Fundamental #2: Schedule it. Daily. In ink. Most of us ignore our own care until our health or relationships show signs of damage already done. But true self-care is PROACTIVE and PREVENTATIVE. Similar to the concept of drinking water before you have signs of thirst so that you maintain a hydrated state, proactively caring for yourself keeps you in an optimal place, instead of scrambling reactively to the negative consequences of your own neglect.
Whatever your self-care time looks like, put it on your daily calendar as a high priority item and vigilantly guard that time. Did you catch the daily part? Schedule something for yourself everyday.
Where are you already spending time that can be re-purposed with intention? That is the easiest way to start today.
Fundamental #4: Individual. Identify the activities that help you feel your best. What is restorative and nurturing for one person will not be so for another. You may need more time alone while your spouse will thrive on a night out with friends. And that’s…OKAY—I’m a therapist, I had to say that at some point. Experiment with new possibilities. Two weeks from now I will post an extensive list of self-care activities you can try out.
Be bold! You may be surprised at how good you feel from something you once thought to be silly or unnecessary.
Fundamental #5: Check-in. Frequently ask yourself, “What is the most loving/compassionate thing I can do for myself right now?” Sometimes the answer will be an activity, but many times it is simply examining your self-talk for criticism and replacing it with encouragement, kindness and forgiveness. Checking in also includes the needs of your future self. “What is the wisest and kindest thing I can do today that will benefit me tomorrow?”
Learning to check-in on a frequent basis helps create a more constant state of wellbeing. Consider setting an alarm on your phone as a reminder to proactively check in.
Next week: the final four fundamentals to self-care.
To Your Great Life!