Creating the right self care plan for yourself can be so confusing. There’s such a myriad of suggestions of actions and activities that all sound so appealing and soothing it can be hard to pick which one. So you pick them all. Sure, you think, I can meditate and journal and exercise every day and completely overhaul my life this week, no problem.
A rigid self care schedule is a lot of pressure to put on yourself and that in of itself is not good self care. Self care is about you. It’s about doing what makes you feel good, feel better about yourself. It’s about doing what you want to do so you do it consistently. So feeling good is the norm rather than the exception.
Let’s demystify self care. Put a stop to the onslaught of pressure about what you have to do so you can focus on what you want to do and how you want to do it. Overcome the common hurdles of determining what to do and when you can do it. So let’s take some breaths (measured breathing, excellent self care) and take a look at how to formulate the best plan for you.
What are you already doing to relax? Are you a reader, a crafter? Does the serotonin boost of an exercise routine get you in a right frame of mind? These are all self care and a great base for you to expand your self care routine on. Just as you look forward to doing those things, additional self care activities should be things you enjoy. It will be so much easier to stick to a plan when you’re doing what you like to do.
Now expand your horizons. Part of self care is growing your universe to include tools and techniques you can use to your benefit. Been thinking about meditating or exercising? Starting a new activity can be scary if it’s completely uncharted territory. Check out beginner level classes, YouTube is a great place to look for programs that resonate with you. Then give it the old college try – you may find you actually like it! And if you don’t? Don’t feel pressured to slog through anything if it becomes a chore. An activity that doesn’t serve you is an activity that wastes your valuable time. It’s OK to let it go, to reassess and regroup and find something else that has a positive impact on your life.
And when, exactly, are you supposed to find the time for all of this? If you feel that self care is beyond your reach in your already overscheduled life you may be too focused on the misconception that to effectively practice self care you need to carve out big chunks of time. Let’s flip this around and look at it another way, break it down into smaller bits so you can take the time for you to rest and relax to better handle that overscheduled life.
An important self care practice is safeguarding your time by setting healthy boundaries for yourself. You need time for you and it’s not selfish to limit time spent with friends, colleagues and family. Saying yes to every invitation, rushing to answer every call, text or email is taxing on your nervous system. A quick and simple “I’ll get back to you” reply will give you the time you need to gather your thoughts and handle the situation when you’re properly prepared. Your time for you is precious and it’s OK to slow down and say no when you feel it’s in your best interest.
You can practice positive self talk anytime. Can you bear to wake up 5 minutes earlier? That’s really all the time you need to set your intentions for the day. Before you even get out of bed think a positive thought and decide to have a good, peaceful day. Rather than ruminating in the shower about all you have to do that day use that time instead to destress and reflect on all you have to be thankful for.
Is there travel time during your day? Sitting in the car is the perfect opportunity to listen to your audio books, those podcasts you love, TED talks with positive affirmations. Public transportation is perfect for listening to meditative musings. Do you take a break for lunch? You should, and scarfing down a salad while you’re catching up on emails doesn’t count. Schedule in a break during your day to get away from work, from family, from everything. Go to a local park so you can get out in nature to nurture yourself. Find a place where silence is encouraged and revered like a library or house of worship to sit and reset. Any place where you can find sanctuary is a good place for self care.
Exercise is an important component of self care and fitting it into your routine is totally doable. Your midday break is a great time to take a regenerating power walk. Break between meetings? A few minutes of stretches will increase your flexibility and boost your concentration. Delegate your end of the day responsibilities to others a couple of days a week so you can get to the gym and do your workout relaxed and unrushed.
Finding time for yourself, time to do what you want to do is not impossible. In fact it’s imperative. It’s what enables you to properly balance all the things you have to do and can make you a calmer, happier person. Do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones. Do what makes you happy. That’s self care.
For more information about Self Care and how you, someone you know or someone you work with could benefit from Self Care Coaching, reach out to Cindy Feinberg, President of The Recovery Coach NY via:
Phone or text: 631-921-4085
Email: [email protected]
or Through her website: www.therecoverycoachny.com
The Recovery Coach NY provides individual and family coaching, companions & transport, Intervention and emergency services for you and your loved ones. We have years of experience and a vast array of resources that can help those in need find the path to the life they deserve, filled with joy and purpose. We come with an empathetic ear and solution-oriented actions that can begin to bring the relief you and your loved one seek.
Follow Cindy on Instagram: www.instagram.com/therecoverycoachny
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