With everything that’s going on in the world, it sometimes seems like things are getting more extreme by the day. Whether you’re talking about the planet, politics or the pandemic (The Three P’s), it appears that things may get rougher, before they get easier.
We can’t control the world around us, for the most part, but we can shift how we respond to it. Here are some of my goals regarding my own self-care right now. Read mine, get some ideas, and then make your own list.
- Brush your teeth. It might disturb you to know this, but since Covid, it’s shocking how often I realize that it’s well into the afternoon and I haven’t brushed my teeth yet! My new goal is to rinse and brush my teeth after my coffee. It’s good for my teeth, my self-respect, and it’s a good way to cut back on caffeine!
- Go outside as early and often as you can. I’ve started walking Smitty first thing in the morning, soon after we wake up. It’s great for his digestion and my psyche. In the middle of the day, another quick walk is an easy way to re-energize me and change my perspective. It makes him pretty happy, too, and a happy dog makes for a happy home.
- Break a little sweat. It could be a 30-min wog (walk/jog), a workout with my trainer, or just a 7-min workout using my phone app, but when I get a little glisten, I instantly feel my endorphins kick in. As the days get shorter, I need those!
- Dance. Just one song. 5 minutes. Bang. Everything is better.
- Hydrate. I’m terrible at this, but I know that drinking more water is good for everything from digestion to weight loss to headaches to energy to joint and muscle pain.
- Keep a food journal. This is sooooo annoying, but it works. We all know how much the food we eat affects us, yet most of us (myself included) aren’t as conscious of what we’re eating as we might like to be. When I religiously used a food journal app last year, it significantly changed what I ate, for the better. That led to some changes in my body that I was really happy about. Then time went by and…I stopped. Time to start again!
- Cook. Eat real food that grew in the ground and that you prepared with your own hands.
- Sleep. You know this. I know this. We all know this. Just make it a priority. AND (very important) try not to get stressed when it’s not working as you’d like. Just keep working toward getting more of it.
- Take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. I’ve had a great set of DVDs on How to Speak Italian sitting on my bookshelf for years! I’m making it a goal to spend 15 minutes with those language DVDs every day this fall/winter, so that when David and I lead our Italy retreat next May (God willing) I will be able to say more than ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
- Sit still. Just 5 minutes. Or 2 minutes. Stop what you’re doing, close your eyes and breathe. It really is that simple.
- Talk to someone. Not email. Not texting. Talk. In person or on the phone. To someone you care about.
- Do yoga! I’ve been taking more classes, recently, than I have in quite a while, and it’s delightful to be a student on a regular basis again! Yoga has a plethora of physical benefits, to be sure, but it’s really for all the mental/emotional/spiritual reasons that (although it’s at the bottom here) it’s really at the top of my self-care list.
This isn’t my complete list, certainly, but it’s a start. These next several weeks (or months) may be very challenging. Why not sit down right now and compile your own list? What do you know that works for you? And how can you prioritize your self-care? It’s not selfish. It’s essential.