Taking Care Of Yourself IS Taking Care Of Others

Dedicated to all the moms on Mother’s Day. Thanks for everything you do and everything you don’t do. You’re amazing!

You know how you don’t worry about the people you know who take care of themselves? Think about that. Think about them. For bonus family or friend points, tell them how much you appreciate that they take good care of themselves.

By taking care of themselves they have also taken care of you. They have given you more time and focus for your self-care.

Now think about which self-care steps you have dialed into your regular schedule. If you’ve been feeling underwhelmed by your efforts or dedication to taking care of yourself, take the extra step of writing a list you can easily look to the next time you start being yourself up.

If you already have a list you’re ready for the next paragraphs. If not, make a mental list or write a list now.

Were you giving yourself enough credit? Oh, and add making the list to your list, because this introspection time counts as self-care. Remember your automatic bonus — taking care of yourself also takes care of the people you matter to the most. The people who matter the most to you.

What’s on the list?

Do you have fun and relaxation on it?

If f you do, then I bow to you, because I believe that is one key to a satisfying, happy life.

There are plenty of ways to take care of yourself and for the sake of touching on the basics, here’s a checklist.

Sleeping a minimum of six hours in a row out of every 24, unless you’ve already determined that you are perfectly healthy with fewer consecutive sleep hours. If you have a newborn or are primary caregiver for someone who can’t control when they sleep, then grab your sleep whenever you can and please accept my virtual hug because I have been there.

Eating enough calories to function in a normal day without running out of energy.

Brushing your teeth so that carbohydrate plus bacteria do not equal decay and repeat visits to the dentist. This is a time, energy, and budget saver (a three-in-one win).

Drinking enough water for your body while taking into consideration what your energy needs are.

Cleaning your body, a.k.a. bathing and showering.

Eliminating, meaning using the toilet for passing water and poo. We’re getting real here when we talk about this as a basic function of self-care. As a holistic health consultant for 16 years, I can tell you that not everyone can do both as often as they need to.

Time and space to recharge.

Happiness.

Exercise outdoors, like walking outside or swimming. Or exercise indoors, like yoga and crunches. My personal favorite is sexercise with my love.

Remember, It doesn’t have to be a lot time to add up to a lot of results.

Did you have these basics on your list?

Those lists are for the normal days. Here are a few select keys for the toughest days.

Headphones — if you have a noisy or crowded home with little space or time to yourself, a pair of noise-cancelling headphones can make a big difference. (Pst. I’m wearing a pair right now as I type because loving my family doesn’t mean I have to listen to a disagreement between them.)

If you never get to have your favorite food because you get outvoted, treat yourself to whichever way is the most fun for you to have that meal. Is it going out with your significant other? Is it taking the time and energy to make it yourself because you enjoy cooking? Is it ordering it and having it delivered?

Dip into your vacation/splurge jar. A couple days away is refreshing. Or paying to have the house cleaned. Or getting a massage. If there’s not enough in the jar right now, put a little money in. Really, even a penny.

Go to your happy place, whether it’s in your thoughts or it’s a physical outing.

If you need or want more inspiration, try these *permission slips:

It’s okay for me to take thirty minutes to relax once a day.

It’s okay to ask others to help out so that I can spend time taking care of my basic needs.

If I’m happier, then those around me have the potential to be happier, too.

I give myself permission to set aside time to play.

Taking time for myself when I need it is a way to show love to everyone in my life.

It’s okay to leave small tasks undone when I’ve done all I can do and I need a break.

Talking to my significant other about which basic needs I’m not meeting is easy for me.

Let’s end with an affirmation and a thank you for all that you do to take care of yourself and by doing so, others.

Your inspired friend,

Gina

*Permission slips are a way of giving yourself permission. Speaking the words out loud, repeating them as mantras or affirmations if/when doubts come up, are just a few of the ways you can open up to the energy of allowing.

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Inspirate: A made-up word that means to breathe in inspiration and let it embody you. Let’s live an inspired life together.

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