In the following paragraphs I’ll divulge a my secrets to incorporating this into your life.
Self-care is a hot topic these days. We are told it’s imperative to practice self-care but what exactly does that mean and how do we incorporate it into our lives without feeling it’s one more task to add to an already packed schedule.
I’m a big proponent of self-care and in my practice as a psychotherapist and Life Coach I encourage clients to make themselves a priority. However, I don’t want the task to become so overwhelming that it causes more guilt than good. I do believe that anyone can manage at least a few self-care items on any given day. In the following paragraphs I’ll divulge a my secrets to incorporating this into your life.
I’m a list maker. I’ve been a list maker for as long as I can remember, and it works for me. It works because I make it easy, and I don’t beat myself up if I don’t check off every item on the list.
First: Write it down. Its important to have the visual. People tell me they don’t need to write things down because they have a list in their head. Well, I don’t about you but with everything else in my head it’s easy for that list to get lost. Write it down and keep it close by.
Second: Make it easy. I remember many years ago a boyfriend picking up my list, reading it over and jokingly chiding me saying,” REST, you put REST on your list?” Damn straight I did. I’m in constant motion and that gentle reminder gave me an opportunity to pause. BREATHE is on my list as well, and it’s been there way before Apple put it on its watch.
Your items don’t all have to be simplistic but give yourself a break and throw in a few easy ones.
Third: Understand that to take care of yourself you don’t have to do everything on the list every day. What works for me is to aim for three each day. My list is varied. It’s a copulation of mental and physical with a dash of fun added in.
I’ll start with the mundane, things that I probably should do frequently but don’t necessarily like to do. That would be my hand exercises (helpful because of a little arthritis), eye drops-I hate doing this, netti pot and ball on the wall back exercises. I generally walk or yoga practice but these specific exercises make a big difference. For my mental health writing and meditation are listed but also listening to records (I have a vast collection), reading a magazine, or lathering on a ton of body lotion and letting it absorb into my skin.
A woman I know walks as a main form of exercise. This is great but what makes it a self-care item for her is when she stops at a local coffee shop and with coffee in hand walks down the street gazing in the shop windows.
The fun things on my list are doing my nails, looking a new recipe (not necessarily making them) or giving myself a facial. It might be gardening for you, watching Daniel Tyger with your toddler, or playing catch with your dog. There is no right or wrong. It’s your list. Write it down. Make it easy. Have fun. You deserve a little self-care.