Let me start with a confession. I am absolutely horrible at self care. I don’t take “me time” as often as I should and I often neglect my physical, mental and emotional needs. It’s not uncommon for me to miss a meal because I am running around like crazy or to go a few days without a shower. [Can 4 still be considered a few?]
I know I am not alone here [well, maybe I am on the shower thing]. Shape Magazine reported that more than half of women between the ages of 20-36 have made self care their resolution in 2018. We are living super busy lives as women — working long hours, taking care of our families needs, helping out with organizations we’re involved with and trying to squeeze in time with our friends. It’s no wonder our own bodies can feel a little neglected — there just doesn’t seem to be any time left over! For years my ears have been ringing with my mother’s words, “Becca, you need to take care of yourself!” — and I have finally decided to do something about it! [Cue my mom’s sigh of relief.]
I have made it my personal mission to make ME a priority this year. I have been reading, researching and chatting with friends about how they implement self care into their routine — and I have come up with a list of things that I want to give a try this year. Below, you will find self care tips in 3 different categories — caring for your body, mind, and heart — to help us work on prioritizing ourselves wholly. I hope that you find at least a couple things that resonate with you, and that you will join me on this journey toward taking better care of ourselves!
Care for your Body:
- Make a Daily Checklist with Reminders
This is especially great when wanting to create a new habit. Want to start taking vitamins or drinking your daily 8 glasses of water or reminding yourself that you really do hope to wash your hair more than twice this week? Add it to your check list and set a recurring alarm on your phone. Wunderlist is a GREAT app for this — you can create multiple lists, check things off as you complete a task, and you can set them up to pop up again daily, weekly, and so on. Wunderlist has worked wonders for me! Pun intended my friends, pun intended.
- Schedule in Weekly “Me Time”
I feel so much better about myself when I do a face mask or a deep conditioning treatment for my hair. I definitely don’t have the time to do those things every day — and I seem to forget until I need it quite badly. Why not schedule a weekly standing appointment with yourself to take a long bath, do an at home mani/pedi or whatever makes you feel refreshed? Write it in your calendar so you don’t forget! For me, I am going to try Sunday evenings.
- Set Up Follow Up Appointments
Maybe it’s just me, but I wait until it’s a state of emergency to set up appointments — especially for my hair. I call to make an appointment when I realize I can’t go another day without being mistaken for Chewbacca! Six months ago I made it a new practice of mine to set up my next appointment while I am at the salon, doctor or dentist office — and it has made such a huge difference in my life and in my hair!
Care for your Mind:
- Start your Day Slowly
This is something I have been trying for a year or two, and I have to say it has made such a positive impact on my life! I used to wake up with barely enough time to get ready and rush out the door to work, which of course caused me to start every day feeling stressed! But now, my husband Matt and I wake up 45 minutes earlier, light a fire in our fireplace and sit and have a morning cup of coffee together. It’s a reminder of the simple joys in life and helps us begin each day refreshed. Our one rule: No phones allowed. We set our alarms for the time we need to start getting ready, and leave our phones in the other room.
- Wind Down at Night
Sleep isn’t easy for everyone — self included! And all the time we spend staring at screens is not helping! I have taken baby steps towards a better evening routine, starting with no night time TV in our bedroom, and not using my phone right before bed. What night time rituals have you taken up? I’d love to hear how you wind down for a better night’s sleep!
- Clean Out Your Space
I just finished Emily Ley’s latest book, A Simplified Life. You should definitely pick up a copy if you haven’t done so yet! It’s filled with great tips for creating a little breathing room in your life, starting with cleaning out the clutter. It’s so surprising to me how much the stuff in our homes can affect our mental state, but it truly does! Clearing out your physical clutter can take you from overwhelmed to calm. Start your declutter process with something small, like a closet or drawer. Take everything out and only put back the essentials.
Care for your Heart:
- Practice Positive Self Talk
I don’t know about you all, but sometimes my head can be a really negative space. I can be far too hard on myself and I often hear a little voice that tells me I am not pretty enough, smart enough, good enough. And I have had enough! I don’t want to let that voice rule my headspace! Let’s make a point to drown out that negativity by proactively speaking some positive words about ourselves. Write them in your journal, post them on your bathroom mirror, or even create a note on a letter board like the one above. Any reminders we can give ourselves that we really are beautiful, strong, smart, and wonderful will do a world of good for our feelings of self worth!
- Create a Compliments Journal
I was recently reading my cousin’s wife’s blog [Manda Carpenter — check her out here, if you haven’t already!] and I came across this wonderful self care tip! Any time someone pays you a compliment, put it in a journal. If the compliment is verbal, make a mental note and write it down. If it comes via text or email, print it off and glue it in your journal. Collect those compliments so that the next time you are feeling down, you can look through it for an instant pick-me-up!
- Set Reminders to Text / Call the People You Love
We all lead such busy lives these days, and it is easy to get caught up in all the tasks we have on our list. With everything that we are juggling, it is easy to slip up on maintaining our relationships, even the important ones! If this resonates with you, try setting calendar reminders on your phone to prompt you to call your grandma on the first of the month, or to text your girlfriend on Tuesdays. This has been such a huge help in my life, ensuring I don’t neglect the people who fill me with joy even when my life gets busy.
I hope that by trying out a tip or two from this post will help you to feel a little more rested, restored and rejuvenated. What do you do to foster self care in your life? I would love to hear your tips and tricks as we all continue along this journey of taking better care of ourselves!