This week has been insanely topsy-turvy. On the heels of a quick road trip with the kids (one of whom cried for 2/3 of it although I won’t name names), I received a call on Monday morning that sent the week into a bit of a tailspin. Although things seem to be on the up and up (fingers crossed), I still feel a little raw and worried about the next phone call. So rather than stay focused on the negative and unknown, I tried to think of little things that I could do to keep my mind busy: (a) schedule quotes to my Facebook page; (b) plot out the theme for my VIP Group; (c) get into nitpicky fights; (d) brainstorm 10 self-care ideas.
Did you hear the record scratch on that last one?
It shouldn’t be surprising. All too often, we put ourselves last, and sometimes that can have disastrous consequences. But I want you to think about being on an airplane. Before take-off, the flight attendants walk you through the safety procedures on and features of the plane, and when they get to the mask that you’re supposed to put on when there’s a change in cabin pressure, what do they tell you to do?
Put your mask on first.
You’re supposed to take care of you before you take care of someone else. Why? Because bad things happen if you don’t, and you’ll be left to rely on the kindness of strangers to get a mask on you while everyone else is freaking out.
Not to put too fine a point on it naturally.
So this has been rattling around in my brain this week: What are some self-care ideas that I can easily implement in my life to take care of me?
As this week has progressed, I’ve compiled the below list of 10 self-care ideas that I can integrate into my life so I can put my mask on first instead of last.
10 Self-Care Ideas For You to Try
1. Drink more water. There is a multitude of reasons why this is a good idea, ranging from digestion assistance to increased energy. I’m one of the worst above drinking water, but I’ve committed to making sure I get at least 8 cups a day.
2. Meditate for 5 minutes. I talked a little bit about meditation here, and a consistent practice helps to reduce and mitigate the symptoms of anxiety and stress… which is perfect for me right now.
3. Create an easy meal plan. When I get stressed, I tend to stress eat (it’s even in the name!). There’s some sciency stuff around it, and I have a tendency to reach for sugary snacks when I get stressed. Planning out 2 healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners is a good way to help me stay on track and regulate my mood.
4. Get 15 minutes of sunshine. Albeit tricky with an office job, getting the vitamin D is important to your health. The sun is still out by the time I get home, so I’m putting it in my bullet journal to get outside (and safely, might I add!).
5. Read a book. Reading was fundamental in my house – my mother would plow through 1-3 novels a week – and it was something that brought me great joy and comfort as a child. I need to remember to take time away from social media and make time to envelop myself in the benefits of reading.
6. Just say No. This isn’t hearkening back to the anti-drug policies of yore. Saying No can help you establish boundaries and limits, and when your mind is racing at 1,000 mph, saying No to just one thing can provide so much help and comfort.
7. Restore your faith. Maybe it’s a moment of prayer or a kind gesture, but even skimming through this Buzzfeed post lifted my spirits just a smidge.
8. Color regardless of the lines. I have a built-in excuse to color with 2 young children, but coloring has some helpful health benefits. They don’t have to be fancy pants coloring books or coloring books at all… just take a few minutes to doodle.
9. Pay it forward. You know how great you feel when you get to the front of the Starbucks drive-thru and the car in front of you has already paid for you? So you build a pay it forward chain reaction to help other people feel warm and fuzzy? I’m totally doing that tomorrow (so watch out!).
10. Just cry. Sometimes things are just not OK, and you’re not ready for gratitude journals or prayer. Sometimes you just need to wallow in that anxiety and stress and fear and invite it in. Crying is OK, too. So go ahead. You have permission to cry.
Really, there are hundreds of self-care ideas floating around, and sometimes when I see a list that says 172 self-care ideas!, I freak out a little because oh my gosh, there are 172 things I should be doing to take care of myself, and I’m not doing any of them. Well, that anxiety doesn’t help me and is way counterproductive! I like the idea of an easy, manageable and maintainable 10 because it’s within grasp.
What are some other self-care ideas we can add to the list? Let me know below!