A couple of my clients this week reminded me again of the many roles women play. Some of us are mothers to their own born or adopted children. Others of us have step-children, nieces and nephews, godchildren and grandchildren in our lives with whom we are so close, they are like our own. And then there are those of us who adopt or rescue furry-children who need our love and protection because they can’t do it themselves. I happily fall (often exhausted) into the latter two categories.
And, if the mother role were not enough, we’re also professionals with busy careers or businesses, sisters, friends, spouses, caregivers, volunteers, nurturers, homework helpers, researchers and so much more.
With all that going on in your life, it’s important to ask yourself the question:
Do you love yourself enough to take care of YOU?
How about a big hug before you say …
I Don’t Have Time
Let’s talk about the time it takes to love you—I’ve learned that it doesn’t take as much as you might think.
As you look in the mirror each morning while brushing your teeth, can you say, “Hey Gorgeous! I love you and I’m going to take care of you today!”
Don’t laugh. Try it. This takes no additional time and it begins to set aside self-judgment and opens the ways for you to believe you deserve to be well taken care of. And who better than you knows what you need to feel good?
As you pour your morning coffee or tea, consciously set aside 5-10 minutes to sit quietly and think about your day. How can you make time to take care of yourself today? Look what just happened: You’ve just succeeded in carving out 5-10 minutes for you. Good job!
After you’ve dropped the kids at school and you’re on your way to work, put on some soothing music, take some deep breaths and relax your mind as you prepare for the day. No additional time taken. Time well spent.
See what I mean? You can grab snippets of time while you’re doing other things to focus on your own well-being. This is a loving practice that is easy to integrate into your daily routine.
Make Self-care a Priority
What are some of the other things you can do to prove that you love yourself enough?
Think of doing things that serve different areas in your life that matter to you. You can choose from these areas or add your own:
Most of the following ideas are simple ones and I’d love to hear what your self-care practices are so we can expand this list.
For me, the times I spend in deep relaxation are the times that re-charge my batteries the most. I love to go to the day spa and get a massage or facial (sometimes both on the same visit—ahhh!). This allows my whole body to relax (physical). It quiets my mind so I can get in touch with what’s important to me (spiritual).
Another passion pastime that feeds my creative soul is designing floral arrangements and accessorizing areas in my home or in the homes of friends and family. As I immerse myself in this creative process, time stands still and it flies all at once. I’m exhilarated by this process and I get to enjoy the creations for a long time to come. (Creative plus emotional and spiritual.) Often, when I’m immersed like this, solutions just pop into my head—I get inspired insights into a challenge with which I’ve been wrestling. Bonus!
Taking time to research a topic of interest can take my mind off other matters that are weighing on me, as it stimulates my intellectual side. For instance, I love researching new healthy recipes and testing them out. This “loves” the creative and physical sides of me, too.
Spending quiet time listening to music and thinking about everything and nothing in particular are good ways for me to tap into my inner wisdom. This easy practices loves on the emotional and spiritual areas of my life like nothing else.
Love Yourself Enough
What are the things you can do for yourself that will take care of those areas of your life that need to be recharged? I’m a big list maker and I suggest to my clients to do the same. Capture the thoughts.
You might put several headings on a piece of paper that are the important areas for you to take care of, for instance: Physical, Intellectual, Creative, Emotional and Spiritual. Then list those things under each category that you can do to love yourself enough each day.
Read a book, write in your journal, practice gratitude, take a walk, ride your bike, play with your pets, spend time with friends, knit/crochet, write poems or songs, watch the clouds pass by or sit by the river and listen.
Commit to doing at least one of the things on your list each and every day. Do more than one whenever you can. Do whatever it is consciously, being in the moment.
Make this a practice and you’ll never regret the time you spend loving yourself and taking the best care of you. No one else can do it better!
Share with us your own loving practices in the comments …