How to Practice Self-Care

I hope your 4th of July week is off to a great start!


In the spirit of the holiday and upcoming weekend, (and being in a vacation state of mind myself), I decided to write about the importance of self-care and share with you some tips on how to make yourself a priority (even during a holiday week) and why it’s so critical to your overall well-being.


As I was reflecting on my own self-care routine recently (and admittedly, it’s been a little lack-thereof), I’ve decided that this is the perfect week to set some of my own self-care goals (why not?) and get back to prioritizing my own physical self-care – (especially an exercise routine that I feel is dearly missing from my life!).


But let me first explain that, when I refer to self-care and self-care routines, I am not talking simply about what we generally think of when we think about self care. Things like getting a mani/pedi, getting a massage, or lighting a scented candle (although those could be considered a form of self-care). What I am referring to instead is making yourself a priority – emotionally, mentally, and physically.


Why is this so important?


  1. Your mental, emotional, and physical health determines the quality of your life. (Literally. Isn’t that reason enough?)
  2. If you don’t make yourself a priority, you cannot (even as hard as you try) make others a priority. (Think: you can’t pour love from an empty pitcher. Or when you’re on an airplane – put your own oxygen mask on first before you help others.)
  3. Self-sacrifice seems noble on the surface. (Look around – we praise it in our society.) But the real truth is that distracting yourself from yourself and not handling your own stuff in order to handle everyone else’s problems is simply not healthy.
  4. If you want to set a good example for your kids – set one that shows your own self-value so you can in turn teach them good values. (After all, they might listen to what you say, but they’ll ultimately do what you do.)
  5. You are stuck with you for the rest of your life. (Really. Think about that for a minute. What types of thoughts run through your head? Good? Bad? Ugly? Chances are, you probably wouldn’t want to be your friend if the way you talked to yourself in your head was the way you talked about others. Pretty mind-blowing, right?)


So how do you actually prioritize self-care when you have a million and one things on your to-do list in any given day/week?


(My first recommendation is to get rid of the million and one things on your to-do list. There will be more to come on that….)


But in the meantime, here are some other suggestions for you to practice self-care starting today:


  1. Make yourself your number one priority. (No, this really isn’t selfish. For you to help others, you must be healthy and available yourself.)
  2. Find the things you really like and appreciate about yourself and celebrate them. Often. (Instead of all of that negative chatter.)
  3. Stop yourself immediately anytime you catch yourself saying unkind things to yourself. (After all, you wouldn’t allow your child to say unkind things about others, would you?)
  4. Don’t worship busy. (Being busy is an excuse that will rob you from living your best life. Remember that everything is a choice. Learn to say no to things or even certain people.)
  5. Finally, give yourself some grace. Know that we are all works in progress trying to figure out life. Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s highlight reel. Your job on this planet is to learn and grow every day. One belief I have that always help me remember is this – that every day is a curriculum in our life. What can you learn and how can you grow today?


I’d love to know which tips resonate most with you. Comment below! And, if you’d like more help on how to start practicing some solid self-care – reach out to me at amanda@amandakarlstadcoaching.com. You, and your loved ones will thank you for it!


Have a great 4th of July week!


Amanda