When was the last time you dedicated time for YOU?
I’m talking about mindfully putting time aside to look after number one. You probably can’t remember when it was, right? That is NOT okay – period.
I HAVE A TASK FOR YOU THIS WEEK. See if you can practise self care and do ONE THING EVERYDAY that focuses on you.
You’re probably thinking that I’m insane and that this is not possible. Not true. You just need to be mindful about dedicating the time.
This post contains affiliate links. Disclosure here.
Personally, I have been REALLY bad at practising self care in the past, however I am now making this a priority in my life and it’s something I know I must do to maintain balance everyday.
*If you don’t think that self care is a challenge, I admire you… please leave a comment with tips on how you balance your life with regular self care.
This is me after a one hour massage. In full relaxation mode and half asleep!
Now that I’m making an effort with self care I wanted to share with you my go-to’s when I need to unwind and look after myself.
Self Care 101: 9 Ways to Look After YOU.
1. RETHINK YOUR BEDTIME ROUTINE.
Go to bed 30-45 minutes before you plan on falling asleep. Grab a book (my #1 way to relax. This is my current read), listen to music or write in a journal.
The point is to unwind.
You’ve probably been thinking about everyone else except yourself all day, so this alone time is important to…
a) Set yourself up for a good night sleep
c) Do something that relaxes you.
Now take note and see if this new routine helps you sleep more sound.
2. GO ON A DATE…with yourself.
Honestly – if you haven’t done this do not hesitate! Do you ever notice that it’s hard to find someone that likes doing exactly everything you like to do? Well, that’s okay. Do it with yourself and for yourself.
When I spend time with myself I like to take a long walk, then get a delicious coffee (and stay in the café) and enjoy, while watching life and people go by. Then I go for a pedicure and take full advantage of the chair massager! After, I pick up some inexpensive flowers from the market.
If I don’t want to spend any money – I take a long walk or go to a beautiful park and read under a tree.
3. LEARN TO SAY NO.
You know when you feel you need to be somewhere, you need to call someone or you need to do a favour for someone? Sometimes you just need to say no – to yourself and to others. Some people tend to overdo it and think of everyone but themselves.
Saying no to that party on Saturday night is okay. I understand you might feel guilty, but learning to let that guilty feeling go will empower you. It will help you put yourself first, which is important to keep balance in your life. I’m not saying to always say no, but I am saying to listen to yourself and put your needs first.
Remember, if you aren’t happy no one around you will be happy either.
4. MAKE A HAPPINESS PLAYLIST.
It’s proven that happy music can lift your spirit and literally set you up for a positive day. If you’re not already on Spotify, sign up! You can set up a free account and create tons of playlists.
Once you have your happy playlist – listen to it when you wake up, when you’re in the the shower, on your way to work or while eating breakfast. If you wanna get a dance party started – even better!
Over at the Nostalgiadiaries they have “Music Monday’s” with some great playlist ideas. Here’s a great one… Music Monday Bonus. Music that Speaks to Your Heart (and Soul).
5. EAT WELL.
I know it’s a bad week when my fridge is a mess, I miss meals, or eat poorly. I’m not proud when I don’t eat well and I literally don’t feel good. By fueling your body with healthy food you are boosting serotonin and reducing bloat, making you feel better overall.
Tips to eat well when you don’t have time:
Make a smoothie (use organic spinach, a protein and some fruit). Here is my go-to smoothie recipe.
Have almonds, fresh fruit and cut up vegetables on hand.
Have healthy proteins ready in the fridge (boiled eggs, grilled chicken, chickpeas, feta, almond butter).
My healthy resource is Joyous Health, by Joy McCarthy, which reminds me to choose clean, whole foods. She clearly explains the benefits of clean eating and her recipes are to die for!
6. GET MOVING.
We all know that exercise reduces stress, improves your mood and makes you feel great, yet many of us put it off.
The trick: Commit to doing something weekly (at the same time)… and don’t do this by yourself, as you want to have someone to motivate you to keep going
Sign up to a weekly dance class
Find a walking or running buddy
Give a personal trainer a try
By committing to someone else encourages you to do it. You can do it for them, but importantly do it for yourself.
7. DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
A lot of people aren’t lucky enough to be in jobs they love. If you are, congrats you are doing something right! If you aren’t, just remember that life is a balance and finding time to do the things you love can be done outside of work.
If you love music, go to a concert. If you love art, try a painting class or go to the art gallery. If you love movies, allocate time to watch what you like (for example if you’re a mom or dad, don’t only watch kid’s movies). If you want to give back, volunteer. If you want to get out of the job you are in, spend time learning and educating yourself.
We only live once so doing something you love on a regular basis is important to living a fulfilled life.
8. CREATE A GRATITUDE JOURNAL.
The gratitude journal I use is called The 52 Lists Project, with a list for every week of the year. It’s a beautiful book that has so many lists to inspire self care and appreciate all the good stuff in your life. Some list examples:
The Happiest Moments in Your Life So Far
The Soundtrack of Your Life Right now
The Ways You Love to Have Fun
List all the People that Brighten Your Day
Spend 5 minutes at the beginning or end of your day and reflect on what you are happy with in life. What are you proud of? What are you thankful for?
9. FIND YOUR SPIRITUALITY.
Whether you’re religious or not, think of being spiritual as time you dedicate for reflection.
Mediate or pray
Take a long walk
Do some gardening
Have a bath
The focus here is while you’re dedicating time to spiritual self care, you can reflect on being in the present, clearing your mind and focusing on the positive. Release your stresses and just be.
Are you ready to prioritize yourself this week?
Leave a note in the comments and tell me which self care ideas you’re going to try.
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