat.

    You deserve it.

    Clothes pins with love yourself

    Do Some Writing

    Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, journaling can be a very therapeutic activity.

    Jotting down what you’re grateful for has been proven to be beneficial to well-being.

    It can also be energizing to simply do a brain dump in which you write down all the things that are floating around in your head.

    Jotting down dreams for the future might inspire and motivate you to take action.

    Give it a try.

    Reach Out to Someone

    Socializing is a crucial part of self-care.

    Even introverts benefit from the interpersonal connection.

    Humans aren’t meant to be isolated.

    Pick up the phone and call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while.

    Sit down and Skype with your favorite internet pal.

    Meeting up in person for a walk together or a cup of coffee is even better.

    Connecting to others might just provide the spark you’ve been missing.

    Change Your Perspective

    A change of scenery can be a wonderful source of renewal, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot.

    Just heading out to walk in your neighborhood might help when you’re feeling stir-crazy in your home.

    If you’re able to afford it, a low-cost staycation to a nearby location for a day or two is a fun way to switch things up.

    You’ll be surprised what this change of perspective can do for you.

    While these are just a few of the countless ways you can indulge in self-care without spending much money, perhaps they’re just the jump start you need to begin exploring this concept.

    You truly do deserve to spend time, energy, and effort on your own well-being.

    Don’t Feel Guilty For Practicing Self-Care

    Many people feel guilty for spending time and resources on self-care.

    There are a lot of complex reasons for this within our society.

    Despite what anyone else may say, you deserve to focus on your own needs.

    In fact, it’s good for those you love when you take care of yourself. You truly can’t fill another’s cup if your own is empty.

    So, I’d like to take this opportunity to emphasize why you shouldn’t feel guilty for practicing self-care and encourage you to do so in every area of your life.

    It’s Not Selfish

    First and foremost, you must understand that taking time to care for yourself is not selfish in any way.

    It may be hard to get past the mindset that the needs of others are more important than your own, but overcoming this mindset is essential to allowing yourself to adequately meet your own needs.

    Care isn’t a zero-sum concept. When you care for yourself, it doesn’t have to mean you don’t care about others.

    Self -care isn't selfish wrote on a board

    It’s Necessary

    Self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. It really is like the airplane air mask comparison. You have to ensure you can breathe before you can help those around you.

    If you’re tired, rundown, and overwhelmed all the time, you absolutely cannot give your best self to others. You also can’t offer yourself the very best. Remember that self-care isn’t selfish.

    It Sets a Good Example

    If you’re a parent, investing in self-care is not only good for you, it sets a good example for your kids.

    Even if you don’t have children, taking the time to care for yourself might be inspiring or motivational for those around you.

    In order for a stigma to end, it has to be normalized. When more of us let the world around us know why self-care matters, they may begin to change their minds about the concept, as well.

    It Demands Respect

    It also sets a precedent for how you expect others to treat you. When you demonstrate that you value yourself and that you find it worth investing time in yourself, they will respond in kind.

    Learning to say no and set boundaries is good for your relationships. It teaches others how you expect to be treated and makes it clear that you see yourself as a priority.

    There’s no reason to feel guilty about that.

    It will take time to overcome a lifetime of messages society has given you, and you’ve internalized. With practice, you can come to see the benefits of self-care and that it doesn’t have to be something that causes guilt.

    Finally found myself wrote on napkin setting by coffee cup

    Tips To Continue To Take Care Of Yourself Going Forward

    Self-care is a process. It requires practice and dedication if you want to make it stick. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time to make this new concept a part of your life.

    It’ll get easier, and you’ll probably find yourself craving your self-care activities so much that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

    However, there will inevitably be times that are busier or more stressful when self-care may go by the wayside.

    If you find that happening, be sure to follow these tips to continue to take care of yourself going forward.

    Follow Your Gut

    Sometimes we get so busy that we find ourselves living on auto-pilot. That’s only natural during hectic times, but it’s critical that you make an attempt to listen to your instincts during these times to know whether you’re in need of a boost.

    When you start to feel especially frazzled or fatigued, that’s not a cue to double down and work harder.

    It’s your body and mind telling you that you need a break.

    Listen to them. Along these lines, look for other unusual signs that things are off-balance with you such as irritability, eating poorly, losing sleep, or indulging in bad habits.

    These things are telling you to take care of yourself.

    Schedule It In

    A trick that helps some people to fit self-care into their schedules when life gets busy is to actually write it in their date book or calendar.

    Treat your self-care commitments like any other appointment or event.

    Write down the time you’ll start and finish. Try to be specific about the activity you’ll engage in.

    Doing these things will increase the odds that you’ll actually follow through.

    It’s easy to put yourself on the back burner when life gets crazy, but don’t forget that these are the times you need self-care the most.

    Create a Plan

    Developing a self-care plan is crucial to maintaining your well-being. Let’s review a bit, as it’s so important to have a self-care toolkit at your disposal during life’s busiest and most stressful periods.

    Keep your emergency self-care list and your care package together so they’re easily accessed when you need them.

    You also make sure there’s a list of trusted contacts to call when you might need some self-care encouragement and accountability.

    Your tribe can provide the motivation and support you need to take care of yourself.

    One final word. Take time to assess your self-care needs regularly. This will also help to keep you on track.

    Ask yourself once a week or so if you’re giving yourself enough time and attention. Listen to your instincts.

    Make adjustments as necessary. Self-care is an ongoing and evolving process. It requires your constant attention.

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