I've been getting a lot of questions lately about self-care. I think, as women, many of us were raised to view self-care as selfish. We typically put ourselves at the bottom of our list – if we're on our to-do list at all.
But that doesn't work. As Wynonna Judd once said: “You have to fill your cup. You then give away the overflowing, but you keep a cupful for yourself.” And no, it’s not selfish to want to take care of you. It's like the old oxygen mask analogy on an airplane – put your own oxygen mask on before you help others with theirs. If you don't have oxygen, you can't be of service to others. Self-care is your oxygen. It's essential to your survival. If you don't take care of you, you’ll have nothing left to give. It's your job to make sure your cup is overflowing (in other words, no one is going to do this for you).
I encourage you to make sure that you get what you need on all levels – physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally – every day.” –that’s keeping your cup full. But how do you do this when you're so busy?
Start with 5 minutes a day. You can't tell me you don't have 5 minutes – get up 5 minutes earlier if you have to. Once that feels good (which I promise, it will!), then try 10 minutes, then 20, then 30. You get the idea.
What are you supposed to do to take care of you? Only you know what makes your soul sing, but here are some of my favorites:
- Start your day with your favorite mantra or guided meditation – I start my day with a 10 minute guided meditation. I've been doing this for years and I love it!
- Create an environment that honors you – I surround myself with windows, positive affirmations, my vision board, and pictures of things I love.
- Make time to do the things you love each day and don’t let your endless to do list get in the way. – this is where that 5 minutes comes in. 🙂
- Don't overbook yourself and learn to say no. – I am the Queen of overbooking myself. So I started scheduling my me time in so I make sure it doesn't fall off my radar.
- Eat regularly. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to eat nourishing foods. I prefer to eat 5 times a day to keep my blood sugar regulated.
- Listen to your body. – It knows what you need. If you're hungry, eat. If you hurt, stop doing what's causing you pain
- Engage in positive self-talk – remember the sticky note challenge?
- Unplug at least an hour before bed every day and preferably, don’t plug in until you’ve been up for at least an hour every morning – No checking email first thing in the morning while still lying in bed. Your brain needs time to unwind and time to wake up before you barrage it with your to-do list.
- End your day in gratitude – I've been keeping a gratitude journal for years. There's always something in your life you can be grateful for.
- Take at least one complete day off every week. – As a workaholic I struggle with this one, but I feel so much better and recharged when I do.
That's my list. What's on yours?