Often relegated to the bottom of the to-do list day after day, self-care doesn’t always take priority when you are running a business, building your career, focusing on fostering family cohesiveness or some combination of all three.
But often, our reticence to put it at the top of the list is because we think it needs an uninterrupted long period of time, or that it takes a great deal of planning and is an expense. Things like getting a massage, going to a personal trainer session, visiting a floatation tank and having an essential oil treatment all get classed as self-care and make us think that these are the only way we can look after yourself. If you aren’t all in, what’s the point, right?
The point though is that you can adopt sustainable self-care habits that will offer a dramatic improvement on the quality of your life, confidence, how you feel and how you show up, without needing lots of time or having them be overly expensive. In fact, self-care shouldn’t be a show. It should be basic, fundamental tasks that we can perform that make us feel good and that are easy to repeat day after day.
If you have let your self-care fall to the side, in the interest of continuing to be able to be your best self for your family, career, at home and for your own state of wellness, start taking ownership of it and prioritize these four simple strategies to make implementing self-care more doable:
Get up Earlier
Rushing and feeling stressed from the moment you get out of bed is not an ideal way to start your day. Instead, commit to getting up 10-15 minutes earlier. It will give you time to breathe more, rush less and you can even use it to do some gentle stretches or meditation to help you establish a positive mindset for the day ahead. Entering the day in your own time, and by filling yourself with positive energy shows that you devote time to yourself, and this is a powerful self-care habit.
Exercise, getting outside and moving your body is one of the simplest self-care tasks you can adopt. It doesn’t have to be a long gym session or a 5km run, in fact, starting with just 5 minutes of light stretching or yoga is a great way to develop a habit of movement. From there, you will see how good it makes you feel and you can slowly schedule in more.
Drink More Water
It is perhaps the simplest of all, but when you are dehydrated, you may not even realize that the reason for your irritability, hunger, sugar cravings, headache, fatigue and lack of concentration and motivation are all because you just need a bit more water.
Change One Thing
Self-care isn’t just the “doing” of things, it’s also the conscious “not-doing” of things. The awareness of habits in our life that don’t make us feel good, that make us tired or irritable, that break down our confidence or that demotivate us. Whether it’s that you drink too much coffee, get take-out for dinner too many nights of the week, or spend too much time scrolling social media, we all know a few things that are getting in the way of our best self. Commit to changing one of those things – eliminate it, cut back, alter the behavior etc. As you become confident with one, move on to another. Doing too many at once will overwhelm you and likely lead to you concluding that self-care is too hard and takes too much time . . .
Committing to simple self-care changes in your life comes with an amazing array of benefits. And quite the opposite, letting the importance of it escape you and pressing the tasks consistently to the bottom of your list, can come with an extensive number of disadvantages, including health problems, poor self-esteem, strained relationships, poor self-confidence and much more. The tasks are simple and the reward is great – what are you waiting for?