The Cambridge Dictionary defines self-care as “the act of caring for yourself when you are ill or to stop yourself from becoming ill.” It’s something that we, as humans, are not particularly great at.
Too often, we find ourselves working more hours than we are paid for to finish a piece of work or staying up late to finish the latest Netflix box set. We tend to rationalise these acts by thinking we are just being conscientious or relaxing like we should be, when really, in the long run, they’re not sustainable actions.
This year at Stacey’s Succulents, we’re concentrating more on the importance of self-care. Before I continue, I can tell you what self-care is not. It’s most certainly not just doing things for yourself and not others – far from! Many of us have caring responsibilities, be it for children, parents, grandparents, animals etc. but how can we be at our best when we aren’t looking after our own well-being?
This year, I’d like to encourage you to think about the time you spend on doing what you love to do. What acts, big or small, do you do that you can honestly say act as chicken soup for the soul? If, in the next five seconds, you can’t name at least three things you enjoy doing and make time for, then you know you need to ‘up your self-care game!’
Although I work from home in a busy, full-time job, I’ve recently started to make more and more time to do things that make me happy. It’s not time that I’m taking from anyone else, it’s just redistributed time I’d have spent faffing on my iPad or watching TV.
I’ve been unable to play netball for the last three months due to a tendon injury in my foot and I can honestly say I was devastated. I’d not played it for 18 months due to the pandemic so to get injured after a few games back was awful, not just physically but mentally. There were tears and everything. One thing I pride myself on however, is my ‘bouncebackability.’ You can never keep me down. I quickly realised after looking at the bigger picture, how lucky I actually was. My injury would soon heal – not everyone is that lucky. I hadn’t had Covid. I was able to work from home so didn’t need to take time off.
That being said, it really got me thinking about the hobbies I was able to do in the absence of netball. How could I keep my spirits up with one active foot and a husband who was locked away for months revising for a Police exam. I was still able to hula-hoop as I could keep my feet in one place. I could still tend to my succulents which is obviously a big part of my life. I’ve always been a fan of face masks and mani-pedis, so I ‘upped’ them over the winter to make myself feel better. I started experimenting more in the kitchen to increase my cooking ability (and thus impress my hungry husband!).
I started two more hobbies which I’m really getting into. I’m very early on in Pyrography. It’s hot, it’s hard, but it’s satisfying. I’ve also found myself completely immersed in candle-making. I can be creative with scents and shapes, making it a wonderful (and nice smelling!) creative outlet. It’s also something that I’ve since introduced to my business.
I noticed that by improving my self-care regime, the more awake my mind became. I’ve been more ‘on the ball’ these last few months than I have in any stage of my life so far. I even got promoted at work. By making myself happy and healthy, I found I was able to excel and provide better support to my husband. After all, happy wife = happy life, right?
My Succulent Christmas Hampers in December 2021 had a self-care focus, and I’m certain that they were a consequence of my emotions following my netball injury. They contained beautiful, rare succulents, great for air purification in the home, Vegan-friendly candles, and wax melts to promote relaxation, home-made chutney, chocolates for antioxidants, bath bombs and Aloe Vera face masks and lip salves.
I’ve now decided that 2022 is going to be the same, but this time, I want to encourage others to join in. Think about what you do for you, and how being your best self can also have an amazing knock-on effect on the ones you love. Remember, self-care isn’t you taking time from somebody else, it’s just redistributing your own.
Look out for some fabulous self-care-themed gifts popping up in the online store!