Are you a stressed-out, busy woman with no free time? Odds are you answered with a resounding yes that was so loud you startled your kids, your dog, and your significant other.
Women today have more on their plates than ever before. Natural caregivers, who often place the needs of others before their own have to make time for their career, kids, friends, siblings and parents, and even their coworkers and neighbors.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a social worker, a clerk, an accountant, a secretary or a nurse, self-care often becomes a lesser focus as you work on healing and caring for those around you
Self-care should be something that we have in our awareness all the time. It should be a habit, a lifestyle and a routine that is recognized as just as important as taking care of other people’s needs, in fact more so.
If you neglect your own needs, both physically and emotionally you won’t be available to give your best to others and will eventually burn out. There are no brownie points in heaven for being a martyr and giving it all over for someone else.
Yet, we typically find ourselves at the end of a day or week, exhausted and with no energy or effort left to put into ourselves. The old saying goes, how can you fill up a cup when your pot is empty?
Here are 5 tips on what self-care looks like. You could begin with these steps to set your mind towards self-care and begin to make self-care the top of your priorities list.
1.Listen to Yourself
One of the things that we do is ignore our own emotional needs. You can start taking care of yourself by actively listening to yourself. Feel and acknowledge your feelings. Ask yourself “What am I feeling” Be honest. Your feelings have a right to exist. Abraham referred to our feelings as our inner GPS that tells us where we are.
Next ask yourself “What am I thinking?” Once you see the negative pattern of your thoughts you can restate your thoughts gently, out loud to yourself.
A good example of active listening to yourself will be if you are feeling lonely on the weekends to state softly, “It’s hard to feel lonely on the weekends.” This practice puts you in the habit of acknowledging your emotions.
2. Take Time for Meditation and Reflection
A few minutes of meditation or quiet reflection every day can help you soothe your soul. You don’t have to sit in an ashram saying ohmmm repeatedly to get the benefits. A few minutes of silently watching the rain or reflection on the beauty of the moment is just as good.
3. Make Time for A Morning Workout or movement, like yoga, a walk, stretches.
The road to Hades is paved with good intentions. This is true when it comes to working out or moving our body. We have every intention of working out when work is over, and then it just doesn’t happen, we don’t follow through. What does happen is that extra large pizza from the place on the way home.
It is recommended you commit to working out in the morning. First, you are guaranteed to get your workout in. Second, you are going to feel amazing all day because of the post workout endorphins. It can be simple like walking or jumping on a rebounder, yoga or daily energy routines.
4. Say No
Saying no is one of the most important parts of self-care. You learn to honor yourself by respecting your time and saying yes to yourself more often. Make a list or schedule for yourself and call it a YES LIST. If you cannot do a project, run an errand or do a favor, then say no. Tell them you already have something on your list or schedule! No need to explain it is you. Don’t add stress to yourself just to be accommodating, it can build resentment.
Learning to say no can also be amazing. People will learn how to respect your boundaries, and it allows you time to continue your focus on self-care.
5. Don’t Compare Yourself to other People
When you compare yourself to others strengths it is a sure fire recipe for a drop in self confidence and unhappiness.When you practice constant comparisons, you rob yourself of the ability to be happy with who you are and live in a place of self judgment.
It is impossible to be perfect all the time. With the advent of social media platforms, we mostly see the perfect images of people’s lives that they want us to see. The reality of these people likely looks much different. When you stop trying to be something that isn’t real, you learn to be happy with who you are.
If you can remember to do these five things, self-care will always be at the front of your mind. It is so important to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Setting social boundaries online and offline can improve your self-worth almost instantly. Do these things, and your entire perception and experience of yourself will improve.