Super Self-Care Series (Part 1)!
Do you ever move through your life and get to the end of the day feeling like you didn’t do anything for yourself? Maybe you feel like you’re existing on autopilot, checking items off your to-do list, and chauffeuring your kids around like a robot mom. Then you collapse into bed at the end of the day and feel…empty.
If that describes you even a little, it sounds like you need a good dose of self-care in your life. But not just any self-care. You need a plan that caters specifically to your interests and passions. One size does NOT fit all here. After all, I could tell you to go do a 30 minute yoga session, and you could do it. But if yoga is not your thing, it won’t help at all.
Self-care is all about taking care of one person- you!
That’s what this series will focus on: finding the best ways to take care of you. Each tip includes an action plan to help you get started right now on practicing the self-care you so desperately crave.
It’s time to take your power back, girl. Time to dig in deep and find out what really fills you up, what makes you so full that you’re bursting at the seams with joy and it splashes over onto everyone around you.
Self-care seems to be a buzzword these days, right? Everyone is talking about it. But as I wrote in a previous blog post, are we just talking about it or actually practicing it?
Self-care can look a lot different for each individual, and it will be as unique as you are!
That’s why I’ve written this series: to help you discover your very own “brand” of self-care and to actually get you practicing it.
Will you come on this journey with me? We’re in this together!
By the time you’ve read through, you’ll have learned more about what lights you up inside! The best part is that you will have engaged in the practice of self-care, which will make you feel more joyful. Even in the everyday messiness of life!
This is a three part series. Each post, I’ll give you three ideas relating to self-care, along with a quick action step that can get you going right now!
Maybe you have no idea what recharges you, simply because it’s been so long since you felt alive. Or, you could be yelling at the screen right now in frustration, saying, “Of course I know what I would do in my spare time, if only I had a whopping 5 MINUTES to myself!” I’ve been there (some days, I’m still there). Both of these we can work with.
All I ask is that you keep an open mind and heart as we dive into this series. I truly believe you’ll finish it with some great new self-care ideas to incorporate into your life- in this very season.
Let’s dive in.
Define What Self-Care Means to You
What makes you, YOU? I really want you to think about this question for a minute.
If you were a jigsaw puzzle, what would your individual pieces look like?
If I were to answer this about myself, I’d say, my makeup is all about Jesus, coffee, baking, attempting to get a tan (which usually results in sunburn), playing Disney songs on the piano, journaling, watching a good Netflix series at the end of the day, and snuggling with my toddler daughter.
These activities are the very basics of a self-care plan that would feel very authentic to me if I practiced them regularly. See how simple that is?
That’s not to say I don’t desire to do other things in my self-care time like curling up with a great book. But if I were to list out the above items I mentioned, I’d be able to turn those into actionable steps that work well in my own fabulous self-care plan.
Now it’s your turn. If you haven’t already stopped and answered this question yet, go ahead and do so: what makes you, YOU?
Your answers are going to help guide your creation of a tailor-made self-care plan.
Now, I want you to grab a pen and paper and list each item that came to mind. If you’ve thought of a few more things this time around, add those to your list too.
We’re aiming for a list of 15-20 things you can turn into your own individualized self-care plan.
Try not to censor yourself here. If something seems weird and wacky, but you know deep down it brings you joy, put it on the list. If you know for a fact that you’re the only human being on the planet who would enjoy this kind of activity, that’s great! Put it on the list.
This is YOUR list. Make it scream you!
If you’ve already answered the question above and crafted your list of 15-20 self-care items, you’ve completed your action plan for this step. If you haven’t, don’t read on until you’ve made your list! You’re gonna need it for the next step.
Just Give Me 15!
I know I’ve written about this in previous posts, but I am insanely pumped about the power of 15 minutes of focus.
It’s not enough time that your kids will actually miss you if you happen to sneak away to another part of the house, and it’s just enough time to make you feel like you’ve actually done something with your day, even if it’s just for a small portion of an hour.
