How to Become Time-Efficient & Productive at Work

How to Become Time-Efficient & Productive at Work

“Work smarter, not harder.”

Time management is a huge factor in working smarter. It doesn’t matter how much motivation you have.. If you can’t learn how to optimize your time, you will always be working harder. 

Here are the two scenarios.. 

1. You are super driven and motivated. You want to get a million things done in a day. You have so much on your mind that you can’t decide what to do first. So, you spend a lot of time twiddling your thumbs trying to figure out what’s next. Or, you go back and forth between tasks more than you should, and you get whiplash from running around everywhere. 

2. You aren’t naturally motivated. If you don’t have to do it, you won’t. You prefer to chill and not do much, so when you do decide to give your time to something, you want it to mean something. 

Either way, people want to make the most out of their efforts. So this blog post is all about directing those efforts into something useful and productive, so you can be able to move onto the next task or return to the couch as soon as possible. Let’s dive right in.. 

Having to-do lists. These lists are essential for differentiating what’s most important,  remembering all the tasks you need to complete, planning, and staying motivated to cross things off the list. 

Planning ahead of time. Planning is literally the most important factor of being time efficient. Having a plan gives you direction for the day. You aren’t guessing what to do next or doing things out of order because you already know what needs to be done and when. Planning can look different for everyone, but here are most of the things that I like to plan on a very regular basis.. 

  • Goals for the week: What I’d be proud of myself for accomplishing at the end of a week. How am I going to get these done? 
  • Tasks for the week: What I have to do and when.  
  • Daily tasks and schedule: More detailed schedule of what I’m going to do and when.
  • Content calendars: These are the major “projects” that I work with, but you can adapt this to whatever job you have. 

Creating outlines. Especially if you work in the social media world, this is essential. Have outlines written for your blog posts ahead of time. Have a basic format/background to the photos that you post on Instagram.. Again, you can adapt this to whatever you work with. Basically just have a guideline of the components that you want the project to have. 

Eliminating distractions. You hear this all the time, but for a good reason. If you’re playing on Facebook, talking to your co-workers, staring at the wall.. You aren’t getting anything done. Don’t procrastinate, it’s going to have to be done eventually. 

Have time limited tasks. Maybe you don’t have a boss telling you when a project is due, but you should be giving yourself those guidelines. Having a deadline gives you a timeline with a specific amount of effort involved to get it done. If you don’t have any goals, you will most likely take 2 times as long as you could, just because you don’t feel like you have to.  

Do the most important thing first. Doing the most important thing first allows you to have all the time that you need to complete that task without the rush. 

Don’t try to multitask. Like I said, trying to do a million things at once is harder because you have to switch gears and think differently about each small project. Just knock out one at a time, so you don’t have to catch yourself back up.

Do things ahead of time. Rushed = poor quality. That’s all I’ll say about that. 

Frequently assess what’s working and what’s not. Something that may work one day, may not work the next. Be able to learn what works best for you in that moment, and then adapt. It’s not a “one size fits all” situation. 

Figure out how to motivate yourself when you don’t want to work. Even if you are the most motivated person on the planet, you won’t be on your best game every single day. There will be times where you just won’t want to do it – so figure out your game plan for convincing yourself to pull through. I always say “If I finish ___, then I can do ____.”

Take breaks. Taking breaks still improves your productivity. Think of yourself as a battery. It needs to recharge to be able to work efficiently. Have a 5-10 minute break every 2 hours. Take your eyes off the computer, drink some water, grab a snack, take a little walk.. Give yourself a refresher. 

Fuel yourself efficiently. I’ve been the girl who shows up rushed and running in at the last minute with no sleep, the monster I drank that had so much caffeine I was shaking, no breakfast, etc. That’s NOT the way to go. Sleep a good amount, eat before you come to work, wake up early and get some exercise to put your body and brain in motion, etc. You will thank yourself later. The productivity difference is shocking when you are fueled correctly. 

Alright, so there are all my tips for staying super productive in the workplace. These are all habits that I’ve adopted over the years, meaning I did not do them before. I used to be a freaking mess. But being prepared and planning have made the world of a difference! 

