I used to get the “Sunday Scaries.” You know the feeling when you spend most of your Sunday dreading the work week ahead? Now Sunday is my favorite day of the week.
Yes, I changed jobs, so loving what I do AND where I do it certainly helped eliminate that Sunday foreboding. But perhaps an even bigger change was to decide to focus my Sundays on self-care. Thus, Self-Care Sundays became my favorite day of the week.
Many people misunderstand self-care. They think it’s all bubble baths and spa treatments. But that’s not all self-care is.
Self-care is anything you do to care for yourself. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, and it looks different for everyone.
My self-care may be reading a book or lounging in our pool, while my husband’s self-care is relaxing in front of the television. Your self-care may be gardening or taking a nap. I even wrote a post about how TikTok was a form of self-care for me during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Self-care may look different for you at various times. Sometimes I just need to sit and cuddle with my dogs. Other times, I need to clean my house.
What self-care consists of really depends on the person and the time. It’s flexible, so the only way to mess it up is not to do it.
Why Self-Care is Vital
Self-care is critical for your physical and mental health. It means you’re taking care of yourself so that you can give the best of yourself to others.
Benefits of self-care include:
- Stress Reduction. Self-care activities tend not only to reduce stress but also better prepare you to cope with upcoming stressors.
- Improved Physical Health. Some forms of self-care, like exercise and eating a healthy diet, can help you lessen the likelihood of experiencing heart disease or stroke. But, overall, caring for yourself means you have less mental load, which helps prepare you physically for what comes next. It increases your resilience and (depending on your self-care activities) your immunity.
- Better Mental Health. By prioritizing yourself and your needs, you eliminate stressors, build resilience, and lessen the symptoms associated with a myriad of mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety.
- Boost Productivity. Rest helps you be more productive and focused when you need to get things done. It helps you recharge, which results in you working more efficiently and effectively.
- Improves Happiness. You need time to take care of yourself. Taking the time will make you feel more relaxed, fulfilled, and happy. You’ll be grateful for the life you live and the things that bring you joy. More than 70% of respondents in one survey said self-care improved their happiness.
What I Do on Self-Care Sunday
So, what do I do on Self-Care Sunday? It just depends. I try not to leave things like errands and chores until Sunday because those really don’t seem like self-care. But sometimes those things need to happen on Sunday. If that’s the case, I try to fit in “real” self-care around them and think about those items as “caring for my future self.” Because really, chores and errands set me up for a better, more successful, less stressful, more productive week ahead.
My favorite Self-Care Sunday activities include:
- Hanging out with my family
- Spending time in the hot tub or pool
- Taking the dogs for a walk
- Brunch and mimosas
- Taking a nap
- Not putting on makeup
- Staying in my PJs or comfy clothes all day
- Reading a good book
- Having a movie date with my husband
- Getting a pedicure
- Making a Sunday meal to share with my family
- Not being in front of a computer
Ideas for Your Self-Care
Remember that your self-care doesn’t have to look anything like mine. It could be playing video games or going for a run. It also may be different in various seasons of your life. No matter what, I encourage you to take a day every week and dedicate it to self-care. It doesn’t mean you won’t do other things on that day or you won’t practice self-care on other days. Instead, it’s about making self-care a priority.
Things to do every day for self-care include:
- Eat healthily
- Move your body
- Engage your mind
- Get plenty of sleep
- Talk to loved ones
- Practice your faith
These are things that you probably should do every day to keep yourself healthy, happy, and grounded. You’ll do these things on your special self-care day too, but you’ll add in some extra things you love.
Items to consider doing on a special self-care day:
- Limit media consumption
- Actively relax — get a massage, take a bubble bath, burn a candle — whatever it is that helps you really relax
- Engage in a hobby or creative activity you enjoy
- Get outside
- Take time off — don’t let things you have to do take up your special self-care day
- Spend time with family and friends (but only if it’s not a stressor)
- Read a book and drink a nice cup of tea
- Listen to your favorite music
- Prepare your home for the week ahead
- Prepare your person for the week ahead (wash your hair, use the good body scrub, apply a face make, etc.)
- Meal prep, cook, or order in your favorite meal
- Binge watch a TV show
- Practice yoga or mindfulness
- Take a nap
Enjoy Your Day
I can’t really tell you what to do on your special self-care day. What you choose is totally up to you. And what makes one person content might make another cringe. Remember, it’s about you and what you want and need, not about anyone else. Are you ready to replace those Sunday Scaries with self-care? I’d love to read about what you’re doing to care for yourself. Drop a comment below.