It is called LIFE. I love just remembering to keep my plan in place about self-care. Please let me explain my take on self-care. You can buy in to it or throw it out the window. It is what works for me. The very definition of self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It is important to let go of what you can't control and one of the best ways is to stay away from drama and negativity.
Really, it is very simple but is overlooked many times so the stress grows. Good self-care is the one way to improve moods and reduce anxieties. It also is the essential key to a good relationship with oneself and with others. Self-care means that you treat yourself with the same love and compassion as you would a friend. It is not being selfish if you want to be there to give help to your loved ones. It is a key ingredient to living a balanced life. No one can be Little Miss Sunshine all of the time. What is important is to know what kind of self-care you may need to pick yourself back up again.
Knowing what self-care is not may help to explain it in a better way. It is not something that we force on ourselves, nor is it something that we do not enjoy doing. It must refuel our tanks rather than drain us dry. It is not a luxury. It is a necessity.
My version of self-care is to have a quiet moment and breathe. Thinking of what can I do for ten minutes that will help me feel refreshed. It is like hitting the reset button on your IPad. I actually try to find little ten minute time frames throughout my day to practice a reset.
Taking a ten minute moment with our dogs, whether it be cuddling or playing fetch is a great way to reset my outlook. Ten minutes of reading, doodling, writing in my journal is another great reset for me. Even taking a drawer apart to declutter it helps my frame of mind. My fitbit reminds me to get up and take a 250 step walk now and then. Everyone has their own little things that can be a reset button. I even have my lists of what will not reset my happy button such as checking in on e mails at night, attending gatherings that I really don't want to be at, answering robo calls, and saying yes when I mean to say no.
On a larger scale of self-care it may be hard, yet I find it very rewarding to eek out time each day to be creative, whether it be cooking, writing, painting or drawing. Even a manicure, pedicure, massage, bubble bath or a facial will be self-care on a larger scale. Reflecting on my day of what happened that made me feel grateful and writing this in my journal always reminds me of just how good of a day I had. Maybe it was the fact that our new puppy let us sleep in and my sleep quality improved. Using positive language when I am talking to myself, and yes, I talk to myself and I usually have fairly good conversations.
Always make time for family and friends is something that I must admit, I had to breathe and take a deep breath sometimes. If I am in the middle of something, like paying bills or on a roll with my writing, or cooking and I get a call from someone, I now always ask myself can what I am doing wait? Here is someone reaching out to me, even if it is just a brief phone call from my darling daughter or granddaughter. How special is it that she calls me daily? I get to hear about her day, and then both granddaughters want to tell me something important to them. This just brings tears to my eyes that they love including me in their everyday life. They are an hour away, so we don't get to see them often. Our other two granddaughters are 6 hours away and except for pictures or little video clips we are not quite as in tune with them. Maybe, I am hoping, when they are older.
The basics of self-care are really rather easy. Start with keeping it simple. Somethings just happen, but when it comes to planning your self-care, it is important to actively plan and be aware of what you do and know why you are doing it. For example: I despise vacuuming. So I automated it. A robot vacuum is perfect for me and gives me time to take care of me.
Pacing myself has always been a struggle. I tend to want everything done now or yesterday. Setting realistic goals so that I don't feel overwhelmed is important. I must actively work on pacing myself to achieve the results that I want to accomplish.
Jump starting my day is with a quiet (when the newest puppy isn't yapping to go outside) moment after the alarm goes off to just stretch while still in bed and feel myself come alive. I actually love to have the bed made as one of my simple tasks to complete. Checking the few plants in the bedroom to see if they need water and then working on getting into my day.
Finding my mantra for the day and sharing it is one thing that I love to do. It sets my own mental outlook for the day. There are times that I must continue to refer back to that mantra or even make a new one. It seems like our two dogs are making it easy to look for opportunities to laugh. They are quite amusing together.
Here is a quote that I came across which was attributed to at least five different people. To me, it explains my concept of self-care perfectly.
Happiness is the new rich.
Inner Peace is the new success.
Health is the new wealth.
Kindness is the new cool.