Planning is literally the most important factor of being time-efficient. Having a plan gives you direction for the day. You aren’t guessing what to do next or doing things out of order because you already know what needs to be done and when. Planning can look different for everyone, but here are most of the things that I like to plan on a very regular basis.. 

What Not to Say to People With Depression

What Not to Say to People With Depression

Depression is a very sensitive topic, and you never know who’s battling with it behind the scenes. I did for 18 years, and people were still severely shocked when I told them. So just do everyone a favor, and avoid saying these things in general! 

For those of you who don’t suffer from depression: I know that most of you have good intentions, even when you say the things I’ve listed below. We know you’re just trying to help, but that’s the thing – most depressed people don’t want your help, especially if you haven’t personally experienced diagnosed depression. Because unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, you will never understand. We appreciate your efforts in trying to help, but we don’t want someone that doesn’t understand to tell us how we should feel. 

To explain why these things are more hurtful than helpful – I’m going to write a sentence that a non-depressed person has said to me (yes, all of these have been said to me), and I will give you my immediate thought response. I didn’t always physically say these things, but this is what I wish I should have said. 

I apologize in advance, I am very sassy and sarcastic.

“You don’t have anything to be upset about”, “You have it so much better than other people”, “You have so many blessings”, or “You should be thankful for what you have”

I know that I am blessed. I have a gratitude journal where I write down 5 things that I’m thankful for every day. Depression doesn’t discriminate – it doesn’t care if you are wealthy, healthy, loved, popular, etc. Think of it like cancer for your mental health – you can have a good life, but you still have a disease that you can’t control or stop. 

“Think positively”, “Cheer up”, “Look on the bright side”

I am fighting against my mind’s natural negative state from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep. I’m already trying. 

“My life isn’t fair but you don’t see me complaining”

Probably because you don’t have clinical depression like me 🙂

“You don’t even look/seem depressed.” 

I don’t want people to see me like that. I don’t want to upset or worry them. I don’t want people to give me unsolicited advice that I don’t want. I don’t want people to constantly check in. It makes everyone’s life (including mine) easier if I keep it to myself.

“Believe me, I know how you feel. I’ve been depressed before.” 

Unless you went to a doctor and got diagnosed with major depressive disorder, you do not know how I feel. 

“Are you done being upset?”, “Do you feel better now?”, “Are you feeling better than yesterday”

No. Plus, these are the questions that irritate me the most, so you’ve now made it worse. 

“You really shouldn’t be upset about this because ___”

Do you think saying that is going to make it magically go away for me? Because you, who most likely doesn’t have depression, thinks that it shouldn’t upset me?

“You should try ____” (Exercise, diet, sleep, etc.) “____ is what I do when I’m down, you should try it too”

I already do those things on a regular basis.. Didn’t cure my depression. 

“You don’t need medication”, “Medications are bad for you”, “Medications will mess you up even worse”

I have been medicated for over a year now and it’s the best decision I have ever made. Because of my medication: I no longer take 4 hour naps everyday, I don’t have extreme headaches anymore, I am a happier person, I am more productive.. The list goes on. Medications work differently for everyone, so don’t speak for me. 

“It’s all in your head”, “You can control this”, “You get to decide how you feel”, “You’re letting yourself feel this way”, “You’re fine” 

Obviously not. I don’t mope around for fun. I don’t pretend to be sad because it’s funny or because I see it as a game. 

“Everyone has bad days every once in a while”, “This too shall pass”, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

Yes, it will pass. I will grow from this. I will probably be thankful for this period of time later on in life because I believe God has a plan – but doesn’t mean that it makes it feel better now. Imagine someone punches you and they say, “this pain will pass”, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, “everyone gets punched every once in a while”. Does that make it hurt any less?

“Can you please stop being so negative? It’s taking a toll on me.”

Again, think about it like you got punched – and someone asks you to stop complaining about it hurting because it’s taking a toll on them. Does that make you hurt any less? 

“Keep yourself busy so you can distract yourself from it.” 

It’s a temporary fix. It always comes back. 

