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5 Things That Helped Me Cut The Crap And Embrace Self-Care

No need to get fancy with it, just treat yo self.

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Hi, I’m Chelsea and like a typical modern-day lady (lol), I tend to forget to take time for myself.

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Logically, I know the benefits of self-care: when I do take that time, I find myself to be way more productive at work, more engaged in my relationships, and generally happier. But it’s still difficult for me to remember that, especially when I need it the most. As in, I’ve been someone who will stubbornly sit at my desk for an hour too long even though I know a walk outside will help clear my mind to do and enjoy my work more efficiently. And then I do it and I’m like, OH YOU DUMB DUMB, YOU SHOULDA DONE THAT HOURS AGO.

After years of excuses and just plain forgetfulness when it came to taking time for myself, I decided to make my 2016 New Years Resolution a mandatory "Self-care Sunday."

The alliteration helped me remember to do it, and I keep it simple: I usually paint my nails, put on face mask, and watch a show I like or read a book (if the nail thing isn’t going on). If I’m feelin’ flush or particularly blah, I pay someone else to do paint my nails for me!

But this is all to say: Whatever you do for yourself, however much time you take or how much (or little) money you want to spend, doesn’t matter.

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Maybe it's reading! Maybe it's making jam! Maybe it's picking some flowers! I don't know you, so I don't know! It doesn’t have to be Sunday, even! Unless you’re like me and the alliteration helps you remember it.

My 5 main take-aways after 10 months of "Self-Care Sundays":

1. Self-care means something different to different people, and your routine shouldn’t be compared to anyone else’s.

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It could be a 10-minute walk around your neighborhood without your phone, dancing in your room by yourself to your favorite song, an at-home DIY facemask, a professional massage or hey, maybe you do as Ben Wyatt and buy that Batman costume you always wanted.

2. It doesn't need to be expensive!

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I REPEAT: IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE EXPENSIVE. Self-care is an overall great trend but one that people often think of as having a hefty price tag. For so long, I kept myself from doing it because not having an extra $300 to drop to do self-care the "right way" was stressful. Once I realized it could be however cheap or expensive as I wanted, it was liberating!

3. If nothing else, give yourself 15 minutes.

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A lot of the time, thinking self-care has to be a three-hour event makes people avoid it all together. Giving yourself 15 minutes is a great start and most people have that time. (Or if you don't, take five! I swear you have FIVE MINUTES.)

4. Reminding myself to recharge on Sunday also helped me give myself smaller breaks during the week, and actually made me MORE productive.

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I don't advise thinking of self-care as prep for working, but if your workaholic brain doesn't let you relax, it may help to remind yourself that taking that time will make you a better worker.

5. Feeling like I'd improved myself in some small way (yo, baby soft skin, I see you!) helped ease the anxiety of the bigger things I had to tackle.

Because most of those "big things" can’t be done in a day, a month, or even a year, they can become downright daunting. But checking off a small, manageable "to do" items gave me the solace and peace of mind to go after the big things without being burdened by the fact they weren't accomplished right away.

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