When life gets in the way of personal time, carving out space for yourself can support your mood, health and quality of life. Even with seemingly endless obligations, deadlines and appointments, carving out a few moments daily to do something for yourself can be a great way to stay energized and take on your day with a positive attitude. When multiple people rely on you it is easy to let your needs and wants fall to the wayside.
Here are my top 10 tips on help you put yourself first:
- Breathe: Deep breathing can be a great way to reduce stress in your body. Even if it is a never ending day of errands, making meals and striking items off the to-do list, you can squeeze in a few minutes of deep belly breaths. If you have to take a few moments in the car after loading in the groceries, while at the bus stop waiting for the kids to come home or in your morning shower, allow yourself the gift of breath..
- Breakfast: Choosing the right nutrition in the morning can make or break your day. Finding nourishing options can help keep you alert, energized and ready to take on anything. Drinking Vega® Essentials in a smoothie first thing in the morning helps keeps the pep in your step and aligns with nutritious eating goals, as well as your busy morning routine.
- Move: Have you ever taken inventory at the end of the day and realized that you spent most of your time sitting at a desk or in the car? This can happen more often than not for some of us; I suggest setting an alarm for a few times throughout the day to make sure you are getting up and moving. Being active even when you’re busy can benefit your health, and energy levels. If you are looking for inspiration check out the easy moves you can do at your desk or these one minute workouts to incorporate into your day.
- Connect: Take the time to call friends or family just to say hello and catch up. If you’re like me and live far from most of your family it’s helpful to make the time to check in with those that know you best. If you have a hands-free device in your car you can use longer drives to make your calls or headphones while getting some chores done around the house.
- Explore: So often we are focused on our routine driving to our normal stops and shuttling people around that we forget to notice some of the wonders of our neighborhoods. Maybe there is a hike right around the corner that you never noticed (that actually happened to me), a new restaurant you’ve been meaning to try, or a limited-time exhibit at the local museum. Take the time to appreciate your local culture, you can even pack the family in the car and explore together.
- Write: One practice that can help bring positivity and gratitude to your life is to write down the good moments from your day, something that you are grateful for or just the qualities in yourself that you love! You can even make it part of the nightly routine as everyone is getting tucked in each family member makes their entries. Paragraphs or bullet points will suffice, whatever feels right to you.
Another option is to choose affirmations for yourself and write those down in your journal, in the morning start your day by reading the affirmations in the mirror. This is a great way to get the day started and show yourself the appreciation you deserve. Simple sentences like “today is going to be the best day ever,” “I’m a great mom,” “I look great today,” or “I’m going to nail my presentation” are perfect for this exercise.
- Indulge: Or trick your taste buds into thinking you are! For my friends with a sweet tooth, choose a quick treat that you can feel good about. Try an Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie or Hot Chocolate as your mid-day bite.
- Dance: Turn up your favorite guilty pleasure and let loose. If you have never tried this I strongly suggest it; I genuinely do this a few times a week, mid-day, and I’ve never regretted it. It can be a great way to get your blood flowing, release endorphins to boost your mood and to just have a good time. If you are feeling adventurous sign up for a class with some friends. Many studios have dance classes of all genres for adult beginners—including Zumba.
- Pamper: There is something about getting my hair washed and blown out that make me feel like a million bucks. Taking 30 minutes out of your day to spend at a blow dry bar can boost your confidence and allow you to take care of you. If that’s not quite your thing maybe getting your brows threaded, a massage, or nails done. Give your self-permission to be pampered; you won’t regret it.
- Learn: Taking care of yourself also includes giving yourself permission to learn something new regardless of your phase in life. If you’ve been interested in photography, cake decorating, basic car mechanics, or whatever sparks your curiosity do it! There are a many online classes available; some are even free offering a variety of topics. Sign up for a class that keeps you accountable for actually completing the course and interacting with other people.
Even though most of your time and energy is spent focusing on others, making time for yourself is a vital part of being a caregiver. Your family is taking notes from you; leading by example in making yourself a priority teaches confidence, self-respect and boundary setting that enriches our quality of life. Don’t be afraid to make yourself a priority!
Comment below and share your favorite way of showing self-care or comment on what you plan to do for yourself this week.