“Why are you always so negative?”, “What’s your problem?”

If I had to guess.. Probably freaking depression.

“I thought you were stronger than this”

Well, I guess you thought wrong. Thank you for making me feel worse. 

Those are my brutally honest thoughts and answers to the comments and questions I’ve received over the years. My advice for all of the people not struggling with depression: think before you speak. If you’re not sure if you should say it –  think about it like you got punched. What questions/statements would irritate you? My general rules are: don’t give advice, don’t pretend like you understand, and don’t downplay or question other’s feelings. 

Again, we appreciate people trying to help. But unless you’re some form of a mental health doctor – we would appreciate it more if you didn’t.

Advice On Struggling with Weight and Body Image

Advice On Struggling with Weight and Body Image

To Women Struggling with Body Image

First of all, I would like to say that this message is dedicated to a woman struggling at any shape. I know that a lot of people associate poor body image with being overweight, but I completely understand that it still affects women who believe the opposite.

I read an article, 11 Facts About Body Image. It said, “Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media.” (I put the link below if you would like to read more.) 

That breaks my heart. I’ve spent my entire life struggling with body image – thinking that I was “fat” when I wasn’t, dieting on and off, beating myself up when I failed at an unrealistic goal, getting upset when the scale didn’t change.. You get the point. 

I still struggle with it to this day, but as I’ve worked on improving my mental health, I’ve learned so much about body image and how to start accepting myself and appreciating the body that I do have.

I have a long list of things that I wish I would have learned a long time ago, so I want to share it with you now.

1. Weight is a number on a scale. There are so many things that go into your weight – it’s not just body fat. Your muscle, your height, how much water you’ve drank that day, how much you’ve eaten, when you weigh yourself, and so many other things play a part in the number that you see.

I weighed myself 3 days in a row this week. The second day, I was 3 pounds heavier than I weighed the first day. Today, I’m 2 pounds lighter than I was yesterday. The day that I weighed the least, I felt the biggest. 

2. I always heard people say, “weight doesn’t define you”. For the longest time, I completely dismissed that idea. But I’ve come to realize – they aren’t wrong. You aren’t a worse person because of your weight. You aren’t any less lovable because of your weight. You aren’t any less valuable because of your weight. You are still you, no matter what size you are. 

3. You don’t fail when you gain or lose weight. You don’t fail when you eat carbs. You don’t fail when you fall short of a goal. These things aren’t failures, they are natural human occurrences that everyone goes through. Weight is an ever changing thing – and you aren’t stuck where you are. You can eat carbs, you actually need them in regulation. You can recommit as many times as you need to reach a goal, and progress isn’t always linear. 

4. Have you ever said, “If I looked like ___, my life would be so much better.” If so, me too, and we were both wrong. Even the prettiest girls on the planet have problems. Maybe they’re different problems, but their life isn’t any easier just because they are pretty. They still struggle, get heartbroken, cry – you name it. They aren’t invincible people just because of the way they look.

Also, pretty girls are self conscious too. Models have eating disorders, some girls change 15 times before they leave the house, some girls spend over an hour on their makeup before they go to school, etc. Just remember, you never know what’s going on behind closed doors. 

5. Spending any amount of time worrying about the way you look, is time you’ll regret in the future. I’ve heard so many older women say, “I wish I wasn’t so worried about what I looked like back then. I wish I would have started loving myself sooner, because looks aren’t the only thing that matters.” 

6. I always think about a post I read a while back. It said something like, “Picture this: You’re sitting on your porch at 70 years old. Are you going to want to remember the time you stayed at home instead of going to the beach with your friends because your thighs looked too big? Or are you going to want to remember the amazing day that you had with them because you got over it and did it anyway.” 

7. Your friends and family are going to love you, no matter what you weigh. They will love you at 90, 130, 180, 200, or 500 pounds. That’s how love works. People don’t look at you and say, “Oh she has gained or lost X amount of weight.. I can’t care about her anymore.” 

