Since getting older, dealing with stressors of life and having kids, it’s apparent that we need to take time for ourselves and really commit to practicing self care. I know that term is thrown around and another thing on the never ending to-do list. I know we both struggle with finding time for self care and sometimes feel exhausted, so our self care is going to bed at 8:30, which is perfectly fine.
The importance of self care is about recharging your mind and mental state. There are always a million and one things going on and you are pulled in a million directions. I’m not the best at practicing self care and I need to be. I find when I do make time, my brain is much more clear, I find more enjoyment in things, I’m not annoyed as easily and just overall feel more relaxed.
I’m definitely committed to making sure I practice self care. It’s kind of like working out, you know when you do it, you feel so much better, but it’s just getting to that point of doing it that’s the hardest. It’s something that you have to make a habit and commit to. The best way to start is scheduling time for self care, yep that’s right another thing to schedule. It doesn’t have to be an hour long, it can be 10 minutes or even 5 minutes. When you do schedule it, really honor that time. Treat it as if you were meeting a client or a friend. Don’t cancel it, if you do there will be a $50 cancellation fee…ha! But really don’t cancel it unless it’s an emergency and maybe do charge yourself if you have to cancel. Whatever it takes to honor that time.
Alright now that you have it scheduled, what should you do during that time. I’m sure there are many things you have in mind, but in case you need other ideas besides working out, although a good one, here are some additional ideas:
No Phone Time…30 min to an hour
I find that my phone is a big distraction and a cause for stress. The phone alone with all the dings and notifications, the constant need to keep up, like, and comment on everything is stressful. The hardest part about this is that when you put your phone down, you immediately think, oh I need to google a name of a restaurant we went to on a vacation 5 years ago, because they had an amazing dinner that I don’t remember what it was. Or you remember you need to order that sweater on Amazon. Write it down if it bothers you that much or don’t want to forget. Then when you have your phone back, go down your list. With this time, do something enjoyable like getting on the floor to play with your kids or sit on the couch and watch a show. Clean that drawer out that you’ve been dying to tackle but keep getting distracted. Or watch a show!
Check out a new store or even your favorite store and walk around…30 min to an hour
Sometimes it’s nice to go into a store with no agenda. Who doesn’t love wondering around Target looking at everything with no rush or needing to be somewhere. Or maybe there is a local store around the corner that has some fun things to look at. You don’t need to buy anything, it’s just nice to wonder around and even people watch.
journaling…5 to 10 min
I started journaling again, but this time I’ve been using THIS self care journal. I love it because you can track your moods, write down your thoughts and what you plan to do for self care. Any journal or notebook will do, but I highly recommend writing it out versus typing. There is something about writing it down that is very therapeutic.
taking a hot bath…15 to 30 min
This is by far my favorite thing to do and easiest. I love to toss in some bath bombs or essential oils. I turn on relaxing music or watch a show on my ipad. And I may have a glass of wine.
going for a walk – alone…5 to 30 min
Going for a walk alone is something that can be done in a short amount of time or as long as you want, queue Forrest Gump running across the US. When I’m having a really bad or stressful day, I’ll take a five minute walk alone with no music to recognize my thoughts and how I feel, then let them pass on. When you are walking with someone or listening to your favorite song, it can be distracting. Your brain is still processing and distracted. You need that time for it to essentially breathe.
sitting with a drink…5 to 30 min
I tend to do this right before bed with hot tea and in the morning before everyone wakes up. Find a time that you can sit alone and in quiet with a hot beverage or your favorite alcoholic beverage. Again, sitting in silence even just for 5 minutes, really does wonders. Or go ahead and turn on some relaxing music!
massage…30 to 1 hour
This has self care written all over it! Treat yourself to a massage or even a facial. It’s always so relaxing to get a massage. I know this can be expensive, but treat yourself at least once a quarter, you deserve it!
meditation…5 to 15 min
I know what you are thinking, “I can’t mediate, I get too distracted”. This is definitely a technique that takes practice. So what if you aren’t a pro, even just practicing meditation helps clear your mind. I use to mediate before I would pump or even while I was pumping, because the pump was so stressful for me. I use a guided meditation app, which I highly recommend when you are first starting off. I really like the app called Breethe.
paint your nails…10 to 15 min
This is one thing I would like to do more of. I actually don’t like to go get my nails down and I hate pedicures. Sure I’ll do them but they are not relaxing to me. Plus it’s expensive. You definitely don’t have to go somewhere, you can do them yourself!
I hope some of these ideas will help you on your self care journey. What do you like to do for self care or what would you like to do more of? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!