“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” – Unknown
I’ve been getting more inquiry lately regarding self-care. What can we all do to take care of ourselves? The only bodies and minds we will ever get. How do we optimize what we have to be our best selves?
I first say, you have come to the right place! Wellness Wednesdays for the win! What I think is really great about a self-care journey is that it is exactly that: a journey. I certainly am no expert on any of this. I just know what has worked for me in the past and I have an idea of the person I would like to be; a person that represents my best self. I’ve also been working on mastering what I both need and want for at least 2 or 3 years. It is constantly evolving.
How Does One Begin a Routine?
- Think about what makes you happy
There are little things in all of our lives that bring us joy; things that calm us and provide grounding. These are the things that keep us stable and even-keeled so that we are better prepared for the stuff that’s not so easy or joyful. For me, this is yoga, writing, working out, reading, taking hot baths, spending time with my friends and family, cooking and finding time to be grateful everyday. You do not have to share these same cues of grounded-ness. I find them all relaxing, but maybe you enjoy something else. Whatever it is, find it.
- Listen to Your Body
I use this recommendation a lot, but it is only because it is so true. Pay attention to how you are feeling; what you are thinking throughout the day. Are you excited? Calm? Anxious? Stressed? Worried? Tired? Notice these cues and what is surrounding them in your life. For me, I get really anxious and stressed when I feel like I am not going to get everything done I wanted to today. It makes my mind crazy. It usually ends with a lot of negative self-talk and me just simply feeling bad about myself. What I have learned is to take a break in these moments. To breathe, perhaps do a 10-minute yoga session. I have also learned what works for me to prevent these moments from happening and not set such high expectations of myself. I mean really, what is the worst thing that will happen if I don’t vacuum TODAY?!? Nothing. More hair on my floor that is always covered in dog hair anyway. It’s okay. You can check out my previous post on self-care if you are interested in how I attempt to prevent these moments in the first place.
- Be Okay with Trial and Error
So you have written down what makes you happy. Pick just one of those things and try to do it everyday for 30 days. It still takes 30 days to make a habit. Try it in the morning for a week; before bed for a week. Listen to your body and let the process tell you how it feels to add this into your daily life. This process takes awhile. I think for about a year I made myself get in bed and read before sleeping every night. It also took me this long to accept that reading at night was not working for me in this stage of my life. So I read every morning instead. Once I made that change, I was able to stick with it easily.
- Whatever you choose, do it for you, every single day, for at least 30 minutes.
Take time for yourself! It is a must. No matter who you are, life becomes stressful and it is so easy to get lost in daily activities and commitments. Make yourself a priority. Do what serves you and de-clutter the rest of the junk.