Yesterday I shared an interview with Jeanne Loehnis about self-care (and if you’re in the camp of wanting to punch the words “self-care” in the face, if the words had a face, I feel you and think you might especially like it).
Today I wanted to look at actually making self-care happen. How do you actually make the time for regular self-care, however that looks for you (and there is no one-size-fits all way to do it)? There can be plenty that needs to be done in a day, most definitely — how in the world are you going to squeeze in another few minutes of something? Seriously, WTF is this suggestion?
Yeah, I get WTF land — frequent visitor myself. Here’s a thought to chew on: Take out the potential questions, hangups, and obstacles, and make it easy. Like really, really easy. So easy you could do it in your sleep, easy.
Say self-care to you is getting exercise. If you’re starting from scratch, this could look like doing 10 jumping jacks first thing in the morning after you pee. No need to change what you’re wearing, put on shoes, pay for a gym membership, or leave the house. You do it, right then and there. Do that for 10 days in a row and guess what? You’ve exercised every day for 10 days in a row. You are someone with an exercise routine.
Skip giving a rat’s ass if it looks different than someone else’s routine. She/he is not you. You’re doing what works for you. For the next 10 days, add 10 crunches to the 10 jumping jacks. You’re now someone who is actively upgrading his or her exercise routine. Add in a few things periodically and you’ll be somewhere else before you know it.
If you think you want to get to a gym or some sort of class to really get a workout? Cool, add in days when it feels doable. On the days getting your butt out of bed is all you can handle, do your jumping jacks at home or find a workout video you can tolerate. Do something where you are. It all counts.
If you find yourself clinging to the thought that you should be at the gym but yet can’t get yourself actually there, maybe take a minute and breathe into that space. What’s there? If you’re like me, maybe there’s some buried fear so you’re setting a starting goal so out of the ballpark you’ll have an easy excuse for why it didn’t happen when it doesn’t happen — this route is not going to result in anything changing, and letting yourself off the hook like this is really painful in the long run. I’ve gone this route ~1.27 million times to check. I’m confident it doesn’t end anywhere useful.
Make it easy. It doesn’t have to be a soul-crushingly hard endeavor to be effective. Start with easy.
As a little bonus, I’ve made a quick video on one aspect I’ve done to help make it easy for me to get in self-care. Hint: it’s about the time of day I do it.
Self-care is not selfish. If we want to get on the topic of being selfish, let’s talk about NOT doing self-care. When making time for a little something doesn’t happen, I find myself in the lovely zone of irritability, resentment, short tempers, and dwindling patience. This typically leads to snapping or yelling at my family for really stupid stuff. This isn’t conducive to anything positive (a shocker — yelling at my kids to put away their toys hasn’t proved to be an effective long term solution to making it happen). So I’m thinking getting myself into this zone ends up being more selfish.
Do the self-care. Everyone will thank you for it in the long run.
I’d love to hear your thoughts: what’s your “make it easy” method for self-care? Let me know by leaving a comment below! Yours may be the idea someone else has been looking for.