When I started amping up my self care, it was an icky feeling.
I had been so used to putting others’ feelings and wishes ahead of my own that when I looked at how I could better support myself, it took me awhile to figure it out. I thought:
How am I supposed to put myself before everyone else when all I know is to help everyone else?
How could I sit a read a book when there was vacuuming to be done, papers to be marked, phone calls to be made…
There can be a lot of guilt and self-judgment when we start to prioritize ourselves over others. What I’ve learned, though, is that we need to be in alignment and in close connection with ourselves so that we are able to function at our best when we are with others or when we are embracing our responsibilities and going after our dreams.
I know I am a much better teacher, wife, daughter, human when I feel grounded, more present, and more in tune with myself.
But, that wasn’t always the case.
There were times that I passed on a yoga class because I felt I should be home cooking dinner or spending time with my partner.
There were times that I allowed a conversation to cut into my sweat ritual time because I didn’t want to upset the other person.
There were times that I said yes to things when I had previously planned a solo date with myself.
Unfortunately, we have been programmed to put our feelings and desires on the backburner and give, give, give until there’s nothing left. If you haven’t already hit rock bottom once or twice, know that this way of operating is not sustainable.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that we have to be selfish ALL THE TIME—I’m saying that there needs to be a balance between input and output.
Consistently emptying our energy wells without filling them back up can lead us to overwhelm, burnout, and spirals (been there done that…anyone else?!). We know we are better, lovelier humans when we are taking care of ourselves. And so our self care needs no apology. Our self care is something we are all worthy of.
Want to get started? Here are some things that helped me amp up and reinforce my self care habits.
Create a morning and evening ritual that involves a bit of YOU time. Maybe it’s 5min in the morning drinking coffee and breathing. Maybe it’s a bath at night. Maybe you want to end your day writing three things you’re grateful for. If you don’t do anything else, do this. You may not have control over what happens in the middle of your day, but (for the most part) you can control how you wake up and how you go to bed.
Have a self care plan. The worst is not knowing what actually helps you feel taken care of. Get a recipe card (I use notes in my phone!) and write down the things that help you shift to better feeling thoughts (the things that help you feel closer to yourself or the things to get out of spirals). This is what you go to when you have downtime, when you start to feel your energy dipping, or when you need to restructure your foundation. See my order of self care below.
Schedule your self care into your week. I’ve talked about this before, but actually adding self care into your week is imperative. When are you meditating? When are you sweating? When are you reading or listening to a book? Colour code that shiz and stick to your plan!
My Recipe Card
JournalingYoga / Meditation
A Good Cry
Cleaning or Decluttering (something productive)
Bills and Knowing My Numbers
Talking with a Friend
What are yours? What helps you feel closer to yourself? More present? More positive?
Reconnecting to ourselves is one of the greatest gifts we can give to others. It means that we are more present when we’re in their company. It means we can offer up our energy because we’ve given to ourselves. When you feel like you don’t have time or that other people are more important, take a look in the mirror, and give yourself a little squeeze. It’s time to love yourself like you love others. Take the time—you’re deserving of it. And if you need the accountability, come join Sunday Self Care Club