Five Days and Five Time- and Sanity-Saving Ideas: Day 3, Self-Care
Day 3: Get serious about creating time for self-care.
(The following is provided for informational purposes only; the information is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge, but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes, and no guarantees are made.)
We have all heard that self-care is important (check out these TED Talks on the importance of self-care and to learn some simple self-care strategies), but how often do we leave this very last on the proverbial "to do" list? It wasn't until I was in my late-thirties, early forties (and admittedly when I was out of the trenches of babyhood/toddlerhood with my kids) that I got serious about self-care and I still struggle with leaving myself last on the list. By self-care, I mean: taking care of oneself as a whole, including your physical, emotional, and spiritual health (in whatever form this takes for you).
Self-care doesn't have to be complicated nor does it need to be expensive. We would all love a spa day, but we can also create a relaxing spa experience at home with a candlelight bubble bath after the kids are asleep. When I said get serious about creating time for self-care, I mean: Choose specific self-care routines to focus on (they can be short-term or long-term goals - routines that you feel will make the biggest difference in your day-to-day life or those that will create longer-term health benefits) and make them a priority by scheduling them and sticking to that schedule as much as possible. I suggest starting out simply and to focus on not overwhelming yourself (in the past, I have been guilty of being the queen of setting unrealistically high and undoable expectations; not surprisingly, I was not very successful in achieving these goals). Insert small self-care routines into your week (like a bubble bath) and also choose one larger self-care area to focus on at a time (such as regular exercise) and don't add a new self-care area until exercise, for example, is firmly part of your weekly routine (at whatever frequency goal you have set for yourself).
Last year, my self-care focus was on regular, daily exercise (30 minutes), when at all possible. It doesn't always happen, but many days it does. This year, now that I feel like regular exercise is pretty seamlessly integrated into my life, I am trying to focus on getting more sleep and on daily mindfulness activities (such as meditation, thankfulness journaling, et cetera). Some days I meet my goals and others I do not even get close, but sitting down to plan out my goals and scheduling them in my calendar (with reminders) makes it far more likely that they will actually happen. And before you know it, hopefully my five-minutes-a-day initial goal of mindfulness activity will become a routine part of my day (and I may just get eight hours of sleep a few days a week).
You can do it and good luck!
*Remember, if you ever want help with planning or implementing individual or family organizational goals and strategies, Enriched Family is here to support you. I offer a free, 20-minute initial phone consultation to all new clients to discuss matching your needs and priorities with my services. In addition, I am offering a 15% discount to all new clients through March 2018. Click the "Let's Get Started!" button at the upper-right corner of this page to contact me.
Here's to getting more organized in 2018!