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The Ultimate Self-Care Guide
If you don't take care of yourself, who will?
Self-care might not be what you think it sounds like. It’s not about being selfish or putting yourself above others. It’s also not just about pampering yourself either, especially if it's going to sabotage your health and well-being. Self-care is the dedication to yourself to fully support your physical, mental, and spiritual needs so you can show up fully in this world as your strong, authentic self, serving your purpose on a consistent basis. By focusing on your own needs with intention, you can more easily meet the needs of others with greater impact. It’s not a waste but an investment of time, money, and energy from which flows continual growth and development. It’s having the wisdom to say no to people and activities that may be good and very well-intended when they don’t support your priorities at the time. When caring for yourself fully, it’s important we take a close look at all aspects:
Essentially, any program I've created or coaching I provide is about self-care. It’s teaching you to better learn how to invest in yourself and love yourself enough to both accept yourself as you are now but see there’s potential for more.
There are a few keys to getting it right...
Decide now. Decide that you are going to take time for yourself, to allow yourself the necessary time to know who you are, what it is that motivates you and lights you up, what it is that turns you off and you absolutely dread, and finding a way to do more of the good and completely eliminate or tone down the undesirable.
You have to plan. It won’t just happen.
Create a routine for yourself that will make your care automatic and part of your daily life, without question, without decisions.
Create time for pauses in your life, especially at the beginning and ending of a day, but don’t neglect the in-between. Use those pauses as a time to check-in and asses your needs. While daily demands might require you put off satisfying those needs immediately, make plans to address them sooner rather than later so you don’t cause other issues like emotional eating, cravings, and hormonal imbalances that will cause more problems in the long run.
Create a budget for self-care. Maybe it’s setting aside funds for hiring a personal coach, personal trainer, courses to educate yourself, the best quality products, monthly massages, etc. Whatever it is that you know you need, find a way to make it happen. Get creative and think of ways to barter and trade with people to get and give something that’s mutually beneficial to both parties.
Be honest with yourself. It’s not about doing a bunch of silly activities to try to evoke happiness on the surface. Self-love entails digging deep and allowing yourself to get upset sometimes at how you’ve “let yourself go,” how you’ve allowed others to abuse you, how you’ve abused your own body, how you’ve become bitter and resentful because you put others’ needs before your own. Self-care is a process of continual acceptance and love but self-discipline too that doesn’t allow you to wallow in the sorrows of the past. It’s about detoxing all of the negative energy and influence. All of these are a means to an end of inner peace and joy for a transformed life and someone living authentically, the way you were created to shine in the world.
Don’t settle for less. You are the only one who can decide what you will allow, tolerate, accept, and embrace. Choose joy over anger. Choose love over fear. Don’t accept the status quo for yourself. Be fully engaged in all that you do so you’re aware of whether your efforts are aligned with your potential. No one can make you great but yourself! God gave you all the tools you need, but it’s up to you to use them. It’s a daily choice.
Make a list of no’s. Just like making a list of what you want for yourself, make a list of what you don’t want and the activities that contribute to what you don’t want. For example, no lies, no rushing, no credit card debt, no gossip, no answering the phone out of obligation, no junk food, no excuses, no complaining. You get the picture.
Stress is a big NO. It gets in the way of self-care, so using the stress-busting and stress-managing techniques from my book and my Ditch the Diet Program is essential for a healthy self-care routine.
Be a lifelong learner. That’s what life is all about, learning, struggling, growing, developing and excelling. Once you think you’ve arrived, you’re in trouble. Remember, it’s a journey, not a destination.
Take your time to do it right. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. When it’s all said and done, you don’t want to look back on your life and have regrets that you rushed through it and wonder what you were really doing. When we don’t discipline ourselves to slow down and make sound choices for ourselves and our families, we’re missing out on all the small pleasures in life, all the little experiences God gave us to enjoy and that we daily take for granted.
