07 Aug 2020

Want To Take Better Care Of Yourself? Start Small

Does self-care seem like one more thing you need to add to your schedule?  One more subject line that takes up mental space?

This is how it seems for most people, I think.  And moms especially have a lot on their to do list – laundry, doctor appointments, errands, budgeting, driving, volunteering, and on and on.  Whether you work outside the home or not, you hit the ground running in the morning with barely enough time to shower, moving from one thing to the next feeling stressed out and exhausted.

Very well-meaning people will say things like “you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others”.  And you think, “yeah, right.  When’s that gonna happen”. 

Self-care can seem like another block of time that you don’t have; something that’s reserved for people who have the time and the means; something special only available to a precious few.

As a mom of 3, I used to think that I had to get everything done before I could take time for myself.  I thought that it was a whole other activity that required a chunk of time and money that I didn’t have.

Until I learned that taking exceptional care of myself is not about booking spa days or weekends away.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love a good massage and I love to travel, but these options are not always available to me.

But what IS available, every day, are the choices of how I spend my time and who I spend it with. 

And those small, consistent actions of self-care can be just as (if not more) restorative than a special occasion spa day.

Try it.  Here are a few simple ideas to get you started:

  1. Identify one thing on your calendar that you can delegate or get rid of altogether. 
  2. Spend 5 extra minutes eating your meal or snack.  Doesn’t matter what it is – a cookie, salad, a protein shake – sit at your table without electronic distractions and enjoy your food.
  3. Spend time outside, just sitting.  Listen to the birds.  Notice how the trees are different shades of green.  Notice how the flowers in your garden change from day to day.

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