8. I used to think that boys wouldn’t like me if I was fat. First of all, I wasn’t, even though I thought I was. But more importantly – ANY man who wouldn’t like a girl because of their weight is NOT worth it. I used to think that was BS and people only said it to make women feel better, but I was wrong.. Again. I wouldn’t want my husband to only love or care for me when I looked a certain way. Quite frankly, in my opinion, any man who disregards a woman because of their weight is shallow, and probably just wants to sleep around. Find someone that loves you for you

9. If you’ve gotten through this entire list and believe nothing I’ve said, let me tell you this: You aren’t stuck in the body that you are in now. If you want to make a change, do it. It’s freaking hard, and it takes a long time, but you can do it. Just don’t change for other people, make the change for you to feel a certain way – for you to appreciate the body you’re in.  

And if you do decide to make a change, do it the healthy way. Especially when it comes to losing weight, taking the easy way out (not eating), isn’t going to give you the long term results that you want – I promise. Do it in a way that makes you feel proud of yourself for what you’ve accomplished.

It’s time to start appreciating our bodies for the capabilities that they give us, not hating them for the way that they look. If you are a healthy human who can get out of bed in the morning and walk around – you have it a lot better than some others. So if you can’t love anything else, start appreciating your body for that.

11 Facts About Body Image:

11 Things I Tell Myself When I Don’t Want to Workout and Need Motivation

11 Things I Tell Myself When I Don’t Want to Workout and Need Motivation

No matter who you are, you won’t want to workout every single day of your life, and it’s okay to not have that motivation on a regular basis. Straight up, I don’t want to work out like 95% of the time – it’s something that I have to force myself to do on a daily basis. For a very long time, I would just come up with a BS excuse, and then convince myself that reason was valid, just so I didn’t have to workout. After a while, I realized that my goals don’t care if I’m busy, don’t feel good, or just don’t want to. They only care about the work that I put in, even when it’s tough. 

So, how do I convince myself? How do I keep the motivation alive?

First, I go by the advice that I give in my blog post, The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Staying Motivated. But aside from that, I also have a list of 11 things that I constantly tell myself to force my motivation and put in the work.

  1. I will spend the rest of the day being upset that I didn’t workout, rather than just being annoyed for an hour and getting it done. 
  2. I will genuinely feel better once the workout is over – not only will I be proud of myself, but physically feeling better. I breathe differently, sleep differently, have more energy, have less of an appetite, etc. 
  3. If I don’t do this for myself today, I’m not putting in the effort to respect myself and my goals. 
  4. Just do something small. If you aren’t up for the full 500 calorie workout, start with 200. And most likely, once I hit 200 – I’ll be motivated enough to do more. But it’s still okay if not – because that’s better than nothing.  
  5. I have to keep a balanced lifestyle. If I want to have ice cream after dinner, that’s totally okay, but I should do something to make myself feel proud and deserve that treat. 
  6. In warm weather months: It’s bikini season. I don’t need to look a certain way or meet a certain standard, but I want to feel confident and proud of the body that I’ve put in the work for. 
  7. If you workout today, you are using your 1 free day of the week for this break. Is that worth it? Will you need this more on another day?  
  8. I ask myself why I don’t feel like working out? What’s my excuse? Is that more important than my goal? – I’ll give a variety of answers: I don’t have time, I ate too much, I slept in too late, I’m “sick”, etc. I get to the bottom of those answers, and try to figure out how I can improve for the future.. And then go workout.
  9. It’s an hour out of my day. I can handle it. 
  10. This is my routine. Routines are extremely important to my mental health and personal development. If I miss a day of routine, it’s like the domino effect.. It makes it a lot easier for me to give up the next day, eat something bad, or do something else that I’m “not supposed to do”. And once I get out of the good routine, it’s a lot harder to commit myself to getting back on track. 
  11. I guilt trip myself saying that I won’t get to check it off my list if I don’t do it. I have various lists and trackers that I religiously use, and it’s very important for me to be able to cross things off so they don’t hang over my head. I know that may sound crazy to some of you – but I know for my OCD or task oriented people.. It’ll make a lot of sense! 

