Practicing regular self-care is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Practicing self-care is practicing self-love. You set the tone for how others will treat you in your life. If you are loving, kind, compassionate, nurturing and patient with yourself, this will radiate from the inside out. You will be more likely to treat others this way and attract people in your life that also treat you this way.
The New Year is a time when you make resolutions to work out more and eat more healthily. Yet, without a proper plan in place to support these good intentions, you can slip back into neglecting your self-care and well-being.
I suggest that you systematize your self-care to create an environment conducive to maintaining your self-care. Help yourself avoid slipping back into old habits. Nurture yourself into embracing new habits and rituals to support self-care.
1. Budget for Care
Create a line item in your personal budget for self-care. If you’re on a tight budget, it may just be $25. And when you check your budget on a regular basis, this line item will always be staring at you and serving as a reminding that you need to spend the $25 on something special for yourself.
2. Prepay for Pampering
Many salons and spas allow you to buy gift certificates or prepay for services. If you get a large chunk of money at one time, like a tax refund, you can spend some of those funds on self-care. If things get tough in the year, you’ll still have the certificates to use on something special for yourself. That might just be the boost in morale you need to kick things into gear. Also, preparing the services will make you much more likely to actually use them because you won’t want to lose out on money you’ve already spent. Self-care services like massage therapy, reiki, acupuncture, chiropractic care, facials, and hair styling can help you feel your best.
3. Use Trigger Reminders
You can make a self-care activity a recurring event on your calendar. Or, you can pick a day, like Sunday for instance, to dedicate to self-care. Appointments and commitments on a calendar are far more likely to be honored. At the very least, you probably take your care for an oil change every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. Let that standing commitment be a reminder to do self-care. If you can admit that your car would indeed breakdown if you didn’t keep up with the oil changes, you can also admit that you will ‘break down’ without proper loving care. I personally like to think about joint health when it’s time for me to get my oil changed. I may make a special green smoothie or eat okra, chia or flax for good joint health.
4. Create a Happy List
Take a few moments to jot down things that make you smile. Contemplate on what calms you mind and helps you to feel rejuvenated. Keep it simple. Think about the things you can do with little time and resources. Things on your list may be; soak feet in sea salt and essential oil, paint toe nails, do a hot oil treatment on hair, apply clay mask, recite uplifting affirmations, take a walk around the block, visit a local park with beautiful scenery, take an herbal bath, or simply cuddle up on the couch with a good fiction novel. It’s good to have this list prewritten. When you’re feeling down or stressed out, pull out this list to see what you can do to get back to balance.
5. Batch Schedule Medical Visits
You would be surprised how many women are working to overcome chronic illness, but don’t keep regular medical appointments. First, you need to find a physician that you trust and respect. Your physician should treat you as an active participant in your medical health. He or she should listen to and offer you a comprehensive approach to getting and keeping you well. Remember, with most dis-ease you can do more than just manage and live with the symptoms, you can actually heal yourself. But, in the meantime, you do need to be medically monitored. Women especially need to be aware of blood pressure, pulse, iron levels, glucose levels, and weight. At the start of the year, schedule your routine visits for the entire year. Remember to get your well-woman exam. Put a card in the shower to remind yourself to do a breast check. Schedule your dental visit and cleaning. Don’t wait until a disaster happens before going to the doctor. When you do several similar tasks, like making phone calls to make your appointments, this is considered batching. Batching is a very efficient way of getting things done. Get your phone and calendar and get these appointment scheduled. Your health is in your hands. Be proactive.
6. Take a Vacation
I encourage women to value experience over stuff. Experience shapes the ever evolving woman. For example, if you buy a new purse, you’re the same you with a new handbag. However, if you climb Mount Kilimanjaro you will not be the same person at the top that you started at the bottom. Think about what t.v. you owned 15-20 years ago. Drawing a blank? Now, think back to your first trip to a theme park with your family. The latter is a much more vivid memory right? Taking a vacation from work is important for being intentional about getting to have special experiences, unplugging from the rat race and giving yourself a moment to recharge. It’s ridiculous how many working women don’t take vacation. Companies are now even adopting “use it or lose it” policies. Workers were retiring with literally years of accumulated vacation time. Use your vacation as an automatic trigger to take some self-care time. Entrepreneurs have even more of a responsibility to designate a vacation a year. Take time off, even if it’s a “stay-cation,” a term for a vacation in your area.
Following these tips will help you automate and systematize your self-care. This will give you a framework by which to prioritize your wellbeing. You’ll see relationships improve. When you’re well and happy, the joy will overflow giving your more energy to love and nurture your family and friends.
How have you been able to maintain routine self-care?
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Sis. Freya is the creator of RootMama. She loves encouraging women to achieve greatness.
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