Something I’ve come to realize is that we as women need to be better at taking care of our selves. We have perfected the art of doing “just one more thing”, but that’s not the best action plan. Instead, the real solution is two-fold: saying “no” to things that aren’t a good use of our time (remember, “no” doesn’t mean never, it simply means “not right now”), and we need to know what fill us up. Once we recognize what inspires us, what exhausts us, what rejuvenates us — life feels great! Right?
It’s time to take action. It’s time to pay better attention to our selves and grant our selves the gift of self-care. Because when you really think about it, it doesn’t quite matter how you spend your day: whether it be with children or co-workers or working alone on a solo project, we are living out our purpose when we work on tasks that align with our callings.
In an effort to better care for ourselves — something I’m trying to be more mindful of personally, here is a list of 10 easy ways to grant yourself the gift of self-care:
1. Make a pitcher of iced-tea and serve yourself a tall glass (complete with a yellow chevron paper straw)
2. Grab your favorite bottle of polish and add a little color to your nails
3. Create a detailed meal plan for the entire week so you can spend less time frustrated in the kitchen and more time relaxing, reflecting, and rejoicing! Use your crock-pot, make double-batches (so left overs are available), and include lots of fresh fruits & vegetables so your senses are satisfied
4. Bake a batch of cookies (here’s my favorite chocolate chip recipe), and while they are baking write a gratitude list
5. Meet your girlfriends for coffee or an early dinner together
6. Preserve 30 minutes of time every day for an entire week and read a book (here is a list of books I’ve recently read)
7. Invite your family to take their adventure outside of the house so you can take a nap ;)
8. Dissect your dresser/closet, and get rid of any piece of clothing that doesn’t make you feel AMAZINGLY HAPPY :)
9. Spend an hour pursuing your hobby. Then, find some time within the next two weeks to pursue it again. Repeat every two weeks. (This is a fantastic book on the subject.)
10. Grab your journal and write until you have all of your thoughts on paper. Don’t stop to edit or pause to correct your spelling or worry if you sound selfish or immature or insecure, write until you have nothing more to share with your journal. Once you’re done, take a few minutes and review what you’ve written. What can you learn from yourself? What needs to be left alone, what deserves a little extra attention, and what changes can you make so you don’t feel so [x] quite so soon?
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Sometimes in the evenings I’ll find myself nitpicking a particular issue when Zack gently reminds me I’m exhausted, and if I just sent to bed I’d feel so much better (and the issue would most-likely disappear). And, he’s usually totally right! When I don’t take care of myself, most often through lack of sleep, I can draw an immediate parallel to how I’m feeling.
These 10 things have often been a saving grace to me, especially this year as I walk through my purpose.
PS. Number ten is my favorite, number two is something I frequent, and number nine has changed the way I feel about getting dressed in the morning.
What do you think about this list, and what would you add to it?