Have you put yourself at the top of your TO DO list? Chances are if you are a busy woman you may have skipped that item. If you’re reading this article, then you’re worn out, frustrated or simply wondering how to put yourself (or help a friend put herself) at the top of the “to do” list. Before you start justifying that you don’t have the time, consider instead being creative with the time you do have.
Whether you have kids, seniors or a spouse you’re caring for, the most important thing you can do for them is take extra special care of yourself. Think about setting a positive example for your kids. First you will be role modeling how to take care of oneself. By the way, that means you don’t want to be stressed when you’re telling them you’re doing something for yourself. Plus, when you take care of yourself, you are more joyful, vibrant and energetic and they get the benefit of that.
Tip 1: Remember to Breathe and Take Conscious Breathing Moments
Moments during your day can serve as self-care moments. Simply focus on your breathing. Try it right now. Count to 4 slowly as you inhale, and then even slower when you exhale. Take an extra 2 seconds to notice how good that feels. Viola you are in the mode programming your brain to enjoy taking moments for yourself.
Tip 2: Royalty Never Rushes
Keep in mind that the feeling of rushing is frantic and very energy consuming. Recently, a friend of mine and I were on our way to a dinner. The party had already started before we left and she was frustrated with every driver along the way. I turned to her and said, “Royalty never rushes.” I watched the speedometer decrease a bit and the rest of the trip over was relaxed, calm and enjoyable.
Try saying that to yourself the next time you are frustrated with others while driving. You might even find yourself letting in other people in front of you. Oh and you’ll arrive in about the same time and feel better for having given yourself the gift of a safer relaxed ride.
Tip 3: Schedule a Girls Night In
When women gather and gab and connect it is a highly nurturing experience. Actually, a neurochemical change happens in a woman’s body during socially connective experiences. Oxytocin is released in the body. This hormone helps women deal with stress in a more calm way. So it’s important to get your oxytocin boost and you’ll be amazed at how the stress reduces. Of course, the most common ways to increase oxytocin is via sexual relations with someone you are in a connected relationship with and breastfeeding. But, nurturing yourself and connecting with your women friends in general is a great way to relax and offer yourself some soothing self-care.
You might even look into getting a set of Feminine Power Cards that offer ideas for you and your friends to discuss and ways to bring self-care into the forefront of your life.
Tip 4: Use your existing “break times” for YOU
Find your mini-retreat spot. When I worked in the corporate world during my lunch hour I would go to the nearest luxury hotel or a local park. I would sit out by the pool or under trees and essentially pretend I was on vacation for 20 minutes of my lunch. Getting outside regularly is a great way to get a dose of vitamin D from the sun. Your stress will be reduced even from 10 minutes of sitting quietly with your eyes closed or reading a book. If it is cold outside, 10 minutes is all you need or simply sit in the lobby for a few moments. If lunch is out of the question, perhaps you’re a morning person and would enjoy a few moments to yourself to have a cup of tea or read your book before launching into your busy routine.
Tip 5: Get Rest
That being said a tired women is often a stressed woman. So if there’s one thing to make a priority is to get your optimal sleep hours in. I’m just saying.
Tip 6: Step away from the fast food line and choose something healthy
The fast food line is not your friend. It makes you lethargic, tired, causes skin problems, health problems and excess weight. So you may be asking then, what can you do to eat healthy when you’re in a hurry. It’s just as easy to choose something healthy as it is to choose something unhealthy. It will take a little practice. Look at the menu, choose something that is more vegetable based than simple carbohydrate based. Choose water over soda. Yes, I said water. If you need sweet, choose fruit or dried fruit. Go to places you can get a salad. Choose brown rice over white rice. If you don’t yet like vegetables or brown rice, give it time. Keep trying healthy things. Make your new quest to find yummy delicious and healthy foods.
Tip 7: Take Steps for Health
Everyone knows the benefits of exercise. You’ll increase your endorphins and balance your hormones if you can get some exercise in. An easy way is to find ways during your day to get a walk in. How about this, simply park further away in the parking lot of the next mall or store you visit. Walk with your children, spouse and/or girlfriends once a week. Your body will love and you’ll feel great.
More Creative Self Care Tips
Give these self-care tips a shot or make a list of ways you love to nurture yourself.
Here are some additional ideas to jog your brain and start your simple self-care list: meditate, gentle yoga class, receive a massage, take a bath, float, drink more water, take a nap, sleep, take a day off and do nothing, get a facial or give yourself a facial, go for a walk, go for tea with a girlfriend, hire a babysitter and go to a movie, journal, slow down, keep relaxing music on in the evening, write a love letter to yourself, ask for a hug from someone close you, take a vacation or staycation (vacation at home), read inspiring books or poetry out loud for a few moments. Your turn… let us know how you are taking great care of yourself.