Self Care : noun - The care of oneself without medical, professional, or other assistance or oversight.
When I went to look for a definiftion of self care, I thought it would be realitively simple but what I found was moreso than I had expected. How is it that something so basic to define is the great deficiency by which so many of us (especially Moms) suffer?
Here are 5 easy ways to integrate some good 'ol self care into our busy lives and keep growing to be the people we want to be.
1) Eat breakfast
Something simple, healthy and tastes good. AVOID SUGARS. How you start the day is likely to determine the rest of your eating choices. Fruit is great in the morning with some oatmeal. A piece of toast with peanut butter and a glass of OJ. A scrambled egg, banana and cup of black tea. Eating something that gives you energy is important. Bigger than that, you are taking time to love yourself first thing in the morning.
2) Take a 15 minute walk and listen to the birds
... Or Cars driving by, or an the wind in trees. Leave your ipod and phone in your pocket and listen to what is surrounding you, whatever that may be (I find there are always birds if I listen hard enough). Take a deep breath and feel your lungs fill with air. Take a moment to appreciate who you are, how you are growing are and be in the moment. What a great moment it is!
3) Clean that thing in your house that has been bugging you
Is it the smudge on the front door from chocolate kid hands that you see everytime you walk in/out your door and it's never the right time to clean it? You know the one. Or the clean clothes that made it from the dryer to love seat that everyone is riffleing through but never puts away. Or the empty toilet paper roll that made it to the counter, but never seems to reach the garbage. Whatever it is, take 5 minutes and clean it up. We spend a crazy amount of time walking by things that drive us nuts, and lose mental space wanting it to be taken care of, thinking there is no time. Don't rob yourself of the peacefulness of walking through a chocolate-smudge-free door. What's 5 minutes, really?
4) Journal for 5 minutes
Take a couple minutes and reflect on your day. What did you enjoy about today? Did you feel disappointed about something? Complete something on your To-Do list you had been putting off? Doesn't matter what you write about or how long. Just take time to ackowledge that you are an active participant in your life and you have feelings about what you spend your days doing. We get so caught up in the demands of life, work, family that what we feel and what we need gets pushed under the rug. Give it life in the pages of your journal (or Blog!). Validate them as real and worthy of being noticed.
5) Start a bedtime routine
Some of my fav's are -
Getting clothes out for the next day
Having a cup of Chamomile tea
Reading my book (have to set a time limit though, or I stay up too late)
Thanking God for another day Sober
Doesn't matter how long or short the routine is, just that you have one. Your brain and body start to relax when the routine starts and by the time your head hits the pillow the "hamster on the wheel" should give it a rest and stop listing all your To-Do's for tommorow.
There are so many things we can do to take care of ourselves. These are just a couple things I have found help me experience a little more Serenity in my day. Thank Goodness I have the presence of mind to remember to do at least one most days.
Thank you God.