How To Enhance Your Self-Care Regiment & Boost Your Energy (Part 3 of 3)
Welcome to the third and final blog post in this series! Now that we have talked about how to enhance your assertiveness (click here to read the first blog post in the series), and weed out some negatives in your life (click here to read the second blog post in the series), let's talk about your self-care regiment and how to create more time for yourself in your life.
Self-care has been a huge topic lately. It is because most of us are running ourselves into the ground, juggling a million things at once, stressing over everything, and mimicking machines in our daily lives. The cycle is endless unless you cut out some of the bullshit. Have you ever experienced a time when you had a few days off or go on vacation and then immediately became sick? Our bodies know when they need time to heal, to replenish, so when it becomes aware that you have time to actually relax... it'll make sure you do. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid this!
Self-Care Journal Exercise
I want to start you off by doing a little journaling exercise to find out more on how you FEEL about self-care. This will tell you a lot of information and notice how you are feeling while you fill out these out. Notice if you feel happy, uncomfortable, confused, confident or resistant.
Free write on the following:
What does self-care mean to me? Really explain on paper what it looks and feels like.
Thinking about self- love makes me feel…
What are some reasons I don't take care of myself as well as I could (I'm sure 'time' is a big one here)?
What activities do I HAVE to do that I don't enjoy and take up a lot of time?
What activities do I love to do? These can be ones that help you unwind, relax, or anything that you highly enjoy.
Some ways I could care, love, and value myself more are…
After you have your answers, notice how you felt. Did you have a big realization that thinking about yourself potentially makes you uncomfortable? Shouldn't you be super woman all the time? Everyone else is doing it, so why can't you? The thing is, if you can't show up for yourself and give yourself some adequate rest, then you won't be able to show up fully to things that you want to be fully present for. These things can appear as your job, having the energy to be playful with your family, spending time with those you love, or even being able to truly watch your favorite show without having your brain going a million miles.
You must slow down. I think our society cherishes the person who can 'do it all' too much. It's really a load of crap, and I'm sure you know so too. Yes, I want you to be crazy good at your job, I want you to be able to go full throttle playing with your kids, and I'd love for you to not rush around and forget things after you've already left your house. Wouldn't that be great? The answer to this is enhancing your self-care. Now I certainly don't have it all together myself, sometimes I run around like a zombie, but it's okay. The most important part is to STRIVE for greatness by slowly developing self-care habits.
Cutting Out The BS
Over the past two blog posts, I talked a lot about how to speak your truth and weeding out negative people, so I hope some of your time and energy has already been freed up. But now, I want you to look back at question #4 from the journaling exercise above. What did you write down? I'm sure its something on the lines of grocery shopping, cooking, errands, cleaning your home, yard work, driving your children around to places, perhaps you might have even listed your job.
I want you to start brainstorming and write down how you can solve these problems. There are so many things I can tell you, and if you need help, use the comments below and I will try my best to help you out. But how can you make the things you listed easier for yourself? Don't let thoughts of expenses get in the way here, really write down all the ways you can think of to get rid of the things you dislike doing. I will give you some ideas to help you out too.
If grocery shopping came up for you...
Could you hire a service to deliver groceries to your house? Some markets are offering this service now, and I am sure the extra cost will make you feel a whole lot better than doing it yourself.
Could you change your shopping day or time? Markets on the weekend are always chaotic, if you went during the day, or at night during the week, there are a lot less people and lines.
Could you make it more fun? Perhaps you and one of your friends, or significant other could go together. At least you would be spending time with people you like and it will make it seem more special.
If cooking came up for you...
There is nothing worse than getting home late and then having to cook. Not only is this unhealthy, but it also creates a stressful scenario which sucks.
Could you get a crock pot? These seem to be a huge time-saver for a lot of busy people, you prepare the meal on the night before, or the morning of, set the timer, and then by the time you get home from work... boom! A fully cooked meal is ready for you.
Could you purchase an air-fryer? Apparently, this is the Speedy Gonzales of cooking appliances. With most of them, you can roast veggies in less than 20 mins. Not only are these time-savers but they also take A LOT less oil than if you roasted veggies in a conventional oven. Less calories and more time? I'm in!
Do you have a lot of food you don't end up using at the end of the week? Maybe for you and your family, it might be worth it to pick up dinner a few days a night and not buy as many groceries to keep in your refrigerator.
If making breakfast is too hard, there are so many things you can prep on your day's off and grab-and-go during the work-week. Look into this more, you will hundreds of resources on the internet. Overnight oats, protein balls, quiches... the possibilities are endless.
