Over the last year, I've been working hard to build self care into my daily routine. It's become so important and essential in my day that there's a daily tracker in my bullet journal to remind me to take a few minutes to focus on recentering my body, mind and soul. I want to share some tips with you about how you can incorporate this into YOUR day, even if you already feel overloaded.
Let me tell you a bit about how I came to put self care on the top of my to do list. As a mom of three busy kids and a full time businesswoman, our life is never slow. On top of the daily craziness that we wholeheartedly embrace, for the last couple of years I was working a job that was SUPER INTENSE and required 14+ hour days on the regular. The level of stress in my world was higher than it had ever been and as a result I developed some stress related health problems. Realizing I was putting my health on the line caused me to step back and finally prioritze some important changes in my life, one of which was a regular self care routine.The journey I've taken to find a self care routine that works has involved a lot of experimentation, and I'm excited to share my favorite ways to apply this practice.
Set Aside Time
This is probably the most important part of this journey, especially at first. Scheduling time for self care doesn't necessarily mean that you'll meditate at 4 pm on Thursday for 20 minutes, although it definitely could if that is what works for you.
I'm a bit more lackadaisical in my approach - as with all things in life. At first, my goal was to practice self care once a week for 20 minutes. That evolved into a 3 day a week practice and now I intentionally practice self care daily. I shoot for 20 minutes for each session, because I've learned over time that's what my brain needs to quiet down. It's okay to start small, if you have 5 minutes on a regular basis and that lets you recharge then do it! This is a personal and customizable process that will be different for every person.
I'll be honest, it doesn't always happen. Sometimes I have the best of intentions and end up running errands or hanging out with my kiddos instead. Be flexible and kind with yourself as you find what works into your day. Try to approach missed sessions as a learning experience to see what you might be able to adjust to make your practice a priority.
Find Your Zen
You've found time for yourself, half the battle is accomplished! Now what?
To me, self care is about escaping the chaos of my daily life and finding peace within. The tools that I use to get to that place may be different than what you need. Strive to find a method that helps you feel better at the end of the practice, than when you began. Some people consider doing tasks that are for yourself as self care, things like paying bills and meal planning. I don't find that gives me the type of rejuvenation that I really need on a regular basis, so it's not an area of focus for me.
After a great self care session, I experience a feeling of calm and inner peace. Normally my head is swirling with a mountain of thoughts and tasks to accomplish, so finding that perfect strategy to quiet my mind is where I find my zen. Check out our 10 Ways to Find Your Zen post to see my favorite ways to recharge and find some inspiration for what might help you find peace.
I hope that you're able to be inspired to find time for self care in your life, and encourage you to provide feedback for others about what works best for you.