How are you?
No. Really, how are you?
This year has been a lot. And we still have 6 more months in 2020. It is easy to say “2020 is cancelled” but let me tell you something. 2020 is not cancelled. There are still 6 more months to make this your best year yet.
Practicing self care is not easy, especially in this climate. Every time the news comes on there is more bad news to process. The wound is opened, barely healing from the previous insult, and the pain begins all over again.
But now is the time to be selfish and put yourself first. Let’s talk about 5 ways we can start practicing self care today.
I know. We all know we need sleep. But when I don’t get enough rest I am more irritable, forgetful and begin to have physical manifestations such as headaches. Sleep reduces stress, inflammation and plays an important role in memory. Establish a solid night time routine. Whether it’s a warm bath, soft music or reading your favorite book. Turn the lights off, avoid being on your phone and ensure your room is cool enough. Please do not watch the news before bed! Clear your mind. Empty the worries of the day so you can have a good night’s rest.
That’s right. Be kind to yourself! If you need to write sticky notes on your mirror then do it. If you need to look in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful and smart and capable you are every morning then do it. Don’t allow others to steal your light. Wake up each morning and intentionally be positive. It takes work. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Make it a habit so it becomes a part of you. Positivity can literally become who you are. How you view yourself and the things you say to yourself (even in your head) affect how you feel. Speak life over yourself. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes.
Ok, so that’s the last thing we want to hear about right now but exercise is so important. Exercise improves your mental health and reduces stress. If you are scared to go to the gym (because Rona), then don’t rule out home exercises. I have a kettle bell and two 10 pound weights and I research YouTube academy for home workout routines. It can be abs, squats, push ups, burpees or jump ropes. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic activity. It may be hard at first, but intentionally carve out time each day to improve your physical and mental health.
Write in a journal
If you are like me there are one million different ideas competing for coveted space in your head at one time. Writing in a journal helps you to express your thoughts, ideas and concerns. It is also a time to be grateful. One thing I do is to write what I am worried about on one side of my journal and to write what am I grateful for and potential solutions on the other side. That helps me to clear the concerns from my head but also helps me to practice mindfulness and gratefulness.
As in right now. Don’t put off self care for another day. YOU matter and you are important. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Make the decision to put yourself first and to carve out time to take care of you. This looks different for everyone. Start small with little routines. Maybe go to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. You may then increase it to 30 minutes earlier. Develop good sleep hygiene. Develop a good nighttime routine. Know when you need to disconnect. It’s ok to turn off your phone and television. Your good habits will start to become your normal routine which will then become your habits.
Start your self care today.