A Beginner's Guide To Self Care
So here we are. Reading a step by step process on how to take care of ourselves. Pretty funny, but pretty needed. Don't stop reading now. Let's go.
I was once here, needing to be pushed and pulled into THIS direction. Believe it or not, many people want to start things, and never know where to begin. Like me for example. Starting anything new, I must have a clear mind, clear sheet of paper, and a clear schedule. When I pencil myself into my calendar, I make room for error, without limiting myself, and lastly, without pressuring myself.
Without direction, you're overwhelmed, easily flustered, and if/when you reach a road block, you're eventually going to give up-- that's if you even start. I am here to make sure you start and finish not just today or tomorrow, but forever.
Looking for a full glass of self care?
Grab a glass, have a seat. It's time to be selfish.
PHYSICAL - MENTAL - EMOTIONAL (LY)
First things first, let me make this clear that by no means am I an expert. This is just a list of things that have gotten me where I am today-- somewhat selfish and self-centered (in a positive way).
The one and only question you should be asking yourself is, What makes me feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally?
From smallest to largest let's get started by:
removing all things you intake excessively that has a negative affect on your life.
Drink lots of coffee? Pick up a cup of tea instead. Toss a few fruits and veggies in a blender for natural / healthy energy intake, or just go to bed at a reasonable hour. Smoking, drinking, and candy are fall in the same category to me = poison. Go light on the sugar and toss the habits. It's time to play it safe.
make a self care list
Think about all the things you wish you could do if you were spared a few hours that will benefit your mental, physical, and emotional health. Make it juicy.
prioritize and make them doable
I know making that self care list can be an overflow if you're pressed for time these days. How I usually make the magic happen is by breaking that list into three to lists.
NEED - WANT - BONUS
The things you need aren't up for debate like sleeping at least 7 hours, taking your meds, and brushing your teeth.
For me its, responding to emails daily to maintain my blog and radio show.
The things you want are things like make breakfast in the morning rather than buying it and eating it in the car.
That would be me, I want to have my coffee / breakfast while I'm getting dressed in the morning rather than paying $2.60 daily and having to inhale it on the go. You know coffee stains are hard to get out!
As for bonuses, those are pretty much rewards for knocking your needs and wants out the park. They are things that will benefit you but aren't much of a priority to do. This list should be the shortest because ideally, these are the things you want to do that you either rarely have time to do, or never do. So if you think about it, the longer you make it, you probably won't get to it.
As for me, I'd say laundry is my bonus. I can hold off on it for a while, but if I am able to get to it more often than usual, I'm a happy camper. When I get in from work, I typically leave my shoes at the door, toss my work clothes to the ground and run to the kitchen to get dinner started. So laundry isn't just washing and folding. It's dealing with what I wore and placing it in its home upon arrival. I absolutely hate piles of anything, and clutter is my worst enemy.
be okay with trial and error
Some needs should be wants, and the good thing about this is that your lifestyle / body will remind you when to flip and reverse them. Don't be so hard on yourself the first time around trying out your list. Many of our lists are different than others.
If you've finished your needs in an orderly fashion, and you've got the energy and time dip into your wants list, by any means, go for it. It's all about you. But one thing I won't be doing is jeopardizing my sleep to make a cup of coffee in the morning. Relying on coffee to make it through out the day is torture. So when I eventually get home and have things I NEED to do, I can't because I'm exhausted.
Self care is all about getting to know your body, mind, and soul, and taking care of it.
Get started, and let me know how it works for you.
If you've made your list, tell me what are your bonuses?