Make Today so Awesome that Yesterday is Jealous
I think we hear a lot about "self-care' these days, but what does that really look like? I used to think that it entailed some selfishness, that you had to do something extravagant, or spend a lot of time - but none of that is really true.
I practice self care EVERY SINGLE DAY, and it is very simple and doesn't take me a lot of time.
I start my day, first thing (well second thing, after I go pee), with self-care. I have made it a priority for myself to spend about 30 minutes every morning reading the Bible and then writing goals down in my journal. This is time just for me, with no distractions. The TV is off, I'm not checking my phone constantly, I am just focused on what I am doing.
I have a goal to read through the entire Bible at least once every year. However I was a total slacker last year and did not get even close to getting through, so this year I have resolved to read it twice. I've heard that it takes about 80 hours to read the Bible from cover to cover - guys that is less than 15 minutes a day. So reading about 30 minutes a day (I read morning and night) will get me through it twice in a year! Taking this time first thing in the morning to get into God's Word really helps me start off my day with purpose and with a positive outlook.
Then I spend five minutes with my goals. I am a big fan of Rachel Hollis and she is all about the #starttodayjournal. Following her format, you start your day writing down five things you are grateful for, then you write down your dreams/goals (where do you see yourself in 10 years). And the key part of this step is that you write down the goal as if it has already happened and you're specific about it. So instead of saying "I want to lose weight", you write down "I lost 20 pounds". Then you decide which one of those dreams you're going to make happen first. This is a great tool and if you're interested, check out @msrachelhollis for more info. I took her concept and tweaked it a little bit. I started by writing down 10 dreams for my future, and then I decided to focus in on four or five of them. And I wanted to write down the HOW. How am I going to make this happen? For example, I write "I've lost 20 pounds". Then underneath that goal, I write my how - I workout 4 times a week; I drink 80 oz of water a day; I don't eat after 8:00 pm; I make healthy food choices. This helps me focus in on what I can do TODAY to get me to that goal.
You might be saying, "but I don't have 30 minutes in the morning, I have to get up, get the kids ready, get myself ready and get out the door. Mornings are so crazy". I do only have myself to worry about in the morning, so I am a little spoiled, but I still have to get myself ready and to work (even if I'm working from home) every day. I wouldn't have had time to do this either with my old routine, but you know what I did? I decided to wake up just thirty minutes earlier each morning to MAKE time for myself. And I make sure it is the first thing I do so that I don't get distracted with other things.
You are important and it is not selfish to take care of yourself! We have to make our mental health a priority - mental health is just as important as physical health. Making this small change in my daily routine has made such a difference. You could start with 15, 10 or even just 5 minutes each morning focusing in on something important to you. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Spend time in prayer
Have a cup of coffee on the patio
Listen to music that pumps you up for the day
Take a long shower or a hot bath
Go for a walk or a run
Read a chapter from a novel
Snuggle your cat (or dog if you must)
Put on a face mask
Make yourself a REAL breakfast
Do some stretching
Whatever it is that helps you start your day in the right direction. Find out what that is and make it happen!