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Like most of the women I know, every day I make a "to do" list. Whether we are moms, students, entrepreneurs, or 9-5ers, we have a seemingly endless cue of things & people who need our attention. We fill our lists with things like: “call mom”, “re-order business cards”, and “buy organic non-gmo almond butter".
While we all prioritize different things on our lists, there is one very important 'to do' that never quite seems to make the cut. A glaring omission that may actually render impossible, the ‘to do’s we HAVE remembered. What is this all important item? “take care of ME".
How many of us have ever thought to put ourselves on our own list of priorities? In truth... We Should be at the TOP of every ‘to do’ list. If we don't make time for self care, everything else categorically falls apart. If we don't prioritize replenishment... the carefully constructed architecture of our lives will quickly collapse. We need energy to create our goals and cultivate our vision. We need to give attention to ourselves before we can give attention to others. If we don't take time to stop and show ourselves some of the love we lavish so freely on our children, partners, friends, and even our mobile devices, we will simply reach empty. If we aren’t attentive, we can work and hustle and care-give our way into a full-on mental and physical breakdown.
Since I am the most guilty of overextending myself and making excuses for why I am too busy changing the world to take care of myself, I began some rituals to help me ensure self preservation.
Here are some of my most basic ‘self care’ practices that help me find my #happiest & most productive self. Give them a try!
1. wake up 15 min before the household to have a few moments of quiet alone time. During my morning time, I enjoy the ritual of brewing coffee and taking a few deep breaths to center myself, before a 5min meditation.
2. Start a ‘compliments file’: write down the nice things people say to you, and remember them when you are feeling overwhelmed.
3. Give yourself 5min of unstructured time outdoors. Even cold, brisk winter air can invigorate your lungs & spirit and give you a (much needed) burst of energy.
4. Do a Mini meditation before bed. Try: “gratitude”. Simply close your eyes and breathe in 5 things you are thankful for from the day, and go to sleep with your mind on your abundance.
5. Put on a favorite song (any time of day!) and dance around - I often do this alone (80’s pop) or with my husband (current hip-hop). It makes me laugh and feel free to move, shake, & de -stress
6. Remove negative people from your social media feed. It’s a small change that will really help keep your mind on ONLY that which inspires you.
7. Essential oils: I love lavender for relaxation. Just place a dab on your temples as you begin your evening, and inhale the goodness!
I hope these ‘easy to incorporate’ happiness habits inspire you to try some, or to make your own!! I’d love to hear some of the ways you make ‘self care’ #1 on your “to do” list ????????.