With the holidays and all that comes with them just around the corner, it seemed appropriate today to chat about self-care and the things you can do in the midst of this busy season to stay calm and make the most of this blessed time of year. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Here are six tips I recommend to cultivating self-care in your life:
Tip 1: At the beginning of each week, take a look at your calendar. Is it overflowing with appointments, meetings, and to-do’s? Breathe, friend. Tell yourself you can do this and it’s going to be okay. Positive self-talk is key to staying in a healthy frame of mind as you prepare to jump into all the things demanding your attention and energy. Also, pray over the week to come. Ask God to be with you every step of the way and to surprise you in the ordinary, mundane moments. Thank Him for the opportunities you have to connect with others and work on projects. Ask Him to bless you with His Spirit and presence so that you can make it through each day satisfied and victorious. He will come through for you. And do this everyday if that’s what helps you.
Tip 2: Give yourself margin in your days and weeks, when possible, so that you’re not running around like a crazy person. Have back-to-back hour-long meetings? Make those meetings go for 45 minutes and give yourself 15 minutes to use the restroom, take a drink of water, and get to the next meeting on time. I know this isn’t always possible, but do your due diligence to give yourself some time and space to breathe between activities and tasks. You’ll feel less hurried and rushed and more “on your game” when you do this.
Tip 3: Carve out time in the week or on the weekends to do the things you love to do. What brings your heart and soul joy? Is it reading books or the newspaper? Is it watching movies? Is it going for a run or a walk? Is it getting creative? Is it playing with your kids outside? Is it going on a date with your significant other or having a girls night out? Whatever it is, make time for this in your schedule. Having something to look forward to throughout the week gives us hope and keeps our focus on what is good in life, even when things may feel like they’re messy and falling apart.
Tip 4: Bring something into your ordinary day to energize and inspire you. Like coffee? Take five minutes to brew a cup or take a quick trip to the local cafe and treat yourself to your favorite latte. Like music? Put it on in the background or put your headphones in while you work through your tasks. Like color? Put a piece of art or a beautiful bouquet of flowers by you while you work. You could also diffuse your favorite oils, light a candle, go for a walk on your lunch break, scroll through inspirational images and quotes on Pinterest, among other things, to remind you of the lovely and higher things in life. After all, the simple pleasures are often the best pleasures.
Tip 5: Be on the lookout for people around you who could use an extra dose of encouragement and support. Maybe it’s a friend, a co-worker, one of your children, your spouse, a parent. Whoever it is, be listening to what the people around you are saying (even with their nonverbals). And then do something (send a text, write a card, carve out a little extra time to call or visit) to connect with them and let them know you’re thinking of them and are in this with them. Be blessed by being a blessing to others. You’ll be amazed at how serving others in love can change even your perspective and lighten your load on the journey.
Tip 6: Don’t beat yourself up on the hard days. Before you go to bed at night, remind yourself of three things to be thankful for in life. Acknowledge the reality and truth that nothing on this side of heaven is perfect. You’re going to make mistakes, your schedule will change at the last-minute, someone will rub you the wrong way (usually those closest to you and who love you), and you’ll drop the ball on something. It happens. That’s life. The important thing is to not let these things get you down, stealing the best of you. Don’t get sucked into the trap of guilt and shame. Give it to God. Ask for His help. Forgive others. Ask for their forgiveness. Give yourself and others grace. And choose to be thankful. There is always something to be thankful for, friends.
And there you have it. Six easy and inexpensive tips to help you take care of YOU in this season, and ultimately, develop practices that will help you be your best self in the long-run.
I’m in this with you, friends. Keep the faith and keep me posted on how these work for you!