SELF-CARE. Does hearing the term make you cringe? Do you struggle with putting yourself first?
You’re not alone.
It’s easy to feel like self-care is one more thing to add to your to-do list. And sure, adding in the bigger time-commitment things is good too. But true self-care is so much deeper than that.
True self-care is creating a life around prioritizing yourself. It’s HOW you write your to-do list.
I’d like to offer you three proven self-care practices and strategies that will reduce your stress, improve your mental health, elevate your mood, increase your self-esteem, develop your self-awareness, and enable you to serve others better.
Rituals as anchor points
Rituals are the little things you do consistently. They don’t have to be big or fancy, in fact usually they won’t be. The true power of self-care lies in the seemingly insignificant things we do.
Self-care will look different for everyone. For me, they represent little things that bring me joy, make me feel grounded, and bring a sense of rhythm in even the most chaotic days. It’s about carving out little spots in my small home that are just mine.
Most of my self-care happens in little moments. Lighting a candle and burning some palo santo before bed, writing in my journal in the evening, and setting intentions and planning my day while drinking a cup of earl gray in the morning. Simple things that anchor me to the rhythm of my life that I intentionally created. I set intentions to care for my plants, doing something creative (my favorite is just making simple doodles or crocheting before bed), and listening to guided meditations.
Action: write down 3-4 simple things that bring you joy and ask yourself how often you do them.
Choose you for two
It matters how you prioritize your day/week. Are you making sure to write your self-care in? There are 60 minutes in an hour, and as women, if we’re not careful, we can find ourselves giving every single one of those minutes to someone else (kids, partners, bosses, family). Often we need to guard a couple of precious minutes to ourselves. Even just two minutes
Two minutes is relatively significant, and yet there’s a lot of power. Think of all of the quick grounding rituals you can do in two minutes, even if it is just to close your eyes and breathe for two minutes. Self-care doesn’t have to be anything big. Sometimes just pausing for two minutes before you leave the bathroom (if you have the luxury of using the bathroom by yourself…). Stepping outside. Doing some quick stretching or movement. Taking a break to refill your water. WhatEVER, just give yourself time too.
Action: take out your to-do list (or write one) and put yourself at the top.
As women, we’re conditioned to say yes. Yes to more projects at work. Yes to more activities for our kids. Yes to giving ourselves away completely. But when we say yes to everything, we also say no to self-care. There is incredible power in saying NO. Creating healthy boundaries around your time, attention, and money, all of which are finite, is critical to your self-care.
This is usually very hard, especially when the people around us are accustomed to our never-ending yes’s. It also requires that we be honest with ourselves on the things that deplete us so that we can (a) eliminate them if we can or (b) buffer them with rejuvenating rituals and building in downtime. Simplifying creates more space for yourself and allows time for self-care.
Action: Take out your calendar and circle everything on it that you really don’t want to do. Which ones can be nixed? Which ones can you make more enjoyable? Or how can you build in recovery time before or after?
I believe that every woman deserves to live at the top of her priority list. Every woman deserves to own her self-care.
Do you need help with self-care and putting yourself first? For a limited time, I’m offering empowered group coaching for only $19.99 a month. Get access to it here.