100 Small Things You Can Do Now
1. Take a nap.
2. Go out and have an adventure.
3. Read something fun and easy for pleasure.
4. Snuggle (partner, pets, kids).
5. Take a long hike or walk.
6. Take a bath.
7. Move your body.
8. Watch a fun, inspiring, or funny movie.
9. Get healthy take-out or have someone else do the cooking.
10. Buy ﬂowers.
11. Drink something soothing like tea, coffee, cocoa.
12. Play outside. Play in the mud, jump in the leaves, have a snowball ﬁght!
13. Walk on the beach.
14. Enjoy the sunshine.
15. Hold someone’s hand.
16. Listen to an upbeat song and dance around.
17. Listen to inspiring music.
18. Make a list of things that delight you.
19. Turn off technology for 24 hours.
20. Watch children playing and learn.
21. Create: art, crafts, paint, sculpt, knit, crochet, sew, design or draw.
22. Swing on the swings.
23. Rock your body. Rocking back and forth can be very soothing.
25. Take a mental health day.
26. Take a cooking class.
27. Have no more than 3 things to do at any one time.
28. Invest in learning how to take care of yourself.
29. Eat whole foods that nourish your body and make you glow.
30. Stop watching TV.
31. Experience your emotions.
32. Find a local support group.
33. Give yourself a facial (scrub, apply a masque, etc.)
34. Get a mani/pedi.
35. Go window shopping.
36. Have a game night.
37. Write notes to friends to thank them for being in your life.
38. Get pampered.
39. Invest in non-toxic cosmetics and cleaning products.
40. Do a random act of kindness or “pay it forward.”
41. Write a love letter to yourself or someone else.
42. Gratitude journal.
43. Try something new.
44. Do something brave or that you’re afraid of (Sky diving, bungee jumping, taking a dance class).
45. Go to an art gallery.
46. Give yourself a scalp massage.
47. Play music or sing.
48. Have a family slumber party.
49. Assess and realign your priorities to meet your goals.
50. Cook a delicious and nutritious meal to enjoy with the ones you love.
51. Give yourself permission.
52. Clear out the clutter.
53. Hire a house cleaner or organizer.
54. Hire someone to do the yard work.
55. Plant a garden.
56. Be generous.
57. Watch the clouds.
58. Go horseback riding.
60. Make a bucket list.
61. Do something on your bucket list.
62. Play with your animals.
63. Stimulate your inner child! – Read a children’s book, play a childlike game, color.
64. Smile at a stranger.
65. Call an old friend.
66. Stop complaining.
67. Go boating, water skiing, or swimming.
68. Use affirmations of motivation and encouragement to improve your mindset.
69. Do some research on a topic that really interests you.
70. Be still.
71. Schedule fun time for the family.
72. Go out in nature.
73. Care for your skin with non-toxic products.
74. Make your favorite foods.
75. Drink lots of fresh water.
76. Spend time with friends doing something fun! (Picture scavenger hunt, charades, dance party!).
77. Get up early.
78. Take a vacation.
79. Take a mental vacation.
80. Explore your town, neighborhood, state, country; "get lost" and find new, unexplored places.
81. Stop comparing yourself to others.
82. Adopt a positive attitude.
83. Enroll in a course or program to learn what you're dying to know.
84. Reward your work by getting a makeover photo shoot.
85. Set aside time for practice to sharpen your skills in something that will save you time.
86. Discipline yourself to create a meal plan each week.
89. Practice yoga.
90. Set reminders to breathe deeply as often as you can.
91. Get up and move every 20 minutes, lifting your gaze far away.
92. Visit a sauna and SWEAT.
93. Treat yourself to a spa day.
94. Read to learn.
95. Pause and listen to your body.
96. Meet a friend for coffee or tea at a beautiful and relaxing location.
97. Stop worrying.
98. Practice positive self-talk 3 times daily.
99. Be present, aware, and engaged in all moments of life.
100.Maintain balance by saying no.