my journey in prioritizing self-care
I don’t know about you, but the phrase “self-care” or “self-love” kind of makes me cringe a little bit, to be honest. It’s such a buzz phrase right now and instantly makes me think of creating excuses to be selfish. I think my faith / being a Christian plays into my tendency to cringe at this phrase. As a believer, we are taught to serve others, always put others first, etc…there aren’t a lot of Christian books out there about taking care of YOURSELF. So, the concept seems a little foreign to me.
However, over the past year or so, I’ve kind of discovered [the hard way] how insanely important it is to prioritize taking care of yourself. “Self-care” or “self-love” might be a buzz phrase right now but all it really means is taking time out of your day to take care of yourself – physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
Most of y’all have probably heard of enneagram and know your number (if you don’t, I highly encourage you to check it out!). I am a type 3, which is “the achiever”. There are obviously pluses and minuses to this, but the downside of being an ‘achiever’ personality type is I feel the need to be productive 100% of every single day – even weekends. It’s really hard for me to “rest” or set aside time to just take care of myself. Over the last year though, I am retraining my brain to see “rest” or self-care as productive…and, not only productive but actual crucial for my health and well being.
I’m learning that rest or self-care can look different for each person. I’m finding that self-care can be anything that allows your brain to kind of turn off, allows your mind to rest, something that makes you feel inspired, something that makes you feel recharged. There are a few things I like to do that I’d categorize as “self-care” for Lauren. One of those things is definitely getting outdoors, specifically early in the mornings! There is something so calming and grounding to me about breathing in fresh air at sunrise and being active in the beauty of God’s creation (especially in Colorado!). Some mornings this means going for a run at 6am. Sometimes this means listening to a podcast or worship music, and just walking around my neighborhood before Michael and Shiloh wake up. This act of getting outside by myself while everything is still quiet completely grounds me and gives my mind so much peace.
Another way I’m trying to prioritize self-care is through restorative yoga classes! Y’all know how much I love to workout, but my tendency is to always do really high impact, high sweat types of workouts, which is great! Recently though I’ve done a few yoga classes (either in an actual studio, or just in the quiet of my own home), that really force you to just focus on your breath, and being mentally present. For me, this is more of a mental exercise than a physical exercise, but it’s helped tremendously in getting my brain to just calm down for an hour! I’ve been making it a goal for myself to do a yoga class like this at least once a week!
There are a number of things I try and do to prioritize self-care – a bath at night, taking a nap on Sunday, going for walks without my phone, etc. The reason why this has become so important to me over the past year is because I found that when I wasn’t taking care of myself…I was running on empty. I was spread so thin, exhausted, irritable, not doing my best because I had nothing to give. It’s so important that we are taking time to recharge our minds and hearts, and giving our bodies a chance to press pause and breathe. Our bodies and minds weren’t made to give 100%, 100% of the time. If that’s how you’re living, burnout and exhaustion are unavoidable. So, join me in learning to think of rest as a good thing, as a productive thing, as a necessary part of your well being.
Whether you’re trying to get outside more, or do more yoga classes or go for walks…Backcountry is always a go-to for me when it comes to ANY activewear needs, no matter what the activity is! The outfit I’m wearing in these photos is perfect for yoga classes, summer hikes, or any other summer activity where you’re moving your body! AND you can get 15% off your first order with code LAURENKS15!
I hope you guys feel encouraged to try and find a few minutes out of today, or out of this week, to just pause and take care of yourself! Don’t think of it as being “selfish”. Think of it as you taking care of yourself both mentally and physically, so you can be the best mom, daughter, wife, etc that you can be to those around you!
Thanks for reading!
This post was created in collaboration with Backcountry. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!