So those are the 11 things that I tell myself when I’m feeling like staying in bed the extra 10 minutes, eating pizza for breakfast, etc. I remind myself that I want to be proud throughout the entire day, rather than being content or comfortable for a small amount of time – then regretting my decisions. 

One last thing that I make sure to do when I really don’t feel like working out is taking a pre-workout. And to shamelessly plug a product from my business, I really reccomend Active by Plexus! Active improves performance, energy levels, mental clarity, alertness, focus, & reduces stress. You can check it out here. Shoot me a DM and I can get you some discounts!

Did any of these ideas resonate with you? If so, let me know in a comment or send me a DM on Instagram @carmenreynolds 🙂

Apps I Use As A Blogger

Apps I Use As A Blogger

When I first started blogging, I had no clue what to do. I didn’t know what programs bloggers were using, I didn’t know the best apps for editing, content writing, or anything else! I’m still figuring things out along the way, but here are my current favorite apps! You do need to pay for some of these, but I promise that they are 100% worth it!

Google Drive – Google Drive is where I write all of my blog posts, content planning, and notes! Drive automatically saves, so you’ll never lose work. You can use Drive on your phone, tablet, laptop – anywhere! 

Google Calendar – I use Google Calendar to plan all of my content in advance. I usually take a day at the beginning of the month and plan (at least) a few weeks worth of content. It allows me to have multiple “calendars” in one, so I’m able to plan for content SIS, my personal blog, and for any of my social media managing clients. 

Adobe Lightroom – I use this for all of my photo editing. In the past, I primarily used VSCO, but I started using different presets on Lightroom and I’ll never go back! Lightroom allows you to upload your own presets, which you can create or buy from others to upload. Lightroom can be tricky to figure out at first, especially if you’re buying and uploading presets from other people – but it’s super easy once you get the hang of it. Most importantly, the app is free! 

Etsy – You can use Etsy on the app or on the computer, but I use it to buy my presets. I’ve tried presets from a few different brands, but no one even comes close to comparing with Lou Marks Photo. (The picture above is edited with her preset!) You can find the Etsy shop here:


**Update: Sara actually moved her presets to her own website! You can check them out at 🙂

Preview – I use this app to plan out my Instagram feed in advance. It’s super helpful to see what colors are working best with each other to create the best aesthetic. The app also allows you to preplan your posts!

Adobe Spark – I’ve been using this app to create a lot of the graphics for the blog (and other pages I manage). Until a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t use my photos in blog posts – I had graphics with the title of the blog post as the photo, and I used Spark to create those! Now, I basically just use it to create the Pinterest graphics and the graphics for SIS content. Unfortunately, you do have to pay for the app ($10 a month) but you get a free month trial. Personally, I have a free account through my school! They have a lot of templates for different types of content – school, lifestyle, travel, food, etc.

Wix – Since I use Wix as my host, I have the app. It allows me to easily edit blog posts, check my analytics, interact with people, and more. 

Pinterest – Most people know this, but if you don’t, Pinterest is essential to having a successful blog! Most people say that it’s important to pin or repin content 25x per day. If you have less than 200k views a month, repin 80% and pin 20%. If you have more, do the opposite. To drive traffic to your blog, you create graphics for Pinterest, and then link them to your blog posts. 

Tailwind – Not everyone knows about this app, but it’s necessary for Pinterest success! (I use it on the computer) Tailwind is confusing to figure out at first, but once you get the hang of it – it’s easy and so helpful! Basically, Tailwind connects to Pinterest. You can schedule pins/repins in advance, and Tailwind will automatically que them up at prime times of the day to maximize exposure. It’s also super important if you don’t have the time to hit your 25 daily pins because you can just take a couple hours in the beginning of the week and you’ll be set!

Secondly, we have Tailwind tribes, the best part of Tailwind. Basically, you find a group within your niche, join the tribe, and then share your Pinterest graphics (linked to the blog posts), which drives traffic to your blog. You’re also able to repin other people’s content that relates to what you want to share with your audience, and that’ll go towards your 25 pins a day! 

I will say, Tailwind is a pricey service, but it truly is worth the investment. Since using Tailwind, Pinterest has driven 40% of my blog traffic.  

