Mindfulness and self-care and even meditation have become trendy buzzwords in the last few years… but sometimes it takes a trend to creep into our minds and make a little home there so we think about it and start taking action.
Taking time for yourself is important. And it’s about more than just scheduling a hair appointment and getting a mani/pedi or going shopping. Self-care is what keeps us healthy. It keeps us in check with our minds and bodies, our mental state and our physical health and allows us to identify if we’re on a path of positivity or destruction.
Being a bit of an introvert and an extrovert, I need and enjoy lots of time to myself. In this time I think, write, read, meditate, walk, journal, stretch/yoga, or do any activity that allows me a calm and steady focus (like painting, drawing or doing a puzzle). I usually include at least one or up to 5 of these activities a day (even if it’s in short bursts of time in between my daily to-do list) and have found that if I don’t practice these things regularly, my mental and physical health start to deteriorate – fast.
When I’m not making time for wellness and self-care I slowly find that I have far less patience, I’m cranky, I pull away from others in an effort to “protect” my energy, I’m moody, I feel tired and achy and don’t have as much energy or enthusiasm for life in general… the list goes on. I know that I get a mental boost from practicing my forms of self-care but also, I get a secondary mental boost at the end of the day when I’ve checked them off my self-care to-do list, so it’s a win-win.
My daily to-do list includes “Meditate”, “Walk” and “Stretch” just to make sure that I don’t forget to prioritize health and wellness throughout my day. I don’t always check everything off of my list, but if I see them more often, there’s a higher chance I’ll actually do them.
The quote in the first image really hits home… If you don’t make time for wellness you’ll be forced to make time for illness. It’s so absolutely true… What does your day look like? Do you have a wellness and self-care to-do list? Do you take time for yourself to give back to yourself? If not, start by checking in…
5 Ways to Practice Self-Care Every Day…
To get you started on your check-in journey, below are some tips from Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself 16+ Self-discovery Questions to get you thinking about self-check ins and mindfulness every day.
The most important aspect of mindfulness and self-care is to make sure you are actively listening to what your mind and body are trying to tell you. Here are a few example situations that might sound familiar.
1. Pay Attention to Yourself
The first step to listening to your body is to monitor your mental, physical, and emotional responses to situations during the day.
Example: You’re in the car on your way to a family dinner. You notice that your palms are sweaty on the steering wheel and your stomach is in knots. Maybe you can chalk it up to rush hour traffic, or maybe you’re actually dreading seeing your aunt Betty who always makes snide comments about what you’re wearing. It could be time to have a conversation with your parents about the dinner guest list!
2. Trust Your Intuition
Though we’re usually taught to trust our minds over our feelings, sometimes your gut can be telling you something important.
Example: You’re getting ready to go out with a group of friends, but your gut is telling you you shouldn’t go. Why is that? Maybe you know that your friend’s annoying boyfriend will be there, and since you’ve had a stressful day you’re worried deep down that you won’t be able to hold your tongue and might end up hurting your friend. In this case, you may want to trust your gut and sit this one out.
3. Stop and Think
Not only is it important to take a moment and listen to what your body is telling you, but to also make a good decision based on both your logic and emotions.
Example: You’re working late on a project, and still have a few more hours before it will be finished up. You’re gut is telling you to go home, but your mind is telling you to stay and crank it out. Take a break and weigh your options. Will you be really doing your best work when you’re tired and grouchy? Is the project due in the morning or do you still have some time? Instead of continuing to keep your head down and work through, it can be well worth your time to check in with yourself and figure out your best option.
4. Love Yourself
You’re not perfect, and neither is anyone else. Forgive yourself for mistakes, because not only is beating yourself up unhealthy, it’s not going to change the past either.
Example: You’re on a first date, and you somehow end up nervously talking about how much you love Snickers bars (you don’t love Snickers, you’re allergic to nuts). Now, your date brings you a Snickers bar every time you see them. Instead of cringing yourself into oblivion and breaking things off, acknowledge to yourself that you made a stupid mistake, acknowledge that you were nervous and that is okay, and come clean. Chances are you’ll both laugh it off and it’ll make a great story someday.
5. Ask Yourself the Right Questions
To find the right answers, you have to ask yourself the right questions and get to the root of the issue.
Example: You are invited to an all-inclusive work retreat to Australia that would take you away from home for two weeks, and you have conflicting feelings about going. Instead of asking yourself questions like “will my partner be able to get the kids to swimming lessons on time” or “what would I even wear,” try to focus on the deeper issue. Does going on this retreat support your long-term work goals? Do you believe you will be able to develop essential skills and relationships while you’re there? Asking yourself these types of questions will help you determine the right course of action.
Original source : Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself 16+ Self-discovery Questions
I found this very basic and very cute self care checklist printable but can’t find the source. If you know it, please leave a link for me in the comments… but I love it. It’s pretty basic but you can add your own activities. For instance GO OUTSIDE for me is WALK but it could also mean GO OUTSIDE AND TAKE IN THE BEAUTY. And I love that listen to music is on it. I can’t tell you how much I am affected by music… it’s just a natural thing for me listen to music and so I don’t necessarily need it on my list. Sometimes I forget though, and if I’m in a funk I’ll think MUSIC and start my favorite playlist… And let me tell you, the minute I do, my mood is changed, lifted, and I feel lighter.
And… if you listen to music while taking a shower or a bath (like I do), you’re checking off two self-care practices at once… and I love that kind of multitasking 😉
Happy Monday Lovecats!
* If you don’t take care of your wellness, you’ll be forced to take care of your illness.