Sometimes it feels like all we do is go, go, go without any time to recharge our own battery. We are so focused on taking care of the needs of others, that it feels selfish to take time for ourselves. By the end of the day, our minds are so overloaded with decision fatigue that can’t even think about adding another thing to the to-do list, especially when it’s only for . . . ourselves!
But the reality is that we can’t keep going nonstop. Eventually we will become rundown, and then we have to stop — entirely. And let’s get real, no one has time for that!
Just talking about self-care can sometimes cause people to stop listening (link to article why self care is probably not what you think it is) But the truth is, self-care is essential. While we may want and need to take care of others, it is also important to take care of ourselves, too!
Here are some easy ways to add self-care into your routine. You don’t have to do them all. Just pick even one, and you will nurture your well-being!
1. Eat a Little Cleaner
It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing change, but finding simple ways to make cleaner eating choices can make a difference over time. Make an omelette with 1 egg and 2 egg whites instead of 3 eggs. Spread mustard on your sandwich instead of mayonnaise. Swap zucchini noodles for spaghetti. Simple little changes, that can really add up to big results!
2. Go to Bed a Little Earlier
For one week, make an effort to put down your device or turn off the tv 15 minutes earlier. The next week, aim for 30 minutes and use 15 minutes to read. Make sure to be consistent, and within two weeks, you will feel a noticeable difference!
3. Move a Little More
You’ve heard it before, I’m sure, but sitting is the new smoking. So, take the steps instead of the elevator. Park your car a little farther away from the store in parking lots. Take an extra loop around the block. Anything to sneak a little more movement into your day. Your heart will thank you.
4. Be Still
I know, I know, I just told you to move, right?!?! But being still, even for just ten minutes a day, is like balm for your soul. Set a timer, and focus on your breathing for just a short time. You will experience benefits such as reduced stress, less anxiety, enhanced self-awareness, improved sleep, and possibly even reduced blood pressure. All in just ten minutes? Sounds worth it to me!
Did you know that our outer surroundings have an impact on our inner well being? It’s true. There is only so much information that our brains can process at one time. When our brain sees lots of clutter, its actually being distracted (and getting tired) from taking it all in and processing it. Reducing clutter frees up valuable mind space to focus on more of the things you want it to be focusing on — like sewing! One simple way to keep clutter at bay is to set a timer for just 10 minutes each day, and accomplish as much tidying as you can in that short amount of time. Things never have to be perfect, just better than they were when you started!
6. Take a Creative Break
Got 15 minutes between obligations? Sew! Read a book! Color! It’s not always easy to find long stretches of time to exercise your creativity, especially if you are a caregiver of young children or an elderly parent. But it is possible to squeeze a few minutes in here or there. Rather than looking at it as not enough time to get much accomplished, look at it as a few minutes to nurture your creative spirit! Even in short bursts, you can feel joy — and that is self-care!
7. Set a Boundary
While its good to be the person that others can depend on, it’s also important to say “no” when we are feeling overextended. Sometimes we get so focused on being people pleasers that we sacrifice our own wants and feelings in the process. Saying “no” isn’t always easy (let’s be honest, it stinks!), but it’s important to know your limits so that you don’t end up feeling exhausted or resentful. In the end, disappointing someone else is still better than feeling stuck doing something you don’t want to do or don’t believe in.
8. Reward Yourself
Think of some ways that you can treat yourself, and do them! Take yourself on a date to a museum for the afternoon. Get a manicure. Get your hair colored. Buy yourself flowers at the farmers market! Or best yet, buy some second-hand fabric! (You get the point!)
There are so many ways that we can work self-care into our routine on the daily. It just takes a little planning and most of all, the recognition that you are taking the time for you and knowing that you deserve it!
So now tell us, how will you add self-care to your daily routine? Leave a comment to let us know!