Right now it is really hard to relax and it's even harder to get a moment alone. In fact, in normal, non-pandemic times mom's only average 17 minutes alone anyway! But with everyone around all the time, I know I feel like that has shrunk to a negative number! That said, It's essential that we do care for ourselves—first, for our own well-being, but also because self-care also has huge payoffs for our kids. When we"fill their own cups," we have more patience, energy, and passion to share with our families.
But there's even a more important reason--our kids are watching. If we don't do things for ourselves, make time for what's important to us, that's what they learn. That they aren't important and they should not come high on their own lists. This was brought home to me by my daughter yesterday. She was at her internship and texted to say she's be staying a few extra hours. I knew she had things she wanted to do, so I said "you do know you can say no right?" She replied, yeah i guess but I feel so bad saying no. And boom--that goes right back onto my shoulders. Why? Because I am terrible at saying no. Terrible! Know something else I'm terrible at? Taking time for me, taking care of myself. My kids always say that. Thankfully my husband is very good at taking time for himself. So I was hoping we'd balance out....
Anyway, here are a few ideas to help you take care of you!
When you get up in the morning, prime yourself for a good day. We are primed to have certain outcomes to our day, whether we realize it or not, that will influence our emotions and actions. This quick ritual can put us more in control of them. As soon as you get up (or later if you forget!), here are three quick things to do.
Say 3 Things you are Exceedingly Grateful For - This sets your mindset. People are often said to “wake up on the wrong side of the bed,” but this gets you focused in a positive place and puts you in a solid mindset.
Say Two Things You Want To Crush That Day - What are two things you really want to get done or knock out of the park? You cannot hit a target if you don’t know what it is. Be specific and clear.
Close Your Eyes and Visualize - Picture yourself leaving your home, having good interactions, and getting things done. There is a reason that sports psychologists use visualization with athletes - it makes the outcomes more likely.
Design Your Morning Ritual
What else could make you feel motivated and excited for the day? Think about including the following aspects: meditation, morning journaling or affirmations. Or simply listen to your favorite music while getting ready or sitting down with a cup of tea for 5 minutes to plan your day — whatever it is that gets you in the right mindset to tackle anything that comes your way.
Relax and De-stress Superquick!
1. Find an essential oil or natural scent that makes you breath deeply it's so good. Lavender lotion, a peppermint candle, or some cedarwood dabbed on your temples or in a diffuser are great ways to nourish your soul.
2. Read a book - Maybe curl up with a blanket and a book instead of your phone.
3. Go for a Walk - Take a lunch time walk or a 5 min break at work to get some fresh air.
4. Stretch - We store tension and stress in our bodies and it takes a toll. Try downward dog or some full body stretch. Releasing the kinks makes a huge difference in how my body--and mind--feels.
5. Make yourself a nice drink like chamomile tea, hot chocolate, or juice—and sip it slowly.
Do Something That Makes You Smile
No explanation needed here. Figure out what makes you smile and make that a daily practice.
Schedule Soul Time
What are the things that make you feel cozy? Maybe it’s a massage, taking a bubble bath, reading or enjoying a good glass of wine. Maybe its even something like building a cozy nest fort that you can enjoy with or without your kids.
Another idea that could fill your heart is spending some time with a friend. Schedule a zoom call or go for a walk in open space or even have them over in your backyard, 6 feet apart. We all need time with our friends.
Make a list of some of your favorite things and try to make one happen each week.
Sometimes having a great day or being on the receiving end of a ton of goodness can be as simple as being open to it. Many of us find it easier to give than to receive. Try to open up: accept a compliment or an offer of help. You might even try asking for help--or for something as simple as a hug from your kids or partner. Someone you're safe to hug! Any or all of these may just warm your heart.