Self-care is any purposeful action that takes care of your mind, body and spirit. Carving out time for self-care is tough for most people and for women it is usually the last thing on our minds. As a mother and a wife most days I place myself on the back burner to care for my family. But am I doing the right thing for my them when I do that? Not no but hell no! You see when we don’t care for ourselves first we can not properly care for anyone else. Say that with me again,” if we don’t take care of ourselves we can not take care of anyone else properly.” Without self-care we are not giving our families, friends and colleagues our best selves we are only giving them splintered fragments of our burnt out selves.
Imagine if you could give the people who matter most the BEST you every day(OK not every day but you get the point) The only way this can happen is if we take care of ourselves first. Self-care is unique for everyone. If meditating or exercise isn’t your favorite then try coloring, reading or even watching a documentary. There is something out there for every one of us, you just need to start looking for it.
Below I have provided some ideas to help get you started in developing your own self-care plan. It can be overwhelming to consider taking on many new things. So don’t add one or two to your daily routine something is always better than nothing.
Sleep- This is the area where I have struggled and lack of sleep can cause a myriad of health issues too. Here’s what I do to ensure I get enough sleep.
- I go to bed at the same time every night.
- I do not eat anything after 7:00 pm.
- I have a night time ritual so my mind can prepare itself to shut down and allow me to rest. How I prepare for a good nights rest is I wash my face, get on comfy pj’s and have a hot cup of chamomile tea. These steps indicate to my body and mind its bedtime.
Nutrition- We need to give our body the proper fuel, so it can keep up with our hectic schedules.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Pop-Tarts and cereal bars are not breakfast:) If you don’t the time to make a proper breakfast my go to breakfast is a LSVIBE VIVA VANILLA SHAKE filled with berries. It’s delicious and I am not starving in an hour!!
- It is not always possible but try to eat three meals and two snacks a day. To help me achieve this I prepare some snacks and meals on Sunday evenings. Meal prep has been a game changer for our family and it has helped us save money because I am not calling Papa John’s to bail me out anymore.
- Try to eat high-quality whole foods and keep the boxed food on the supermarket shelves.
Have Fun- This seems simple right? But when was the last time you REALLY allowed yourself to have fun? We get so caught up in the day to day BS we forget to JUST HAVE FUN.
- Watch your favorite comedy. Lately, I have been watching repeats of Modern Family and laughing my ass off.
- Do something spur of the moment like bowling, putt putt golf or go-karts. Your kids will love it and you will be giving them a lifetime of memories. Nothing like watching their crazy mom zip around the go-kart track and in my case get in trouble for running kids off the track. ( I swear it wasn’t on purpose:)
- Sing even if you can’t! Put on your favorite tunes and rock out.
- While your belting out your favorite song show off your moves. Dancing is freeing and guess what it counts as exercise too! Check out one of my absolute favorites here!
Time- Give yourself quiet time every day. Trust me it is necessary to quiet the mind even if it is just for a few moments and just breathe. By consciously taking a few deep breaths for a few minutes each day, you’ll be able to think more clearly, you will be more resilient, less stressed and feel much more relaxed.
Meditate- Not one of my go to’s but from what I hear it really does work. You can meditate just about anywhere the car while waiting to pick up kids from school, in your bed before you get up and in the bathroom when you’re hiding from a cranking toddler. Now if I was meditating this is how I would do it click here! (CAUTION profanity and laughter ahead)
Art Journal- I have only been doing this for a few months but wow it has had such an impact on me. Trust me I am no Picasso and you don’t have to be either. I personally enjoy collage, I find it gives me a place to voice my concerns, a sense of peace and it gives me clarity in areas where I might have struggled in the past.
Here are a few of my favorite Art Journal Sites:
Sure as the World (the inspiration I needed to start art journaling)
A Free Spirit Life (my first art journal class)
Creative Dream Incubator ( awesome FREE art journaling class)
My Latest Creation:
Set Limits- It’s OK to say No! I know we can do it all we’re women(sorry guys) but we don’t have to, to prove our worth. Also, cut back on the time you spend with people who don’t make you feel good about yourself; spend time with people who build you up not tear you down.
Make self-care a priority, not something that happens (or doesn’t happen!) by accident. And no, you don’t have to be a rock star at it; start slow and “just do it.” Not for your family! Not for your co-workers! But FOR YOU!