5 Steps to a Self Care Revolution
Friends, I want to talk to you. I want to tell you that it’s ok if you don’t have time to ‘put yourself first.’ Please don’t feel guilty or resentful about the fact that you simply. can. not. squeeze any extra minutes out of your day to dedicate to yourself.
Look. I get it. I know that your life is filled to the brim with kids, chores, work, and keeping your head above water. I know because my life is like that too. There are nights when my head hits my pillow and the most nourishing moment of my day was eating the leftovers from my kids’ dinner plate in silence over the sink. Silence and cold casserole have a special place in my heart.
There’s hope for us yet, mama. Here’s a simple offering to help us adopt a self care mindset. Meaning, we don’t have to implement a life renovation in order to reap the benefits of a self care practice. Embracing a shift in mindset has the power to create big change.
1. Make ritual. There’s a long list of things we do everyday without even thinking about it. Making morning coffee, commuting to work, showering, doing dishes, etc. I invite you to pick one regular task and turn it into a ritual. Stay with me. I don’t mean ritual in a new-agey way. I mean to bring some mindfulness to what you are already doing. Making coffee? Take a moment to smell the grounds and anticipate that first cup. Commuting to work? Find a favorite book or podcast to make the drive more enjoyable. Showering (hopefully)? Use an exfoliating cleanser that you love. Put lotion on that smells yummy. Even taking a moment to actually feel the water on your skin can transform the moment.
2. Kiss people. Ok, probably only kiss your people. Hug your friends. Tell people that you care for and appreciate them. We have this idea that affection should be saved for our intimate relationships. I challenge that notion. Showing affection has been proven to lower blood pressure, increase sense of connection, boost mood, and make us feel better. Kiss on.
3. Say thank you. Manners 101: look people in the eyes and say thank you. Say thank you to people who make your life better. The mail guy at work. The barista at Starbucks. Your daycare provider. Your spouse. Remember when you felt appreciated? Remember how good that felt? When we seek and express gratitude, we are contributing to a cultural conversation of thankfulness. Everybody benefits from this practice.
4. Stop lying. Chances are part of your current daily routine include this conversation:
“Hey! How are you?”
“ I’m fine, you?”
Built into our days are opportunity for conversation and connection. Open doors that we are slamming with lies like, “I’m fine.” I do not know a single person who is fine. Fine is not a human feeling. Human feelings include: awesome, awful, heartbroken, frazzled, energized, tired, jazzed, annoyed, elated, jealous, inspired, blue, etc. I’m not saying that you should spill your guts to every person on the elevator, but I am telling you that you have openings for connection that you’re blowing off. Challenge yourself to look for these in your day and accept an invitation to connect with a fellow human. You’ll be surprised to find that you are not alone in feeling your feelings.
5. Goodbye guilt. There are two fun-haters that show up uninvited to almost every party. Their names are Guilt and Shame. They are the actual worst. Worse yet, they often invite their posse of Defeat, NotEnough, Disappointment, Embarrassment, and OverallShittiness. We are all on this journey together, figuring out how to do the best we can with what we’ve got. Ready for a truth bomb? These feelings are all liars. You do not need to succumb to their scare tactics. Hear their call and don’t answer. Choose to believe the best in yourself. I can’t say for sure if these party poopers will ever stop knocking, but take solace in the fact that you are not required to open the door and let them in.
This one’s for you, and for me, and for us. Let’s embrace the self care mindset and ignite a self care revolution. The world is waiting for us.