Self-care is a buzzword you hear everywhere. Sometimes it’s doing the easy things, like taking bubble baths (bonus if you add incense, diffuse some essential oils or burn a non-toxic candle), and sometimes it’s the harder things that we know are good for us, like making time to workout. How about some easy self-care tips so you can get started today?
We live in a perpetually busy culture. When you ask how someone is doing, they often respond “I’m busy” and then listen while they list the many tasks they have completed (or will soon complete) like it’s some kind of right of passage. The idea of adding another thing to the list can be daunting and overwhelming, so you might be thinking, Olivia, I don’t have for easy self-care tips no matter how easy you claim they are. But hear me out.
I went to see my doctor yesterday to chat about all things thyroid, hormones and exhaustion. He proposed what he called a “radical idea” and, at first, I blanched. However, the more I thought about it (and chatted with my wonderful husband, James), the more I realized that, yes, this radical solution is exactly what I need.
My doctor proposed that I get 8 hours of sleep at a minimum. I had a mini panic attack and asked him, “but how will I get anything done?” And he said, “you won’t. And maybe that’s okay.” My to do list started circulating through my mind and I remembered the advice from one of my favourite mindfulness books that reminded me, no one dies with an empty inbox. Your list will never be done.
We continued chatting and I’ll share what we landed on during my amazing appointment with you below. You won’t see any insane word counts or endless series of things to do in my November plans because I’m just going to be. I’m going to be present, live, love and laugh while enjoying every moment. Join me?
Easy self-care tips
Pause. This month, I’m going to find something beautiful about every single day and soak it in. When I let Buster the boxer in the backyard this morning, I took a moment and enjoyed the beautiful fall colours on my neighbour’s tree. I didn’t notice it until today because I was too busy thinking about what came next to see what was right in front of me. Takeaway: don’t check out of your own life and be mindful of how many f*cks you have to give.
Sleep. If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. I went to my doctor looking for a solution to being perpetually tired. His answer? Try sleeping. My brain is always working, so I often end up “tired yet wired.” The solution is meditation to calm and settle my monkey brain, which I’m going to reintroduce this month. It doesn’t matter what gets done or doesn’t because James and I will be asleep and not available to care.
Fun. There is nothing in the world more important to me than my family and my marriage to James is my top priority. My doctor asked me if James and I are making time to have fun and to ensure that stays a priority. How about we revisit my cheap and fun date night suggestions together and check in with each other in a month?
De-stress. In addition to meditation and living in the moment, I’m going to focus on all the things I have to be grateful for versus all of the things I have yet to achieve. I’m making progress in the query trenches with my debut adult contemporary romance novel, Twist of Fate, and my life is pretty damn awesome. I’m currently living many of the goals I’ve had over the last few years and I know I’ll get there with everything else too!
Move. Being gentle with myself isn’t an excuse to be lazy. I still intend to workout (Jillian Michaels videos and YouTube workouts!) and eat well (meal prepping and healthy recipes all the way), but I won’t pressure myself to meet unreasonable goals at the expense of those things (or time with my family or sleep). It’s back to the basics for me and only when I get those items “crossed off” will I move towards other “nice to do” items.
Kind. Do you have a problem with negative self-talk? Here’s a reminder to be kind to yourself because, as my doctor reminded me, there is only so much stress one person can take before it starts impacting their health and wellness goals. For the first time in my life, my plan is not to have a plan other than taking care of myself, doing what feels good, and ensuring everything and everyone I let into my life is still serving my well-being.
How are you taking care of yourself this month?
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