An empty tank will take you nowhere.
That’s why this week, in the wake of Valentine’s Day (a time when we tend to put our focus on others) we are thinking about how to fill our own tanks. Whether you call it self care, pampering, fostering a healthy mindset, or “me-time” it all essentially means the same thing: taking care of yourself so you can then be there for others.
Many of us are guilty of putting our own needs last, whether that’s because our work takes precedence or we tend to our family’s needs before our own. But the truth is, this doesn’t just hurt us… we are also less effective in our ability to be there for others if we are depleted on some level (physically, emotionally, or spiritually) ourselves. So, let’s hear it for self-care!
WHAT IS SELF CARE
In simple terms, self care refers to activities we do in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? So why are so many of us so bad at doing it?!
Repeat after us: “Taking care of yourself is not selfish!” Self-care doesn’t mean you consider yourself to be more important than other people. It simply means you recognize your own needs and tend to them (which means you will actually be a better parent/friend/partner/employee in the long run anyway).
SELF CARE STARTERS
So what does self care look like in the real world? Is it all bubble baths, wine and a good book? Not necessarily. You see, the thing about self care is how personal it is. For one person it might mean setting an alarm to get up half an hour earlier to meditate and journal, while for another it might mean setting a weekly walk-and-talk date with a friend or even taking up a new hobby such as painting. There are no rules beyond listening to your needs and finding a little time for them. With that said, we put some self care starter ideas together for you!
- Do something fun for fun’s sake. Seriously. Not because it’s productive or will earn you money or make your kids smarter. Just do something fun and bring back a little of that childlike charm into your life.
- Change your morning habits. Do you tend to reach for your phone as soon as you wake up and read the news, your emails, or your social media feed? Try taking that time instead to journal your thoughts, to-do lists, goals for the day, or gratitude affirmations.
- Eat for a healthy body AND mind. Do you find yourself so busy you just eat the first thing you find in the fridge? It’s time to check yourself because what you eat and drink has a direct impact on your overall feelings of physical and mental wellbeing. Sometimes the smallest changes can have the biggest impact, such as throwing some overnight oats in a mason jar with berries and nut milk before you go to bed (you can find some great recipes here) or switching out your soda break for a nutritious cup of bone broth. Pushed for time but would love something nutritious? Just throw one of our Bone Broth Noodle Cups in the microwave.
- Prioritize sleep. We cannot stress enough how important it is to get enough good quality sleep each night. A good night’s sleep is the very foundation of everything else, and studies show that we make better choices throughout the day (whether that’s the snack we reach for or the way we treat others) if we’ve had enough rest.
- Get outside. Time in nature is one of the best mental resets, but if we are waiting for that big weekend away off the grid, we might never get to taking in the benefits. Ideally, we should take some time out each day to connect to nature, and that might just look like changing up our walk around the block with the dog for a short drive to the nearest nature reserve or woods instead. The key thing to recognize is that a little nature is good for the soul.
- Give yourself a spa treatment… at home. We know we said this isn’t all about bubble baths, but there’s something so healing about elevating a regular daily event such as showering into a self-care moment. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the running water in your shower and breath in mindfully… Put a smart speaker in your bathroom and listen to a podcast while you get ready for bed in the evening… Or put a Do Not Disturb sign on the bathroom door while you take 20 minutes to do a facemask, pedicure, and teeth whitening session. The moment is yours, so personalize it the way it works best for you!
HOW TO CARVE OUT “YOU” TIME
“All great ideas”, we hear you say, “but how do I find even the little time needed to take care of myself?” Here are some suggestions:
- Take the things you already do, and put a self care lens on them. The examples above of adding essential oils to your shower or switching your dog walk to a nicer environment are just a couple of ways you can do that.
- Attach new self care habits to an existing daily habit. If you know you sit down with your coffee and watch the news for 10 minutes each morning, consider turning the TV off and using that time to journal (with your LonoLife Protein Coffee, of course) instead.
- Keep track of how much time you spend scrolling through social media. Is there a spare 30 minutes (at minimum we are guessing!) a day there? Commit to using that time for something that benefits you and your state of mind better such as a pre-work speed walk with a friend or a 20 minute guided meditation.
- Put the time in your calendar as a daily event (and invite your significant other so they know not to bother you during it.) That way you are more likely to honor that time in the way you would a work meeting or a soccer practice for the kids.
Got 20 minutes? Start dedicating some time to caring for yourself today!