Easil – Easil is actually a website, not an app. I just wanted to include it because I discovered it yesterday, and I’m already obsessed! It’s basically like Adobe Spark, but there are more “girly” templates for bloggers. As I’m still figuring out how to use it, it’s harder to work with than Spark, but I’m sure that’s just because I’m a newbie. You do have to pay for it (less than $10 a month I think), but you also get a free trial. Here’s a graphic I created using it!

So, those are the main apps that I use for blogging! I wouldn’t be able to function half as well as I do now without them. They are all super helpful in staying organized and creative. Let me know if you decide to try any yourself! 🙂 xoxo

Improving Depression

Improving Depression

Let me start by saying that I titled this post strategically. I didn’t call it “How to Cure Depression” for a reason. I don’t personally believe that you can cure depression. However, I do believe that you can find ways to improve it. 

Also, keep in mind that this is what worked for me. What worked for me could have no effect on someone else. You need to find what’s right for you

This is just my opinion, I’m not a doctor, but I think that there are different “versions” of depression. Some people are depressed because of a past situation, some people are depressed because they are currently going through something, some people have depression because they have a chemical issue in their brain, and more. 

Well, I’m the one with the chemical issue in my brain.

For example, I’m on medication for depression and have been for a long time now. On a daily basis, I’m pretty happy. Last week, I skipped my medication for one day (by accident). ONE day. For the rest of the week, even after I’d restarted my medication, I had no motivation. I was extremely tired. I didn’t workout or eat right. I was sick. I felt like I was in a fog all over again. Nothing bad or sad had happened to me, I just had a chemical imbalance.  

Anyway, no matter what type of depression you may have, I think that you can at least take a few things away from my personal experience with improvement. So, let’s get into it..

Obviously, the number one thing that helped me was medication, because I have a chemical depression. I don’t know how, but it gives me energy, motivation to do things, keeps me in a positive mood, etc. I’m a huge advocate for being medicated – but if you asked me if everyone with depression should be medicated, I would say no. I believe that it differs between the different variations of depression. But it was the best decision for me.

The second thing that really helped me the most was exercise. Exercise gives you more energy and raises your endorphin levels (I like to call them happy chemicals). Another huge reason that it helped me so much was because it gave me more confidence. I’m confident that I can run 6+ miles, I’m confident in my ability to do hard work, and I’m a lot more body-confident (coming from ground 0, but still). I’m proud of those things. 

Third in line is getting enough sleep. I’ve noticed that (pretty much) every time that I get upset about something, I’m exhausted. That’s why whenever I get upset, I instantly take a nap. About 80 percent of the time, I wake up in a much better mood and have a changed mindset on the issue. 

Fourth, I stay organized. In having depression, anxiety, ocd, and bipolar disorder – I have a lot of thoughts rolling around my head all day. I have a really bad memory and I easily get stressed and overwhelmed. So being able to control something to help this, is really good for me. I have a (rough) schedule every day to keep me in routine. I write down everything I need to remember. I plan out when I will do my work so I don’t get overwhelmed by it. It’s the little things that end up making a huge difference. 

Fifth, I stay productive. For me, the main thing that my depression controls is my motivation levels. So when I take a break from my routine, it’s SO hard for me to get back into it. So I stay in routine and get a LOT of things done. I absolutely love going to sleep knowing that I made my day worth something. It makes me feel like I have a purpose and it allows me to be proud of myself!

Sixth, I stay open and honest with myself and others. I have come to terms with the fact that I have a mental disorder. I give myself grace because I know that having a mental disorder can be hard to live with. You wouldn’t ask someone in a wheelchair to walk, and you can’t ask someone with depression to stay happy. So, I don’t push myself to do things that I don’t feel comfortable with. I tell my friends when I’m not having a good day. I cancel plans. I take time for myself so I can recover as quickly as possible. 

Seventh, I don’t let myself wallow in it. Yes, I have depression, but I don’t allow it to stop me from living a happy life. I take the time to process what I’m going through, journal it out (SO important), brainstorm how to fix it, and then get over it. 

