Let’s face it, busy women and moms often put themselves last in the process and even when we get (or make) time for ourselves we don’t use it for us. There’s always something to be done around the house, with work or family, but it’s so important to put you in the center of your circle.
In this post, we’ll walk through three ways to help you remember to take care of yourself and get in focused self-care:
- Part 1: Planning for self-care
- Part 2: Reminders
- Part 3: Taking the time for self-care
The goal of this exercise is to find 10-20 minutes a day for you. YES! You read that correctly, a gloriously uninterrupted total of 20 minutes a day JUST for you.
I know, it’s hard to imagine that in the crazy busy schedule you currently have, that you’ll be able to find 10-20 minutes, but let’s walk through this process and make it happen!
How do I decide what kind of self-care is right for me?
A great question and I love that the answer is not a one-size fits all approach (as we are not all the same).
Self-care is so unique to all individuals. Yes, there are certainly some threads that run across some people, and then there are unique activities that only resonate with some folks.
When I first started seeing one of mentors, this was one of the first questions she asked me was, “What do I enjoy as self-care?”
To be honest, I couldn’t answer this question. I was completely stumped. It had been so long, and something I’d shoved off my plate that I didn’t know what I wanted or even liked to do. What I did was to spend all of my time on taking care of the family, house, working etc.
If you’re like me, and perhaps stumped for some answers, maybe some of these will resonate with you:
✓ Reading (when was the last time you read a whole chapter without being interrupted)
✓ Yoga / Gym / Walking
✓ Listening to music
✓ Going out for a coffee
✓ Girl night out / friends night out
All right let’s dive into the 3 parts.
Part 1: Planning for self-care
We’re going to start off with designing a simple plan to take care of yourself. At this point, I’m not talking about re-doing your entire schedule. Because, frankly for most busy mom’s, that’s just overwhelming as a starting point.
However, if you’re ready for a full do-over, let’s make it happen! Start by downloading my 10 simple steps to streamline your daily life to get started!
The question then remains, how do I find these 10-20 minutes of day, just for me? The long-term goal will be to get more than 10-20 minutes a day, but we’re going to start with small steps.
The time is going to be found from the first and last 5-10 minutes of the day.
In the morning
- Likely, your house wakes up at (roughly) the same time each day. Not every day will be the same but see if you can find the pattern.
- Now that you’ve ballparked the time, set your alarm for 10 minutes before that. Remember, these ten minutes is just for you and you can spend it ANY way that you want.
- Try and get out of bed to start your day and have some mindfulness time, savouring the quiet in the house and enjoying the space just for you.
In the evening
- It’s a bit of a reverse in the evening. Once the house has stilled, this is where you can start taking in the last 5-10 moments of the day.
- Some ideas:
- enjoying an herbal tea,
- sneaking in some time to read or
- breathing and just coming down from the day.
- I’m not about telling you what you should be doing in your time, what you’ll do is what resonates with you the most. The goal is to spend that time on you for what gives you some downtime, and if you can, doing things that make your heart sing!
Part 2: Reminding yourself for self-care
Often, we’re all connected to our phones and tech these days. Given this, let’s utilize the tools and tech at our disposal to enhance our lives and make things easier. Don’t worry if you don’t have a smart phone or gadget with you, I’m going to give you a few high techs and low-tech options.
For the morning routine:
Depending on what you have in your bedroom, here are some ideas to carve out the time in the morning. I totally understand the need to operate in stealth mode as to not wake up the others:
- Phone alarm (on vibrate)
- Alarm clock (set it to music rather than the beeping)
- Fitbit, apple watch etc. again set to vibrate
- Electronic calendar with a reminder set (keep the volume low)
Ideally looking a screen first thing in the morning (though I’m guilty of it too some days), really is not ideal for our body and how we are waking up our system. Try and quickly turn off the alarm (and device) before getting distracted with all of the other social media etc.
However, this being said, if this is what helps you get some peace and quiet in the morning, this dedicated time for you, go for it!
For the evening routine:
Sleep is such an important part of our bodily needs, and so often we don’t get enough of it with busy lives and families. Often, the minds are still running of things to do (or that we didn’t do that day).
I encourage you to take these 5-10 minutes at the end of the day and choose an activity that helps wind down the body and mind. Let’s take a look at a few ideas:
- Listening to music
- Yoga nidra
- Having a bath or shower
These may seem like simple steps but adding them into your routine each night not only gives your mind a chance to start winding down from the day but gives you some peace and quiet from a busy household.
Part 3: Taking the time for self-care
This is the actual doing stage. In the last few parts, you’ve planned out your self-care and reminding yourself do it. Now, let’s take some action on it.
Start in baby steps, it’s not a race or a popularity contest. Head back up to step 1 and run through the planning step to start claiming your time for you. The few moments in the morning and a few in the evening are a start to bringing time in the day back for you.
A great goal to set will be to get in more than 20 minutes a day just for you. However, by starting this plan, this is 20 minutes more a day you’ve spent on yourself than yesterday.
I’m guessing by now, you may be wondering, do I need to have self-care everyday?
The short answer is yes! Why you may ask? I challenge you back and ask why not?
Self-care needs to become part of our daily life and ritual. Just as you wash your face and brush your teeth everyday (hopefully a couple of times a day), taking some small amounts of time each day are just as important.
Have you ever had a time, where you were not feeling frazzled? Feeling the calm and perhaps quiet of the day, entranced in a good book or a belly full of laughs with friends? If so, why do we deny ourselves these pleasures throughout the day to bring us joy?
So, the answer my friend, is YES! You do need to have self-care everyday. It’s as important as brushing your teeth! ?
How do I remove the guilt of taking time for self-care?
Honestly, starting out I found this truly difficult. Even some days when I’m wrapped up in work or goings on with the family, I can fall back into the habit of not spending the time on me.
However, the answer to this one is simply compassion and value. Compassion for self and understanding that if you’re not looking after yourself, how can you be looking after others?
You are worth it! There are many women I chat with who don’t give themselves the value and worth to be the amazing woman they are. It takes some practice to get there, but, using these simple three steps will help you get started!
When you’re ready to bring in more time for you and streamline your daily life, download my 10 simple steps to streamline your daily life to get started!
I’d like to leave you with an inspiring few words to get your self-care started. “Take the time to do what makes your soul happy” – Unknown