Another idea (if you are living with teenagers or other adults) would be to switch off cooking days. If your spouse could cook on Mondays, and your 15 year old can cook on Tuesdays and Fridays, then that takes a lot of pressure off of you. This can also add in some fun, teaching your kids to cook is a great life-skill and you can spend quality time together while you help them learn.
If cleaning came up for you...
Could you hire someone to come and clean weekly, or bi-weekly? The expense could be worth it if it is saving you time from cleaning time-consuming things such as bathrooms, floors, normal dusting regiments or even laundry. Think about how much time it would free up for you.
Could you delegate chores to people in your home? Maybe your children could take care of the dishes or you could teach them how to do their own laundry. Remember, anything that involves children is only going to help them out in the long run because they need to learn to take care of themselves, just like you are :)
Perhaps your spouse could help fold laundry, or you could grab a glass of wine, put on reruns of 'Gilmore Girls' and fold the laundry while you watch. That way you're creating a more enjoyable environment for yourself while you do a task you don't particularly like.
If yard work came up for you...
Could you hire someone to take care of this? Shoveling, plowing, leaf removal, lawn care, it is all offered by so many great companies!
Could you get help from people you live with? Again, asking your spouse or children to help is spectacular! Make it fun, all of you can go out, take care of the yard, order some food and watch a movie together. Perhaps you could even play some 80's hits on Pandora while you do it. Make it something fun even if you are doing it yourself.
If errands came up for you...
Could you have an errand day with a friend? Me and my friends do this often, you get to hang out with your buddy while you drive around doing errands for you and them together. Not only is this fun, but it helps the both of you out tremendously.
Could you hire a part-time nanny or assistant? Not only can they help drive your children places (please ask about their driving records and always do a CORI check), but they can also do errands for you.
Try your best to think of solutions, and then actually follow through with it. Free yourself up, because when you have more time you can use it to rest and have more 'me time'. When you are rejuvenated, and well-rested, life gets a bit easier. It is all worth it, because at the end of the day you don't have superpowers and doing-it-all is just exhausting.
Creating Space For Doing What You Enjoy
Take a look back at your answers for the self-care exercises #5 and #6. These are called your 'energizers', things that make you happy and make you feel alive. Now that you have some ideas on how you can free up time, I want to create a space for more energizers in your life. You can start off small, blocking off time for 30 mins or a full hour, but I want you to at least schedule some time in your calendar now for doing the things you love. Here are some great ideas to make you feel energized.
Get a mani/pedi once a month
Go on a date with your significant other at least bi-weekly
Schedule a girl hang out once a month
Get a massage monthly
Schedule an hour a week to read a book you've been meaning to read
Take a bubble bath with some ambient music
Go for a walk in a scenic area, and just take in the beauty of nature
Go to the movies with friends
Schedule in an hour of yoga a week
Indulge in something delicious and not feel guilty!
Arrange a family hang out where everyone can socialize and have fun!
Schedule a mini-vacation just to get away
Go to bed earlier, get adequate rest
Put a movie on for your kids and take a damn break!
These are just some ideas, but create space for whatever it is you want and just do it! If it's in your calendar as an appointment, treat it as if it's your job. Take it seriously because if you aren't feeling amazing, then you won't be able to give 100% at any task whether it is your work, being a parent or being a good spouse.
Weeding Out Resistance
Look at what you wrote down for your self-care answers for questions #1-3. What did you write down? Were you feeling uncomfortable when you wrote down your answers? There is a reason for this and there is probably some guilt lingering deep within you. Try to get down to the bottom of this with asking yourself a series of questions like the example below.
Q)Why do you feel uncomfortable about self-care?
A) It makes me feel uncomfortable because I already don't have time and I can't find a way to take care of myself when I am taking care of so many other things.
Q) Why do you spend so much time taking care of so many other things?
A) Because I just have to.
Q) Why do you feel like you have to?
A) Because if I don't, no one else will.
Q) What would happen if it didn't get done?
A) Everything would fall apart and would be a mess.
Q) And what would happen then?
A) People would think I am sloppy and judge me (bingo!)
Fear of being judged could totally come up for you. Whatever you wrote down, write all your fears either on sticky notes or on separate pieces of paper. They might look something like this:
I am afraid that my mother won't think I'm a good parent
I am afraid that my mother-in-law won't like me and will make me feel uncomfortable
I am afraid that me not doing the lawn-care will make my neighbors hate me
I am afraid that my life will fall apart
I am afraid of the financial expense of paying for help
I am afraid of asking for help because everyone has so much going on
After you write down your list, SAFELY burn them over a sink or in a fire place, or flush them down the toilet. Release your fears out into the universe, let them go. Ask for them to be taken care of for you and be released from your body. Believe that your fears are being drawn out from you, and if they come up again, do the same process over again.
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I hope this series has served you.
All my love,
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