If you are like many, you probably spend so much time living for others that it can be easy to forget to make sure you are okay internally.
If self care isn’t made a priority, this checking in with yourself doesn’t always happen in the day-to-day grind. It’s easy to get into an autopilot mode where you don’t notice how you feel, much less if you are at peace.
This impacts your own wellbeing, as well as everyone else you come in contact with. The good news is you can find more ease in your life by adding some intentional refueling time into your day.
Self-care starts with slowing down.
Slowing down allows you to tune into what is happening in your inner space. Before you can care for yourself, you have to know where you are and what your body, mind, and spirit is needing.
You can simply pause for a minute, find a few breaths, and ask yourself a few key questions:
What is happening in my body?
What is happening in my mind?
These questions cultivate your awareness and allow you to notice what will nourish you.
There isn’t one answer for all people…or even one answer for one person. Different seasons of life ask for different self care rituals.
Once you slow down, find your breath so you can see things clearly, and ask yourself some questions, you may find in one moment what you need is that candlelit soak in warm salty water. Or, you may find you need earbuds in, music on, and a sweat session to blast away some anxiety.
Just a few of the endless things that you can involve in this plan: meditation, tea, walking, running, salt baths, journaling, wine, yoga, reading, and so much more.
Get creative. Your practices don’t have to look like anyone else's!
Grab a journal, and without over thinking it, jot down the activities that make you feel grounded and balanced.
When making this list, take into account things that you look forward to, bring you peace while you are doing them, and leave a lasting ease afterwards. Use your imagination.
Remember, these rituals will be different for every single person. They can be things that bring you into more action (think working out) or more stillness (think meditation).
Keep this list nearby so you can refer back to it often. Not needing to do all of these things in a day, but giving yourself a resource to look back at when you’re looking for more care inspiration.
Don’t just hope that this time for yourself will happen. Plan for it.
Each morning, decide when your self care practices will take place that day and make it a priority.
If you have a set schedule and are able to, making these practices happen at the same time each day will allow this practice to become a more effortless routine. If you have a busy home life, share it with your family so they know that this time is important.
Once you have created your list above, decide how much time you want to set aside daily for intentional self care.
If this idea is overwhelming to you, take a deep breath, and start where you are with what you have. Ten minutes is a great place to begin. You may be surprised to find how much you begin to crave that ten minutes each day, and eventually may even find that you actually have way more time than you thought available to you.
Take whatever time you’ve decided on and choose a few of the activities you want to commit to doing for yourself regularly.
Making a plan adds intentionality into your practice and reduces your wasted energy thinking constantly about what you are going to do.
The beautiful thing that happens when you get intentional with a little bit of your time is that you start to want that intentionality to overflow into the other areas of your life.
So many people have a fear that taking time for themselves is selfish, but your well being benefits everyone.
Ignoring your needs will rob those around you from the deeper overflow of love you can give if you’re also caring for yourself.
As Anne Lamott says, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
Give yourself permission to unplug and breathe some life back into your body and soul.
Self care rituals are love letters to yourself, gentle reminders that you are just as worthy of being loved and cared for as all the people you give so much to.