Last night, I met a three week old baby. Baby’s are so sweet and cuddly. As I was driving home it struck me all over again how utterly dependent babies are on someone else to take care of them. There is absolutely nothing they can do for themselves — not getting dressed, not finding food, not even comforting themselves. It all has to come from some other place. So my question today is who takes care of you? Well, of course you do. You are the one who takes care of you. The better question, then, is how are you doing?
The care of a newborn is pretty obvious. If the diaper is dry, the tummy is full, the baby’s been held and is sleeping soundly, she’s well cared for. When it comes to you, the absolute best way to care for yourself is to implement daily acts that soothe you and keep your emotional, physical and mental well being at their maximum potential.
You are probably great at taking care of the to do list, your family, co-workers who need an extra hand. Sometimes we care for everything and everyone at the expense of our own care. Here are some suggestions of little habits you can introduce into your daily routine to start focusing on your care.
- Breathe - Take three or four deep breaths filling your lungs completely. Stop several times during the day to take these deep cleansing breaths.
- Start Moving - Put on your tennis shoes and go for a fast paced walk or put on your dancing shoes and move your body to the music.
- Stretch - Stop your work and stretch out all the tight muscles.
- Add - Add two extra servings of healthy food to your plate.
- Get Out — Go outside and soak up 15 minutes of sun.
- Sniff - Inhale a fabulous smell, like orange or lemon or peppermint. Diffusors full of essential oils are a great way to give yourself a lift.
- Encourage - keep cards, notes, emails that say great things about you. Write down what people tell you is great about you. Pull the file out periodically and read through it.
- Unplug - Switch all your electronics off or to Do Not Disturb for an hour each day.
- Fix- Take care of that small thing that’s been bugging you — the junk drawer is a mess; the button missing on your jacket; the screen door that squeaks.
- Play - schedule in a day of play each week or 5 minutes of play multiple times a day.
- Be Still - Take 3 to 5 minutes to be silent. Just focus on your breathing and listen. Don’t fill the silence with noise.
- Unfollow - Next time you scroll through your social media feed, unfollow the negative people.
- Find Beauty - look for five beautiful things throughout your day
- Affirm - Feed yourself only positive messages about yourself. If you need help, ask some friends what they like about you.
- Check-in — Sit quietly and just name what you are feeling. No judgment, just check in with yourself.
- Reach Out — Help someone with something. It can be as simple as opening a door or as involved as taking a home cooked meal to someone.
- Seek out Positivity- Hang out with people who are positive, energetic and enthusiastic. Negative people drain you emotionally.
- Ask — Ask for help. You are worth the support.
This is the ultimate "to do" list! Grab a handful of these ideas and try them this week. Let me know how they worked out for you.