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You’ve probably heard it before: Are you practicing self-care? Are you actively seeking out routines for your everyday life that will lower your stress levels? Daily self-care routines can include journaling, meditation, naps, reading a fun book, soaking your feet in epsom salts, drinking a cup of tea alone, aromatherapy — the list can go on and on. The key, however, is finding something you can do every day that will help your body, emotions, mind, and spirit take a collective breath and with a deep sigh, say ahhhh….

These types of daily practices are often the first thing to get the boot when our schedule gets overwhelming. How can we be expected to sit down with a cup of tea and a book for half an hour when there are so many things we have to keep up with? It doesn’t really matter, we tell ourselves. I can sacrifice a little to make sure I finish work — make a meal — pick up the kids — support my parents. It’s easy to make that sacrifice because we tell ourselves we’re the only one self-care benefits. It doesn’t matter to my work, my family, my friends, my home if I practice self-care! That’s just for me, so no one else will suffer if it gets cut out of my day. Right?

I think you know my response to that: Definitely wrong.

Self-care is like a superfood for your whole person. You only need to eat a little bit of antioxident-rich kale or blueberries every day to feel the benefits in your body, and if you somehow cut out fruits and veggies altogether, your body will suffer accordingly. You only need a little bit of self-care every day to make a magnificent different in your stress levels, which in turn will help your work, your relationships, your children, your spouse, your family. But if you cut it out altogether, everyone — not just little ol’ you — will suffer.

We are social, communal beings. Taking care of yourself is an essential part of taking care of others. They are so interconnected that you can’t possibly cut out care of one and not have it affect those close by.

You think you are only sacrificing yourself when you don’t practice self-care; the truth is, you are sacrificing your whole family’s well being, especially your partner’s. You may feel like you’re being ‘selfish’ when you do practice self-care; the truth is, you will never be able to love others to the extent which you are capable if you do not make a practice of loving yourself. 

What is your daily self-care routine?