We are number one, yet many times we forget to take care of ourselves. We are caregivers by nature and taught to please others. At a young age, we learn what makes others happy and we do that, even if not aligned with which we want to do. If I am able to teach my children one thing, it is to speak your truth, be kind, but always let others know where you stand. Just last night, my nine year old son was brave enough to tell his Dad he did not want to go to a party with all his friends. He wanted to stay with me and have a quiet evening. He asked, “Can you tell Dad, I don’t want to go?” I told him, just tell your Dad what you want and why. He put on his big boy underwear and calm and brave as brave can be and stood up to his Dad and he respected him and said of course. As I am a recovering people pleaser, that is one aspect of me, I do not want to pass on.
Here are some of my five favorite self-care tips that allow me to have super power capacity to tackle two jobs I love, be involved with my kids and still have time for friends and family.
1.) Do something you love daily. Ask yourself, what brings me joy? We get so caught up in the day to day of being tugged in so many different directions, it can come to the end of the day and we have not given ourselves any love, attention, that one special treat that will make us smile, bring us ultimate joy. What brings you joy?
2.) Spend time alone. We all require downtime to process our busy lives. Time alone allows us to tap into our creative nature, solve a problem, what to say to nurture our kids or our lover. Time alone can be in meditation, a walk, a run or even driving in our cars. Be mindful of the alone time, take the necessary time to decompress. I personally love to have the first hour when I wake up to myself in which I spend in various ways and if I don’t, I find myself being all out of sorts. How do you spend your alone time?
3.) Nurture your body. Eat healthy food, use organic lotion/oils on your skin and practice self-massage. An easy self-practice I do each night is to put sesame (warming) or coconut (cooling) oil on my feet with a self-massage each night before I go to bed. It not only keeps my feet well moisturized, it promotes sound sleep and is an effective way to give back to my body at the end of each day. How do you nurture your body?
4.) Check in with your feelings. Many times we “think” we should feel or act a certain way. When was the last time, you checked in with how you were truly feeling? When I started this practice daily, I was amazed at my own personal insights throughout each day. When you are feeling stressed, check in, and ask yourself how you are honestly feeling.
5.) Gauge your mental chatter. What is going on in our minds can be mind-boggling. My teacher Rolf Gates always told us during meditation to label the boat and let it go. Do you have a boat that is full of to-do items or one filled with worry? Either way, it is okay, just label it, and set it off to sea. What is your mental chatter?
The bottom line is to determine what self-care rituals/routines work best. We all desire to be cared for and we are the only ones that truly know what feels good to us each day. The daily commitment is what will set us apart from others – help us have more energy in all facets of our daily life. We deserve the best! Remember, small daily doses of self-care will keep us mentally, psychically and emotionally sound. And the good news is that once we start, it truly is contagious, and we will want to do more and more for ourselves.