The days and weeks can be long. We often take care of everyone but us. When was the last time you did something just for you?
Luxuriated in a long hot bath?
Got a massage?
A pedicure or manicure?
Special hair cut or blow out?
Bought something only you will use?
Went to your favorite coffee shop and savored a special drink?
No time or money? None are good enough excuses. Time can be managed and home options abound.
If you don’t make the effort, who will?
Need extra incentives?
It will reduce your stress, reinvigorate your senses, boost happiness and general feelings of good health. We exude more confidence and feel better about ourselves and others. Plus it drops our blood pressure, increases concentration, elevates mood, improves sleep and reduces muscle tension and pain.
It’s imperative in this crazy world where we run from one commitment to the next to stop once in a while and do something for ourselves.
At this point I often get push back-
“It’s selfish, a waste of important time and energy that could be better spent elsewhere.”
But the truth remains, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others.
Studies show 30% of caregivers die before those they are caring for! And if not death, higher rates of depression and illness.
It’s like they say on an airplane when the oxygen masks drop, put it on yourself first, then those who are young or disabled or you both could die from asphyxiation.
As great as that analogy sounds, no one should wait for an emergency to finally put themselves first. Life goes by far too quickly. It’s already mid-March. Before we know it summer will be here, then another holiday as the year slips away.
Living in the present. Honoring what we have now is often lost and then regretted.
Make a pact and schedule time in the week, like every other important act, for just your needs.
It doesn’t have to be expensive; most are free
Get on the phone and reminisce, share and laugh with a friend or loved one.
Stay in a hot bubble bath until the heat is gone. Add some music and scent to enhance the relaxation.
Enjoy the outdoors. Take a walk and watch the birds, butterflies and hummingbirds. See what the clouds look like.
Go to a park and swing and slide like a kid.
Have a picnic with all your favorite foods.
Go to a museum.
Get together with a friend and swap a spa treatment e.g. massage, manicure, facial, pedicure, or give yourself one.
Spend quality time with a loved one.
Grab a book you’ve been meaning to read.
Start or finish that project you’ve been meaning to get to.
Turn on a movie or show no one else wants to watch but you.
Take a night to crawl under the blankets and just hide and sleep and dream away the hours.
One morning, sleep late.
Set up a fancy, candle-lit dinner for one.
Look online for free classes, then stop procrastinating and enjoy!
Turn off all technology for a night or better yet, a day. Tell everyone they’ll have to survive without you.
Go to the mountains or beach. Remember what it felt like to feel your toes deep under the warm sand or pick pinecones in the incredibly clear, fresh air.
Go to a thrift store and buy a crazy, fun, different outfit.
Color your hair or try a new hairdo.
Watch artisans do their work e.g. glass blowing or pottery.
Reaerrange a room.
Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers.
Start a window garden to supply your own flowers or spices. As an added bonus the smells will add an incredible pick me up every day.
Only have a few minutes?
Turn on a song you like.
Light a candle, close your eyes and go somewhere special in your mind.
Write a sentence or two in a journal every morning. Those words may be the most amazing ones you’ll ever read in the years ahead.
It doesn’t have to cost a dime, but the value it will add is priceless.