I've talked about self-care before on my blog (and probably will again because I think it is vital to a healthy and happy life), in terms of how it affects us physically. Today is all about how it affects the people around us. And I'm getting real. I'm talking about things that most of us won't admit out loud, let alone to ourselves. But it's important to go there if we want to make real progress and change in our lives. 

So for those of you that are the martyrs, selfless givers, the "them before me-ers" and people pleasers in your circle, today's post is especially for you. (And really, who doesn't fit into those categories at some point?)

A luxurious bath at a hotel I stayed at once

A luxurious bath at a hotel I stayed at once

Take a moment and think back.

Think of the last time you were feeling overtired, over-scheduled, over stressed and under nourished. Maybe it was a few weeks ago or yesterday or right now. 

Think of how you felt during that time, about your friends, your kids, your spouse or sig-oth, your parents or coworkers. When they asked you for a favor or needed you to help them, deep down inside, how'd you feel? (We're talking about what was going on in your head and heart.)

Were you irritable? Cranky? Dare I say, internally resentful? Did you put lots of care and kindness and patience into whatever it was? Did you have regrets about the interaction afterwards because of your lack of patience? 

If aaaaany of this is even slightly resonating, you needed a good dose of self-care! And that can be different for all of us. What nourishes me might cause you stress. The key is figuring it out and doing it. Regularly. 

A bath. A long hot shower. A face mask. An hour with your book. Drawing. Taking a nap. A good stretch or yoga class. A rom-com on Netflix. A quiet walk in the woods. A colorful dinner filled with lots of yummy veggies and flavors. Homemade apple pie.

What nourishes your spirit? What fills you back up? What gives you back the mental and/or physical energy to be able to eagerly help others with kindness? Do more of that. And you're allowed to ask for support in order to make the time to do it.

When you fill up your reserves, you have more to share with the people in your life. More patience. More compassion. More enthusiasm. More genuine interest. More strength. More listening. More contagious laughter.  

So no, self-care is NOT selfish. It is a gift to everyone around you. (And their self-care benefits you!)

I gave you a bunch of ideas above, but I've got more inspiration because my friend Kendalyn (you may remember the post I did about her natural deodorant) is doing a huge giveaway this month and the theme is self-care! SO many goodies to help get you in that nourishing zone – from books to meditation CD's to a face mask to an online barre class from my fav studio (Mind Body Barre) + more. And she made it so easy for us – there are dozens of ways to enter...