The year has started so long ago that we're probably all back to normal - whatever normal means. Checking numerous e-mails, fighting through endless to-do-lists, spending hours in more or less useful meetings and the relaxed feeling from the holidays wanes off slowly - or already did.
And so we forget those maybe New Year resolutions to spend more time with the family or for us and to take care of our well-being, to have more fun and joy in our lives.
I get it - it is so easy to get sucked into those habits which we have trained well over years. Sometimes decades.
Unfortunately true the other way round too. Or more to the point, then it shifts into a very undesirable direction.
Hence I've put together a list of self-care measures. Basically to help me remembering every day. Yes. Not just once a week. Or month. Or even once a year....oh, I'll just fight through to the next holidays.
Rather not. Unless you are a masochist ;-).
So here we go - I hope this is useful for you too.
1. Breathe - deeply
We often forget that this is the best resource for energy. Are you familiar with your diaphragm? And you use it for breathing? Actively. Then you’re alright.
If not - there is still a lot in for you to feel better through right breathing.
2. Eat real food
Not clean - that is misleading (don’t know any dirty food, just a lot which is not great for us). Make your own meals and understand that you are what you eat. Really.
3. Move whenever you can
Yawn….this is probably the n-th time you heard that and you KNOW it….do you do it though? Start with a stretch in the morning, walk outside as often as you can and if you’re a pro already, keep doing whatever sport you fancy.
A little bit every day goes a long way - try it out. DON’T start a sport you don’t like.
It won’t last. Been there, done that.
4. Be kind to yourself
Something we often forget while we’re beating ourselves up about all sorts of stuff: “Should have done this earlier…should have gone to the gym more often….”. Eliminate “should” of your vocabulary.
It’s a useless word. Replace it with could and see how you feel.
We’re not perfect, so forgive yourself if you fail despite the best effort. Just go again :-)
5. Take breaks
I know, I know…hustling seems to be modern among a lot of people…working hard to get where we want to be. Sorry to break it to you - hard work alone won’t get you there…and eventually we’ve tired ourselves out so much that we’re breaking down and can’t go anywhere anymore.
So take breaks regularly. During the year and even every day.
I take them every hour - for 5-10 minutes: getting up, moving around, getting some water, breathing…and voila - energy replenished. :-)
6. Listen to your body
Our body is rather intelligent and gives us numerous messages every day. We know a lot of them like hunger or thirst, but might miss out on the more subtle ones.
We’re getting ill for a reason, that is not plainly bacterial or viral. They are just the buggers we subconsciously make room for.
7. Take care of your guts
WHAT? Well, yes. Not only can we find as many nerve cells in the solar plexus and gut area, but it is scientifically proven that the production of our “happy hormones” (i.e. serotonin) depends a great deal on what happens to and in our guts. Maybe go back to no 2.
8. Learn something new
One of our basic requirements is to grow (for the smart asses out there: not physically….). We all have an area (or many) in our lives where we are making an effort of getting better.
If we don’t we’ll get unhappy eventually.
So taking a step back and looking at what we’d like to learn this year….be it a language, online marketing, singing or knitting…and plan your learning. Every day or week just a bit - half an hour, 15 minutes. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve in a year.
9. Have some alone time regularly
Without phone or other digital stuff. It’s amazing what happens when we listen to ourselves without distraction.
10. Go out into nature
Hardly anything that is more soul nourishing than a walk through a forest, a large field, on a mountain. There is even scientific evidence for the benefits of walking in forest - so you don’t just have to believe me :-)
11. Love yourself
For some of us easier said than done. I get that. There is stuff we don’t like about ourselves.
“Not enough” is a modern society disease: not rich enough, not pretty enough, not slim enough, not successful enough, not witty enough….you name it.
We are all enough…and in fact beautiful as we are. We might not be where we wish to be in life. There is nothing holding us back to make plans of how to get there.
Because we can. And it becomes so much easier if we love ourselves (very much connected with no 2)
12. Invest into your spiritual growth.
We ARE all spiritual beings…even Steven Covey who wrote one of the most acknowledged business books (7 Habits Of Highly Effective People) knows it and talks about it.
Ignoring this part of our existence will cause issues sooner or later. Ever asked yourself why so many people get into this “mid-life” crisis and ask themselves “was that really all?”.
13. Stop comparing yourself with others.
We are all unique (before you roll your eyes now read on).
And just because we all learned in school to be same and to compare ourselves with each other, doesn’t not make it right.
We are all on our own journey, which can’t be compared to the one of someone else. If you are competitive (I am - sure as hell), then compare yourself with yourself.
What kind of progress did you make since last year, last month, last week. Review yourself regularly and plan where you’d like to progress. Than pad yourself on the shoulder when you see the progress….and enjoy this blissful feeling of achievement :-)
14. Get yourself some playlists with your favourite music for different situations
... for work, for chilling, for cooking….music is another way of soothing and feeding our soul. I am sure you know exactly what I mean.
15. Watch your thoughts about yourself
Words are powerful.
Not just those spoken out aloud to others, but also those in our head that we say to and about ourselves.
They can destroy us or lift and liberate us.
16. Say no more often
In fact every time you’re asked to help or do something. Then take a moment to consider if a) this is aligned with your goals and b) would be too much for you to take on and could lead to overwhelm or even burnout eventually.
Still enough time to say yes then :-).
One of the best ways of self-care for me!
So what are you starting with?
Liked what you read? Then share or drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just in case I know a thing or two which might help you in your journey. Particularly in case you're stuck. Just saying.