- Guess how I’m writing this giant blog post in a series that will end up being thousands of words? You got it: in 15 minute intervals.
- When I wrote my first novel, I was a new mom, so I stole away 15 minute intervals to flesh out plot lines and dialogue.
- If I’ve got a busy day with back to back commitments, I’ll sneak in a little 15 minute mile of walking.
- When the house is a wreck, I’ll narrow my focus to one room and tidy/ clean for 15 minutes in just that room. It works wonders!
So, I want you to simply commit to 15 minutes at a time of self-care. It’s a small pocket of time, but it will work like magic for you if you use it consistently.
There may be days when you’ve got more than 15 minutes at a time to devote to your self-care. That’s great! Be sure to indulge when you can. But I know you’re a busy mom, like me, so let’s make this as easy and successful as possible.
All you need is 15 minutes at a time!
The next time your to-do list overwhelms you, I challenge you to tackle it with the “just give me 15” technique. Here’s how to do it:
- Choose one item on your list to work on.
- Set a timer (any timer will do!) for 15 minutes.
- Jump in full focus and work on that task until the timer is up.
- If you have more than 15 minutes, rinse and repeat!
Plan for Success- Scheduling Your Self-Care
Here’s how we’re going to turn 15 minutes into your magic self-care time.
Grab the self-care list that you made (you did make a list, right?) and a calendar or day planner if you use either. A calendar app will work just as well if you prefer digital.
Look over the next 7 days and find 3 days that would work for you to squeeze in some self-care. All you need is 15-20 minutes in which to practice each activity (use that extra 5 minutes as buffer time to gather supplies for your self-care activity).
Got your 3 days? Great! Now pick out a 4th day just in case one of your original days doesn’t go as planned- because that never happens 😒. Your 4th day is your “makeup” self-care day, should you need it. Heck, you might just find yourself wanting to add in another day because it feels so great, which is a-ok too!
Okay, this next part is very important: working from your list, choose three self-care activities, one for each day, and schedule them! Write an actual time you plan to complete your activity<——- super important step!
For example, my calendar might look like this:
Monday, July 6th: outline and begin a new Bible journal entry in my Bible, 9:00 pm
Wednesday, July 8th: coffee date with myself and a new novel, 8:00 am
Thursday, July 9th: walk the neighborhood w/ my dog, 7:00 pm
Friday, July 10th: Make-up Day, 10:00 am
Looking at my calendar, I now have three pre-scheduled dates to practice three different self-care activities that I already know I like. Plus, I have my “make-up” day as Friday, in case one of those other days doesn’t work out. Just looking at that schedule brightens my day because I know I’ve pre-planned some time just for myself.
How about you? How does seeing those activities written out make you feel? Just the act of writing out/ time-blocking your self-care activities makes you much more likely to actually do them.
One note about the times you’ve written: please don’t let your perfectionism get in the way here if you’ve scheduled a self-care activity for 9:00 am, but you don’t actually get to it until 3:00 pm. It’s the effort to actually do something for yourself that really matters!
It’s time to schedule your first self-care week! Then you’re going to complete the activities you scheduled, 15 minutes at a time.
If 15 minutes seems to go by way too fast and you’re very engrossed in your activity (and your kids are not bugging you to pay attention to them instead), feel free to keep going. But if you have to quit after 15 minutes, trust that that time you spent completely blissing out to your self-care activity is exactly what you needed! For now.
To recap, if you follow along with the steps mentioned in this blog post, you have:
- Created your own self-care list of 15-20 items, based on your unique makeup and preferences
- Tried out the “just give me 15” technique, either with your to-do list or with one of your self-care activities
- And scheduled at least 3 self-care activities into the next 7 days
Are you feeling like a million bucks yet? A self-care rockstar? If you’ve come this far, I’m so proud of you! Stay tuned for the next installment of the Super Self-Care Series, coming soon!
What’s on your must-do self-care list? Tell me in the comments below!