If you’ve ever felt self care is a daunting or unattainable luxury, this month’s newsletter is for you! Let’s talk about simplifying self care … small ways to nurture yourself that don’t require a lot of time, money, or effort.
“Self care is never a selfish act — it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others.” ~ Parker J. Palmer
“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” ~ Andre Lorde
A Roadmap for Simple Self Care
I work with many smart, conscientious, and hard-working people who know self care is often the difference between a healthy, happy life and a harried one. But ironically, for them and maybe for you, too, self care often feels like a chore — one more “to do” on an already full list.
Perhaps you’d take better care of yourself if you weren’t so busy taking care of others; maybe your long work hours leave time for little else. Or maybe it just never occurred to you to put a focus on your own needs and support.
Winter — sandwiched between the hectic holiday season and the summertime hustle — is the perfect time to create and implement a simple self-care routine. Consider the many types of self care: sensory, pleasure, mental, spiritual, emotional, physical, and social. Start by identifying where you most need care right now and choose one helpful habit to start practicing. Make it small and easy to implement. Here are some ideas:
Start your day with a healthy cup of green tea or five minutes of mindful meditation, or end it with a relaxing bubble bath or noting three things for which you are grateful. Work on puzzles, play, sing, or listen to music, read motivational quotes, or take a fitness or art class. Get a monthly massage, talk weekly to a trusted friend, or commit to getting outside for fresh air once a day.
Last but not least, just do it, without excuses. Create an “appointment” for your new habit in your planner or set an alarm on you phone. Scheduling moments of self-care serves as a reminder and give it additional weight. If you miss a day or week, don’t beat up yourself. Take note of the roadblock and plan how to overcome this obstacle in the future. Once one self-care habit becomes routine, build another — with the ultimate goal of creating a life of balance.
Tips to Simplify Self Care
Here are some ways to practice simple self care amidst life’s craziness:
- Take self care to work. Since most of us spend a third of our life at work, look for ways to incorporate self care into your work life. For example: Keep your desk feng-shui clutter-free, surround yourself with inspirational pictures, or actually take a lunch break and dedicate one a week to self care.
- Practice breathing. Never underestimate the healing power of your breath. When life gets chaotic, instead of kicking it into overdrive, pause and focus on slowing your breath. This helps calm your mind and slow your racing heart.
- Establish healthy boundaries. Sometimes, self care means saying “No.” Setting limits or boundaries in work and life help create balance. Know when you’ve taken on too much and ask for help to handle it. Instead of gritting your teeth and worrying about disappointing others, make a choice to put your own mental and physical well-being first.
- Surround yourself with good people. Loving, supportive friends and family are an ideal line of defense against stress and anxiety. Practice self care in relationships by weeding out the toxic and surrounding yourself with those who bring joy, positivity, and light to your life.
At Leap Forward Coaching our process will help you care for yourself to cultivate deeper calm and greater self love to live your most joyful and fulfilled life.