Self care is a term that I have been hearing more and more lately. What exactly is it though, is it just a “treat yourself” mentality or is it something more? I exercise. I drink lots of water. I eat my vegetables. Is that all self care is? I consulted the internet to find out. There are dozens of ‘lists’ on the internet with ideas for ‘self care’; I funneled the reoccurring themes into three main categories: Mind, Body, and Soul. I took a look at my daily routine and made some changes to incorporate all three elements. Here’s what I came up with:
The Morning Routine: Wake up, shower and get ready, leave for work. The in betweens; For the Mind. I’ve always been one to make the bed before I leave, it’s been engrained in me since childhood. Now I allow myself an extra 15 minutes in the morning to make the bed AND tidy up. I put away the clean dishes, take out the recycling, straighten up the living room, etc. There’s something about knowing that I’ll be coming home to a clean house later in the day that eases my mind. Once I get home I can focus on what I want to do rather than what I still need to do. For the Body: I take my Immune Boost and Extreme Endurance with a green juice to make sure my body gets all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy along with my breakfast. For the Soul: Some people meditate, I read my horoscope. This is purely for fun. Reading my horoscope gets me excited for the day, especially if I’m destined for a ‘five star’ day!
The Daily Routine: Go to work, do work, go home. The in betweens; For the Soul. As soon as I get to work I head up stairs to start the morning coffee and turn on some music. This isn’t earth shattering but this little routine makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something and sets the mood for a good day. For the Mind. I write my ‘to do’s’ on post it notes so that I can organize them by priority on my desk. Once a full post it note has been completed I rip it up and it goes in the trash. This may seem wasteful but it keeps me from feeling overwhelmed and turns my to do’s into a game. It feels so good when the last post it goes into the trash! For the Body. I love indulging in food. Desserts, Pizza, Mac n’ cheese, you name it. In order to partake in these delicious foods, I meal prep my lunches and snacks for the work week. I’m not on a rigorous or restricted meal plan, but I do try to pack healthy options; I’m not 22 anymore ;) Eating well throughout the day allows me to feel more balanced when take-away pizza is on Thursday’s dinner menu.
The Night-time Routine: Walk the dog, eat dinner, wash face, brush teeth, go to sleep. The in betweens. For the Body. I really enjoy doing yoga, I think it’s good for the Mind, Body, and Soul, but last year I cancelled my yoga membership because it was getting to be too costly. I had a “treat yourself moment” and decided that yoga was worth adding back in to my new self care routine. I compromised with a more affordable package and committed to one yoga class a week. I also bought myself some new leggings because “treat yourself”. For the Mind. I’ve always loved reading but I often put it on the back burner. Monday is now my designated reading night. Of course I can read other days of the week, but’s it marked on my planner to read at least one chapter every Monday to hold myself accountable. For the Soul. I put all kinds of things in my planner: appointments, to do’s, notes, etc. At the end of the day I chose one word to sum up my day and write it in my planner. At the end of the week I take a few minutes to reflect; It reminds me that I’ve got a pretty darn good life.
Now I’d be lying if I told you my only “treat yourself “ moment during this exercise was buying some yoga pants. My Boyfriend and I went out to a nice dinner last Wednesday just because. I got my nails done because I wanted to. The key here is balance. Self care is about tending to your mental health, physical health, and well being. It’s also about not being so hard on yourself. Sometimes you just need a pick me up. Invest in yourself because in the end, everyone benefits. Drink lots of water, eat your vegetables and by all means treat yourself to self care.