It’s the time of year again when we shower the mom’s in our lives with a little extra love. Dad’s turn is just around the corner. Being wonderful humans, we will treat them to an extra tight squeeze, a mushy card, a meal, a chance to “sleep in”, breakfast in bed, a game of golf, a spa treatment, day-brightening flowers or some other gesture of our love and thanks for all they do.
As a mom, I truly appreciate the effort my family takes to make me feel special, appreciated, supported and cared for on this day.
BUT, what about the other 364 days of the year?
What happens when it’s not Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, my Birthday etc.?
What if all of us – parents, non-parents, single people, married people, working people, stay-at-home people (all people) took this sentiment and tried to find a way to make ourselves feel a bit more special, appreciated, supported and cared for EVERY day? What if we didn’t wait for those few, special days or for someone else to do it for us?
I think it would be amazing, life changing and earth shattering. I really do.
Think about what this would do for our outlook, our stress levels, our wellness…our happiness.
Of course, we might not be able to sleep in every day or spend all day, every day at the spa, but we don’t need to and many of us don’t want to.
Just as much as we all need a bit of pampering now and then, that is not the only recipe for a life where we feel special, appreciated, supported and cared for.
So, what is the recipe?
The recipe for self-care
Well, it’s different for everyone, of course. What one person finds nourishing and soothing, another might find stressful and anxiety-provoking. Because we are all unique, so are our needs.
Perhaps a good first step to figuring out our recipe is to consider what we like to do to unwind, relax or de-stress. Can we identify a few things? If so, do we make doing these things a habit? Is there room in our daily life for more? Or, are we having trouble coming up with things? If so, this could be a sign it’s time to build up our resources.
Maybe we can think of what we like to do for fun. Can we find a way to do these things a little more often?
What about making a list of things/people/situations that routinely annoy or bother us and how we might go about minimizing them or building in a small, daily reprieve from them? For example, does a co-worker monopolize every coffee break with negative talk and a toxic spirit? Perhaps find a way to remove yourself from this situation and spend the time doing something you find uplifting or energizing instead –a brisk walk, time listening to great music or filling up your water bottle while chatting with someone who has a bit of a brighter outlook on the day.
Start with small things and see if you can find a way to incorporate them into your daily routine.
Start with small
It’s pretty amazing what a few, small changes each day can do to improve our mood and perspective. It’s important that we find the things that work for us and to actually start doing them. We might feel like we are taking time away from “important work” or that doing things that nourish us is time we could be spending folding laundry, finishing that work report or mindlessly scrolling Facebook. Hey, I don’t judge. I know you are terribly busy with all the things. I’d just like to see you really go all out for yourself. You know? Treat yourself like the King or Queen you are. Seriously, [insert cliché here], you have one precious life, you are here for a reason etc. (by the way, these are cliché because they are true!), so give yourself the love and respect you deserve.
SPF for your soul
Caring for yourself is not a one-time thing. This is why going to the spa or getting a massage once a year when we are feeling depleted or taking vacation for 3 weeks and thinking that’s all we need to do just doesn’t cut it. We need to slather this self-care stuff on like its SPF 60 and we are in full sun on a beach in Cuba. Obviously, it’s your choice to believe this or not but you know you don’t want a sunburn in Cuba. Do you really want to risk the equivalent of a sunburn on your soul? I’m pretty sure you don’t.
It’s the repetition of small habits that compound over time that will add to the joy in your life, soothe your soul, and contribute to your overall mental, emotional and physical well-being.
The truly wonderful thing about many self-care activities is they don’t need to cost anything and don’t take much time.
I actually like to divide up self-care habits into 3 categories. One for body, one for mind, and one for soul.
Start with small ways to care for your body:
Be still and breathe deeply
Be in nature-get fresh air, sun, watch the sky
Moisturize dry skin
Wear something cozy
Start with small ways to care for your mind:
Minimize negativity – take a break from the news, a toxic situation or social media if its stressing you out
Do something simply because you love it
Take some time to unplug
Check a small something from your “to-do” list that is nagging at you –replace your broken headphones so you can listen to music, sew the missing button on your favourite shirt so you can wear it again, make yourself an awesome playlist, pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read
Move your body in a way that feels great
Start with small ways to care for your soul:
Do something nice for someone
Start a journal to track the nice things people say to you and review this often (tip: get yourself a pen that feels good to write with and a journal that inspires you).
Cuddle your dog
Ask someone for help with something you can’t manage on your own
Be around people who make you laugh
Start a project just for the fun of it – no expectations
Make time for someone you love
Buy yourself a small gift
Make yourself a delicious meal
Smell something nice
Plan a day of fun—whatever that means for you
Say no. Take a break from doing things you don’t want to do.
These activities might seem like no-brainers. Please, don’t knock ‘em, until you’ve tried ‘em!
Start with small activities and keep building up. As you incorporate more good stuff into your daily life, you might find that you begin to pay more attention to small pleasures and feel a better connection to yourself and others.
So, how will you start showing yourself more love?
Ready to make a move and want some support to make it easier and more successful? I can help!