In the past few months I have heard many, many women sharing their need to implement a self-care routine. While we do have an understanding that self-care is an important aspect of being productive, loving and a fulfilled person, more often than not, we don’t practice self-care. Many women are plagued with the feeling of selfishness. Often the excitement for self-care is followed by questions and doubts. “How can I dedicate this time to myself when I have so much to do?” “So many people depend on me and I have no time to waste on myself.” “Maybe if I was a guy I could do this, but I have responsibilities.” “It’s so hard to unplug when you have a load of laundry to do.”
Back in the days I could absolutely relate to many of these and it wouldn’t even occur to me to follow any kind of self-care routine or time off. I was just going through the motions, not realizing how a lack of time off hurt me. Even insurance companies know the importance of self-care. Long term insurance policies pay for nursing so you can take a break from caring for a loved one. Loving others and giving so much needs to be replenished. You can only give what you have. Think of self-care as the oxygen sign on the plane. First deliver oxygen to you, then to your child. Self-care routine is needed so you can feel at peace with your body and mind.
In today’s post I’d like to share some tips that helped me introduce a self-care routine. I hope that these will help you as well and you will use them to change your day and improve your well-being and become more rested and fulfilled.
Self-care is not something you would do once and never again. It’s a series of actions you take repeatedly to improve your self-image, to rest and just overall feel like you are living a more satisfying life. I am a strong believer that this self-care routing starts with out thoughts. What you think of yourself, how you think of yourself is than reflected in how you speak about yourself and how you behave. If you think of yourself in loving way, you will speak with other around you in a different manner and will learn how to set boundaries when things are not serving you. It’s important that we say loving words to ourselves, just as we practice saying those to our children, life partners, parents or friends. We are so willing to share those with others, but often forget to love ourselves. It’s OK to look in the mirror to say, you look lovely today. Pick one thing about your looks that you think is adorable and let yourself know that you appreciate the feature. Also, don’t forget to praise yourself for your character traits, for example I like how you can easily pick up any new skill, you are such a quick reader, you have a great way making people feel welcome. Learn to have a positive internal conversation with yourself.
Treat your body right and fuel it with nutritionally good foods. Pay attention to what you eat, how you eat and where you eat. Do you eat slow or fast, do you eat at a table, thoughtfully prepare your meal, sit down and enjoy the food? Or do you speed through your meal often not even paying attention to how much you had or how delicious the meal was. We are what we eat and for an energized, love filled person you have to intake a lot of fruits, vegetables and grains. How you feed your body will have a huge impact on your energy levels and your health. Take time to prepare your meals, turn off the TV, sit at a table and focus on your food. Notice what you are taking in, are you truly enjoying the food or are your eating just to feel fool.
At the beginning you will need to schedule some me-time. If you have time to aimlessly sit on the sofa watching TV, then you have time to spend to yourself and truly relax. Pencil it into your calendar. I am not going to lie, sometimes you will have to wake up early to make room to yourself, but you should be important to YOU!
Take time to be kind to your body and mind. Even the most normal acts of daily life can become acts of self-love. For example, take time to rub some lotion on your feet. Give your feet a nice massage and thank them for the work they have done for you. Give your hands a rub down, apply lotion to your hands and your cuticles. Pay attention to how your skin feels, how your hand and feet relax when you give them some well deserved R&R.
Practice what you love
Practice what you love. Do you enjoy being in a park? Go for a walk or visit a local botanic garden. Love reading books? Enjoy some time at a book shop or a library or join a book club. Think about all the things you enjoy doing, take some time to bring them back into your life. It doesn’t have to be a daily thing, but put them on your weekly or monthly list and religiously follow through. We are the true masters of our lives. I know that I love being in service of others, but I need to take time to be to myself, to feel like a goddess that I truly am. There is no shame or selfishness in this, this is an act of self preservation. I want to be able to look back at my life and be proud of the quality of the days spent. Truly living every minute. For me it’s taking time to learn something new every day, being outside an enjoying nature, practicing yoga and meditation. I love good books and great food. And I love taking care of myself, so I can share the compassion I have for me with my tribe, my students, friends, neighbors.
Here is a video I have recently recorded with my friend Cindy of Lavish Hippie. If you haven’t discovered her blog give it a look.
We all are different in what makes us tick and thrive. What are some of the ways to incorporate self-love to your daily routine? How do you recharge your batteries and give your inner goddess the room she deserves? Let me know in the comment section.