As women, we spend most of our time taking care of other people. That can leave you feeling resentful and exhausted as time goes by. That's why you have to take the time to nurture yourself and spend some time on self-care. If you're anything like me, you know that letting yourself go never ends well, so take it from me when I say that you have to include these self-care tips in your routine on a regular basis.
1. Connect with Your Feelings Every Day
Sometimes you have to take a few minutes to look inward and assess how you're really doing. When this happens to me, I like to take a drive all by myself and listen to my favorite music while I drive. I never go anywhere specific, but the break this gives me allows me the chance to tune in to how I'm feeling so that I can solve problems. I always feel better when I get back home. Meditating, going for a walk or playing with your dog all have similar benefits.
2. Create a Morning Ritual
Mornings can be tough on women. If your mornings go anything like mine, it's a race to get the kids to school from the second the alarm goes off until well past the time we should have walked out the door. Experts say that a morning ritual can help ground you and get your day started off right. I like to do a little yoga and drink some chai, but do what works for you. Read the paper, take a warm shower, go for a run or whatever works for you.
3. Create an Evening Ritual
Just like starting the day right can set the tone for the day, ending the day on the right note can help you sleep and relax when the day is done. My evening ritual involves a snack, a glass of water and a book. Sipping some tea, coloring in an adult coloring book or listening to some mellow music are other great ideas.
4. Check in with Yourself
You probably sit down with your partner or family somewhat regularly to talk over issues and come to conclusions about issues and problems. You have to check in with yourself too. Sit down and evaluate life. Are you happy with your job, your family life and your living situation? Do you need more support or do you feel overwhelmed? Once you come to conclusions about your life, you can decide how you're going to approach things that need your attention.
5. Write Yourself a Letter
When you love someone, it's fun to write them a letter giving thanks or telling them how awesome they are. You can totally do that with yourself too. Just got a promotion at work? Write yourself a congratulations letter. You might feel silly, but I guarantee that you'll also feel really good about yourself.
6. Use Your Senses
Fully using your senses allows you to really connect with yourself and your surroundings. I like to sit outside on my patio and smell the flowers and feel the breeze while I read a book. You can do what you love though. Try visiting a bakery and taking in the smells. Light some candles, soak in a warm bath, wear soft clothing or wrap up in a blanket. You'll be amazed at how pampered you feel.
7. Write down What You Love
Taking the time to write down what you love each day is a great way to highlight what's wonderful about your life and help you feel cared for when life gets to you. At the end of the day, jot down your favorite parts of the day. Maybe it was the free coffee from your bestie at work, the surprise visit from your spouse at lunchtime or the premier parking spot you found at the grocery store. Whatever it is, writing it down makes it more memorable.
How do you take care of yourself? Which of these ideas are you most excited to try?