Where in your to do list is your self care? It is high on mine, but it also used to be one of the first things I used to postpone or cancel if I had to re-adjust my schedule. Now, after covid19 and the lockdown, it has become a non-negotiable commitment.
For the records, a non-negotiable commitment is never cancelled, it is an absolute priority. It may be moved to a different time slot if I need to be flexible and adjust my schedule, but I make sure it is done, no matter what. And my self care now, not only it is high in my priority list; it is a non-negotiable commitment with myself.
Self care is not something you do once and tick off your to-do list. It’s the regular, constant repetition of many little habits, which together ensure that you’re at your best – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
The secret to make sure that you have a self care appointment with yourself every day – and that you don’t skip it – is to put it in your calendar.
During the lockdown, I have created a morning routine that is my daily dose of self care:
For my body: 60 minute exercise
For my mind: journaling and visualization
For my emotions: gratitude
For my soul: meditation and Reiki self-treatment
My daily self care lasts 2 hours and I have re-organized my work schedule to make sure I’m never skipping this appointment with myself.
There are many other self care activities you may choose from and make them your non-negotiable daily self care routine.
Here are some ideas that may appeal to you. I suggest to pick one per category to make sure that your whole being is taken care of
Ideas for your body:
Start your day with mindfulness: doing a “body scan” helps you check with every part of your body.
Dance: put on your favourite music and dance.
Make one small change to your breakfast: drink a glass of warm water with lemon, for example, or try proteins for breakfast, or any other little modification to the first meal of the day.
Get a few minutes of sun: on a sunny day, of course.It stimulates the production of vitamin D that strengthens your bones, prevents infections, hair loss, depression and neuro-muscular pains.
Jog or walk: get out of your house, and if you can do that in nature, even better.
Ideas for the mind
Take another route to work: this helps your break habits, creates new neural pathways in the brain so that it stays healthy. And the extra benefit is that you can discover things, shops, buildings whose existence you were not aware of.
Pay complete attention to something you usually do on autopilot: like brushing your teeth, driving, eating, or checking emails and messages on your smartphone.
Give yourself a special treat: do or buy one thing today just because it makes you happy.
Get out of your comfort zone: talk to a stranger in a shop or at a bus stop, for example.
Ideas for your emotions
Check in with your emotions. Sit quietly and just name without judgment what you’re feeling.
Stroke a pet. If you don’t have one, go to the park and stroke the dog of a passerby (ask for permission, first).
Have a date with yourself. Spend an hour alone doing something that nourishes you (reading, your favourite hobby, visiting a museum or gallery, etc.)
Ideas for your soul
Start and end the day with gratitude: write at least 5 things you are grateful for to begin your day and 5 things you are grateful for before you go to bed
Help someone. Carry the shopping, open a door, or pick up an extra carton of milk for a neighbour
Meditate: and connect with your higher self, not just in the morning, but 2 to 3 times a day. 5 minutes are enough and can fit your busy schedule
With a little bit of self care every day, you feel better, more energized; you get clarity; you feel more connected with yourself and other people in your life. And you discover pleasure in small things.
What self care idea are you going to try? Let me know in the comments.
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