Don’t get me wrong, I love bubble baths and meditation. With that said, the chances of having the time to do those things on a regular basis are unrealistic for many of us today. Given everything we are all dealing with in our world, communities, and homes right now the term self-care has become a buzz word that means something different to everyone.
Set Personal Boundaries
The word “boundaries” has also become a major buzz word. But how do we really set those personal boundaries? Setting boundaries can simply mean being protective of your time and mental space.
- Start by saying “no”. If your first inclination to a request is to respond with “Ugg”, just say “no”!
- Know your limits. If you want to say yes to something yet have reservations, your “yes” can have parameters.
- Resist the temptation to give a zillion reasons why you are setting those personal boundaries.
“Yes, I would love to come to your dinner party, but am unable to help with clean up this time”
“I won’t be able to attend your charity event next month, but please send me a link where I can donate.”
“I can’t commit to helping out in my child’s classroom right now, I will let you know if I am able to volunteer in the future”
Create Daily Habits That You Can Look Forward To
We all need things to look forward to and creating simple things to look forward to every day can really help get us through even the toughest day. Figure out the little things in your current day that bring you joy. Some of my favorite things are my morning coffee with my husband, playing outside for 10 minutes mid-day with my energetic dog, and putting all electronic devices on “do not disturb” mode after 6pm each day, which allows for family time.
Try this: Take the time to think about the many things you do throughout the day and make a list of the things you most look forward to. Make sure to incorporate those things everyday and practice intention when you are engaging those experiences.
Stay In Touch With The Important People In Your Life
It is easy to let time pass when we get busy but maintaining your positive relationships (notice I said positive) will support your need for emotional connection. Open up to people you trust and ask for help when you need the support. You never know when you are going to need to lean on someone and having an established connection will make it easier to ask for support.
Easy ways to stay in touch:
- Send a quick text message to let someone know that you are thinking about them.
- Choose one day a week to have lunch or dinner with someone you care about.
- Bring coffee/tea to someone.
- Put together a small appreciation gift for someone. Put in some of your favorite things that they also might like, drop it at their front door or at their work. I recently put together a bag for a friend with my favorite tea, lip balm, Epsom salt and essential oil.
Plan Time Away
Planning a trip, even for a long weekend, can be a fun way to break up the monotony of our busy lives. We all need breaks, both big and small, as well as something to look forward to. My work allows me to work anywhere, so I will plan a working trip when I just want to be in a different space and environment. I also plan vacations that allow me to be completely off the technology grid.
- A long weekend trip to a location in your state where you have never been before
- Visit and friend or family who lives out of town and ask them to take you sight seeing to some of their favorite places
- Rent a home in your local area, but a different part of town. Look for a rental that has some fun amenities, like a pool, hot tub, game room, water view, etc. Try some restaurants in the area.
Identify What Refreshes You And Brings You Peace
At least weekly, engage in an activity that brings you to your mental happy place. Engage in something that you know will bring you peace and joy. Be open to exploring other ways that you can find fulfillment, fun and calm.
Try one of these:
- Indoor rock climbing
- Take dance lessons
- Try floating (indoor sensory deprivation tank), the ultimate relaxation
- Hike somewhere you have never hiked before
- Hit the driving range
- Try a new hobby or craft
- Take an online cooking class
- Learn to play an instrument
- Guided meditation (class, video, or an app)
I know for sure that everyone’s idea of self-care is different. What works for one person, will not work for another. It is important to identify ways to take care of yourself, so you bring your best self to whatever you encounter through your day and in your relationships. We cannot take care of others unless we take of ourselves first.