I don’t allow myself to be sorry for myself anymore. Quite honestly, it’s NEVER going to help. I’ve learned that you can be sorry for yourself, but it’s just going to keep you in the same bad place that you started in. 

Lastly, I started to make myself realize the things that I’m blessed with and thankful for. I have a healthy body, a loving and supportive family, an education, a roof over my head, and SO many other things that I used to take for granted. I don’t want to be the person that doesn’t appreciate something until it’s gone. 

Just know that depression doesn’t have to be the end. You don’t have to wake up tomorrow and be sad just because you have depression. It’s all about perspective. Like I said in my Instagram post yesterday: dress it up. You GET to work, you GET to move your body, you GET to hang out with your family.. Be appreciative of those things, and focus on them. Focus on the good.

Have a great week everyone!

6 Unhealthy “Self Care” Claims

6 Unhealthy “Self Care” Claims

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge supporter of self care. It’s SO important. You are the most important person in your life, so you should treat yourself as such.

I’m writing this post because I think society has programmed in our heads that “self care” can be an excuse for things that you just want to do – not things that are actually good for you.

I’m not saying that you should never do these things. They aren’t bad things – they just aren’t true self care.

Here’s my rule for actual self care: If you can do this thing for yourself with 100% confidence that you won’t regret it in the future – it’s self care. But if it’s only going to feel good in the moment, it’s not.

That’s the problem with the things I’ve listed below. They’ll make you feel good in the moment, no doubt – but they won’t make you feel good in the next day, week, or month. Trust me, I’ve done all of these things, so I would know – but I think you’ll agree.

Retail Therapy – I love getting new things just as much as the next girl, I promise. But unless you have a never ending financial budget, you’ll probably regret spending $300 dollars on a Tuesday because you failed your biology exam. Letting yourself run out of gas or starve for the rest of the week isn’t self care – but it is something you’ll regret.

Eating – When I was severely depressed, this was my go to. Eating and watching some Netflix was my favorite way to relax and get my mind off things. I’d always tell myself that I had a long day so I deserved it. But did I deserve feeling upset with myself 10 minutes after? Did I deserve hating the way my jeans fit? No. Is that what happened anyway? Every freaking time.

Over Exercising – Remember how I just told you that I hated myself about 10 minutes after I ate something I knew was bad for me? Wanna guess what happened next? I’d tell myself that my body needs a run to make me feel better about myself. I’d run every calorie out but the running still never cancelled out how I felt mentally. I didn’t deserve to do that to myself. Neither do you.

Isolating for Rest – Again, something I always did in the peak of my depression. (I was so tired all the time. I would sleep a regular 8 hours, but then I’d literally need another 4 hour nap just to stay awake for the rest of the day.) Yes, I got to sleep, but I missed out on doing a lot of things with my friends. I missed out on getting a lot of things done that I needed to do. I always complained about how boring I was and that I needed to get out more.. And I felt the same way everyday – until I got medicated and adapted a healthier lifestyle to not need a four hour nap every day!

Drinking the Wine – Ladies. I know it’s good. I know. But it’s not good for you. And let’s be honest, one glass turns into four real quick. That’s all I’ll need to say about this one.

Ignoring Responsibilities – If you’ve had a bad day, or you’re extremely busy and overwhelmed, and you just need a break – I get it. I feel you. But there’s a difference between taking a break and straight up ignoring what you’re supposed to be doing. If you have a deadline that you’re ignoring – you’re still gonna have to do the work! Even if there isn’t a deadline, you’re still missing out on the things that you need to be doing to be successful, happy, healthy – whatever the case may be. It’s okay to take breaks, but that’s all it should be.

Self care isn’t an excuse to not be your best. It’s doing things for yourself to become your best. Let yourself take a break and recharge. Let doing nice things for yourself act as motivation to do the things that you need to do. Just don’t do these things because you’ve had a bad day or because you’re upset with yourself – get to the root of the problem and fix it instead. Most of all, don’t do the things you know you’ll regret tomorrow.

I think I’ve finally done enough preaching. Before you read this post, did you guys see these things as self care or did you see them the same way? Let me know!

Have a great week! 🙂