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The busyness of everyday life can easily eclipse all our aspirations to set aside sacred me-time. If the enthusiasm with which you made your resolutions, and set your intentions, seems like a very distant memory – now that we’re one month into the year – you’re not alone! After all, once you’ve attempted to balance work demands, family time, domestic chores, life admin and a social life … there’s hardly much time left for just you.
Isn’t it fascinating how, for so many of us, me-time comes at the end of our list?
… And is often the first thing to go, when we’re pushed for time?
Yet you know the deliciousness of self-care! You might have glimpsed it for a few minutes, a couple of hours or even a number of days. Those precious moments when you don’t have to think about anybody else but you. Time to remind yourself of who you truly are – your needs, your aspirations, your desires. That opportunity to fall in love with yourself and treat yourself with the kindness and respect befitting of your loved ones.
That’s the power of self-care. It fuels us to perform with greater energy and focus. It empowers us to be more resilient and prepares us to deal with challenges that may come our way. It inspires us to be kinder to others and the world around us. The benefits are as diverse as we are.
The power of ritual
So how can we consistently carve out that space for ourselves? How do we make me-time a habit – that is, something that is so ingrained in us, that it becomes difficult to avoid or give up?
By beginning to create rituals and practicing them as often as we can, until they take hold and transform our lives!
Not having enough time is often the biggest barrier and so, we’re removing it!
We’ve come up with ideas for you to practice self-care, no matter how busy you are!
If you have a set amount of time each day or each week, you could choose an activity or two that you will commit to enjoying. However, if your available time constantly varies, you might decide to do one self-care ritual each week and mix it up, depending on how much time you can devote to the most important being in the world – you!
If you have 5 minutes…
- Write down 5 things that you’re grateful for. Treat yourself to a beautiful journal to house these words, so that your heart feels a jolt of delight, each time you pick up and open it.
- Drink a cup of warm lemon water. There are so many benefits to this simple tonic.
- Dance. Preferably naked and in front of a mirror. Pick a sexy song and just move! Don’t think about what you’re doing, just go with your instincts and don’t take yourself too seriously (you might even laugh at yourself!). Over time, you’ll be amazed at how you’ll start to move with greater confidence… in public too! Need some music inspiration? Check out our Femme! playlist on Spotify.
- Read something inspiring. Have your favorite book within easy reach, bookmark inspiring websites or, take advantage of apps such as Inspirational and Motivational Quotes (for iPhones and iPads) and Brilliant Quotes & Quotations (for Android). You might even create your own personal book of motivational quotes – get a small blank notebook and keep filling it with words you come across, that resonate with you! Then, refer back regularly.
If you have 15 minutes …
- Meditate. Daunted by the idea? Here are some simple steps to help you begin.
- Play dress-up – be your own personal stylist and get creative with your existing wardrobe. Put together a stylish ensemble that will make you feel amazing!
- Prepare yourself a homemade smoothie or fresh juice. Then pick your favorite spot in the house, sit comfortably and savour every sip.
If you have half an hour …
- Journal. We’re big fans of the morning pages concept, as described in the classic book by Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way.
- Read. And make sure it’s not something work-related!
- Treat your body! Take a luxurious bath and bring out the special scrubs, cleansers, oils and let’s not forget – candles.
- Take a nap. We often underestimate the vital role played by adequate rest, when it comes to our health and wellbeing.
If you have one hour …
- Catch up with a friend. You could do this over tea and cake or a glass of wine. If you’re worried about time, or your friend lives far away, arrange a Skype or Google Hangout date … or even an old-school telephone call. Cake and wine can still apply!
- Move your body! But make sure to pick a physical activity that you enjoy. Whether it’s: walking around your neighborhood or a quick hike in the woods nearby; taking a swim; practicing some yoga (there are several online classes which you take advantage of, many of which are free. Check out oneOEight); or you know we’re partial to DANCING! (make a note of classes in your area that take your fancy or keep your favorite DVD or dance video game handy).
- Cook from scratch. Perhaps a nutritious meal or perhaps an indulgent treat! As long as you’re doing it from a place of love – anything goes!
If you have half a day …
- Take yourself on a date. Maybe there’s a part of town you’ve been meaning to explore, or a national park that you’ve been planning to get lost in. Perhaps you enjoy long drives? Is there a movie you’ve been wanting to see? Why not grab a snack before or afterwards and make a (half) day of it?!
- Get crafty. Is there a DIY project you’ve been wanting to try? Or perhaps you want to reconnect with that inner artist you remember from your childhood. Set your mind up to experiment without self-judgement, get your hands dirty and enjoy every moment!
- Stay in bed! Sleep. Read. Listen to music. Watch TV. Make love.
If you have a whole day ...
- Do whatever you want and … this is very important… without the guilt! You know, all those things you like that you rarely admit to others or, at a push, disclose but quickly label as “guilty pleasures”. Go for it!
Get some more ideas from Marthe at The Freedom Experiment.
While one month has flown by, we still have plenty of time in which to accomplish our wildest dreams and return to our truest selves.
All you have to do is to begin.
What self-care rituals do you swear by and how do you plan to practice self-care for the rest of the year?
Let us know in the comments below.
[Photo by Sheena LaShay]