Hello Y’all! Today, I’m preaching to myself and hoping that at least some of what I have to say resonates with some of you. I recently learned that September is self-care month. Busy women, notwithstanding myself, often forget or don’t take the time for self-care because we always think of others and put their needs before our own. When I do take the time for some self-care I often feel guilty and find myself thinking about my family duties, work and all of the other things on my “to do” list.
I just read an article that hit me rather hard and validated my feelings. It touted that we are all crazy busy with stressful lives that keeps us from making time for ourselves. That time for ourselves is usually last on our agenda. And that we can often feel guilty about taking the time required to take care of ourselves. It hit me hard because, it was a hard truth that like I said before…I am living.
However, I pledge starting today and I hope you join me to take better care of myself and not feel guilty for doing so! We should all examine what taking care of ourselves looks like. It will likely look different for each of us. I would like to share some of the steps, I’m planning to take.
1. Set up a schedule for self-care – as corny as this may sound. It will be the only way. Think about it, we have a schedule for work, taking the kids to practice, doing laundry, etc. You get the point. I am going to intentionally set up a self-care schedule. Following are things that will go on my calendar.
· Sleep routine where I plan to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night
· Prepare healthy meals at least 3 times a week
· Long hot candle lit baths once a week
· Exercise at least 5 days a week
· Read nightly
· Social time with girlfriends
2. Share my schedule with my family – letting people know around you that they are important to you and that they don’t mean any less because you are going to take some time for yourself
3. Organize my things. Lately, I’ve found myself looking for misplaced items and I have a few unnecessary piles of magazines and paper that give me stress when I look at them
4. Dance while cooking and cleaning
5. Start my day with a ten minute meditation followed by writing down at least 3 things that I am grateful for
6. Journal daily
7. Volunteer at least one hour a month
8. Try something new quarterly; there is so much that I want to do and to learn.
9. Be kind to myself and accept myself as I am
10. I’m going to learn to say “no” especially when the ask conflicts with my scheduled self-care. I know I have to be flexible because life happens. However, I have to be mindful as well because after all stress is definitely caused by having too much to do.
Just making this list has made me feel better. I am so excited to intentionally take care of myself. Know that self-care doesn’t have to be expensive or take a lot of time; just be creative with it. Do those things that make you happy and relieve stress. It’s all about nurturing your mind, body and soul. This year has been very trying. I think we all deserve a little self-care. Remember, self-care is not being selfish. When you are well because of all the self-care, you will have the capacity to care for others!