Who’s taking care of you?
It better be YOU!
When was the last time you sat peacefully sipping on __________, feeling alive and excited for the day?
When was the last time you felt comfortable in your body, excited to put on your clothes, and energized for any activity you desired?
When was the last time you took some time for yourself, went off and read a book or took a hike, and later regretted it?
When was the last time you sat down to a meal you created (ok maybe you took a picture and posted it too!) and said, Damn! This is nurturing my body AND it tastes amazing!
If you can’t find the answers to these questions, you’re not alone. Many of us are far more able to generously care for others but lose track of ourselves in the process.
Here are 7 simple tricks to get back in the self-care groove:
1.Practice the pause before you say yes.
Many of us are so accustomed to pleasing others, we hear the yes coming out of our mouths before our minds catch up. Sometimes the best thing to do when someone asks you to do yet another thing is pause first. Sometimes this pause will create a moment for the asker where they realize they can actually do it themselves! Practice saying these words in your head: Let me think about that.
2. If the pause doesn’t work, ask yourself a couple questions:
Am I going to regret agreeing to this? What toll will this take on my: a) sleep b) other work c) relationships d) joy?
3.Take 5 minutes alone, anywhere, and get them on your calendar every darn day. Make sure your kids, significant other, coworkers, whoever, know that you are NOT available. Start with 5 minutes as you train others that you deserve this time and increase up to an amount of time that will work for you! What to do during those minutes? Perhaps some mindful breathing, journaling, listening to a song you love will energize and motivate you to create more time for you!
4. Brainstorm a list of foods that delight your senses AND make you feel energized. My favorites in the summer: frozen blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries that I keep in my freezer at all times. When that sweet craving hits, I am prepared.
5. Listen to your body!
When you feel compelled to push through something but your body says, “Hell No!” you’re better off listening. Injuries happen when we are tired or hurting. It takes practice, but with some attention you can notice cues that tell you, no workout today, just rest!
6. Connect with others:
Don’t underestimate the power of reaching out to a friend, smiling at someone in the store, (especially a little person as they often smile back!) We are social creatures who sometimes forget how much we need to be seen and valued by others. Today: send a message or call someone you’ve been missing! Get a date on the calendar before another year goes by.
7. Challenge that inner critic:
You probably know who I mean! All of us have those limiting voices inside that focus on what’s wrong not strong. Take a moment to pause when you hear that critical self-talk and ask yourself: Is this true? Chances are, it’s b.s. You are whole, smart, beautiful, loving, and genuine. Take my word for it and tell that critic to take a hike! Need more practice? Check out the resource for Loving Kindness meditation at the end of this post.
Free Loving Kindness Meditations by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, one of my favorite researchers.
Check out this article to learn more about challenging your limiting beliefs.