As we move into the second month of the year, it can be easy to feel like your schedule and daily demands are leading your day, already.
January tends to be a time where we focus on planning, preparations, and intentions for the new year. This is a worthwhile investment of time and if fostered and nurtured throughout the year leads to positive change and forward motion. However, many people don’t include planning for self care, respite, and slow down when creating projections for the new year.
Many people find that planning for self care and self nurturing don’t even cross their minds when creating yearly projections. This isn’t a judgement but rather a snapshot of the way we look at our lives. We focus more easily on goals, expansion, streamlining, up leveling and the like. I find that many people have to retrain themselves in how to practice true self care and the “b” word “balance.” If you feel like you could raise your hand to be part of this group, don’t worry, you’re among friends.
One of the reasons that scheduling and planning for self care as part of your yearly projections is so important is because without it, your dreams and goals won’t be as stable and supported. When we leave out this important piece of the structural support system, things tend to get more challenging throughout the year.
People tell me all the time that they want to have more balance, joy, happiness, and fulfillment in their lives. When I ask them what they do to nurture down time, rest, and personal passions; most of the time I hear crickets. Even during “down time” most people report spending time on their devices. This completely negates the downtime and can actually lead to increased anxiety, tension, and stress.
So, with so much stuff to do, and things to pay attention to, how do you begin to shift your schedule to include time for yourself, daily?
Well, there’s not one universal answer here, but the first step is understanding that this is not a luxury, vanity, or a waste of time.
This is an investment in your overall health and well being as well as an investment in maintaining and achieving all of your goals for 2017.
Outward energy toward your goals and inward energy invested in your self care work hand in hand as partners in supporting you.
We know that it takes 21 days to form a new healthy habit.
Like all new things there’s a little bit of a learning curve. So, you may find it a little bit uncomfortable or awkward as you begin to make self care part of your daily routine. However, the more you do it, the easier and more enjoyable it will become.
This doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money.
Taking 5 to 10 minutes a day can give you what you need to maintain balance. (Yep, 5 minutes.)
This self care time doesn’t include things like:
- Doing chores
- Running Errands
- Answering Emails, Phone Calls, or Text Messages
- Scrolling through Social Media Feeds (No, this isn’t self care or down time)
Self Care does include things like:
- Making yourself a cup of tea and drinking it while being fully present
- Going for a walk
- Riding your bike
- Reading a book (Reading a physical book is best so your brain is not overly activated with blue light from a device.)
- Listening to records
- Watching a movie while being fully present (with no other devices on or around you.)
- Making something
- Breathing (This is a powerful self care technique that people forget to do when they’re stressed out. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth 3-5 times. This is great to do at work when you need a quick reboot.)
Or anything else that feeds your soul and keeps you in the present moment.
Avoid using technology so you can have your full attention present on what you’re doing. You’ll notice that the tension, stress, and distraction energy begins to loosen and fall away from you as you invest in your self care schedule.
Each day you’ll experience a positive effect as you nurture your self care plan. You’ll also benefit from a lasting effect; it’s like having a savings account that you add to each day as you make an investment in yourself.
Each day it becomes easier and easier to tap into that relaxation and restorative space. By making this practice equally as important as your other goals, you create a shift in your life where the things that have been draining you in the past become less prescient and you experience more joy and happiness. You’ll also find that the things that are no longer a fit for your life organically begin to fall away. You’ll start to create a life that feels more aligned with you and you’ll enjoy your life more.
This month only has 28 days.
That means you can commit to making self care a new healthy and sustainable habit in your life by honoring yourself each day throughout February.
This month is thought of as the month of love.
You recommitting to your own happiness, balance, and well being is the greatest gift of love you can give to yourself. (and your dreams and to the people within your world.)
Why not take this month to commit to fostering a new healthy habit of self care during the month of February.
By the end of this month, the shortest month of the year you’ll be able to continue your new healthy habit all year long. You may find that this was the key in the lock to making a huge shift in the way you experience your day to day life.
You’re worth it.
You can do it.
Simply give yourself permission to go forward and honor your self care every day for the next 28 days.
Please drop me a line on the blog to let me know how you’re going to practice your self care this month.
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