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The Joy of Imperfect Self-Care

As busy women, we often feel guilty about taking time for ourselves amid all the competing demands on our energy. Add to that the unrealistic portrayals of self-care on social media - luxurious spa days, meditation retreats, and perfectly curated self-care routines - and it's no wonder many of us feel like self-care has to be this extravagant, time-consuming endeavor.

But here's the truth: real self-care isn't about achieving some impossible standard of perfection. It's about intentionally carving out pockets of time, no matter how small, to refill your cup in whatever way works for you. Done is better than perfect when it comes to self-care.

We could all benefit from reframing how we think about self-care and releasing the notion that it requires grand gestures or luxuries we can't afford. Some of the most restorative self-care activities are humble, free, and can be seamlessly woven into your everyday life:

- A 10-minute walk around the block to get some fresh air
- 5 deep breaths when you're feeling overwhelmed
- Listening to a favorite song or podcast in the car
- A warm cup of tea savored slowly
- 15 minutes of reading before bed

The key is to find micro-practices that you genuinely enjoy and that help you reset amid the hustle. Don't overthink it or get trapped in comparison-itis scrolling Instagram. If it feels good and it fits your life, it's valid self-care.

As women, we're overachievers by nature, which can fuel relentless self-criticism if our self-care doesn't meet some ambitious standard. But perfect is the enemy of good enough. An imperfect self-care practice you actually stick to is far better than an abandoned plan for self-care perfection.

So give yourself permission to start small. Do what you can, when you can. Awaken to the beauty of tiny restorative rituals. Your life will thank you for making self-care a habit, even if it looks different than the reel on Instagram. Done really is better than perfect.