When my daughter was little, she loved a cartoon with a little girl named Frances. When Frances was upset about things not going her way, she would hide under the dining room table and tell her mother she needed some “me, myself time.” Now, my daughter and I use this same phrase when we need a little time to recuperate or a little bit of pampering time.
How does a person know when it is time for a little self-care or me, myself time? It is important to check-in with ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally to know when we need a little TLC.
Mentally (mind): Do you feel excited about your career and are you motivated to get up in the morning? Or are you needing a change in your life?
Physically (body): Have you been eating and sleeping well? Or are you tired, sluggish, and drained?
Emotionally(soul): How are you feeling? Happy? Excited? Or are you sad, depressed, or feeling discouraged?
Sometimes we are doing alright in all these areas, but we just haven’t done anything fun in a while. We do not need an excuse or a reason to have a little me, myself time and it is important to take care of us first so we can be our best for those around us.
One way to keep being our best selves is to regularly do the things that keep us in this healthy state. Make a list of what keeps you at your best. Here are a few ideas:
- Keep your mind stimulated by learning new things. Sign up for a class on a topic that interests you. There are so many online options that you do not even have to leave your home.
- Set a goal to read a specific number of books each year or month. Choose a variety of fiction and nonfiction.
- Watching television isn’t always bad for you. There are so many documentaries and educational shows as well as entertaining ones.
- Challenge yourself with a new skill or creative outlet.
- Eating well helps us to feel well. Choose healthy food options over sugar and processed foods. Maybe sign up for a cooking class.
- Join a gym or just start walking. Thirty minutes a day of physical activity will also help us mentally.
- Get some vitamin D while enjoying the sun. Just fifteen minutes a day without sunscreen will give us the benefits of natural vitamin D.
- Take a nap. It is important to get enough sleep and rest to be at our best.
- Meditating is a great way to clear our minds from all the clutter. With our heads clear, we have the room to think better and be present.
- Friendships are good for the soul. Regularly nourish the relationships in your life. They are what make life worth living.
- Journal for a few minutes in the morning and evening. You will discover new things about yourself.
- Enjoy some quiet each day. Take a bubble bath or sit with a cup of tea. Listen to the sounds around you.
In order to live a balanced and stable life, we must take care of ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally. We are each responsible for our own well-being. Check in with yourself regularly, ask yourself how you are doing, and know that you are worth having a little “me, myself time.”
Featured photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash.
When I wake up in the morning after a really good night’s sleep, I know my day will be great! I feel fully rested and the thought of a cup of coffee seems more optional rather than necessary. I feel like I can accomplish anything.
How can we wake up this way every morning? I have tried different approaches towards getting deep sleep without needing a prescription of course.
My secret, or what works for me, is taking the time each night to wind down. It is simple really. And even though I know what works for me, I am sometimes so tired that I just want to climb in bed, or I decide to watch a movie while falling asleep. Then, halfway into the night I am tossing and turning, regretting that I didn’t follow my nighttime ritual.
When my kids were small it was easy to follow a bedtime routine. After dinner, my kids would play until a certain time. Then it was time to pick up their toys and get ready for the next day. After that they had their baths, put pj’s on, and brushed their teeth. We would pick up their rooms and choose some books to read together. Every night it was the same, so every night they knew what to expect. When it was time to turn out the light, they were ready to sleep.
This routine worked well for our family for many years and it got me thinking. Why not do the same thing for me? We have our morning routines to help us get ready for our day but few of us create a nighttime routine to help us get ready for sleep. After a busy day it is sometimes hard to shut our thoughts off, but by creating this sort of nighttime routine, we can help our minds prepare for sleep. There are three parts to my evening wind down ritual that are very similar to the routine I did with my kids.
The first part is what I call – Next Day Prep. Think about what is on your mind at night. Most people are thinking about the next day demands such as meals, what to wear, what appointments are scheduled. For this reason, I like to do “next day prep” as the first part of my nighttime routine.
- Meal prep for breakfast, lunch, dinner for tomorrow. Chop and prepare as much as you can for tomorrow’s meals. Thirty minutes of effort tonight will greatly reduce the stress of food prep the next day. You can prepare lunches and take food out of the freezer.
- Layout your clothes. Choose your outfits at night so getting ready in the morning is easy. If you go to the gym in the morning, set your workout clothes out or maybe you need to pack a gym bag. I like to put my clothes in the bathroom so I can get in the shower and everything is there for me to get dressed.
- Write down tomorrow’s to-do list. Having your day planned out in advance will save you so much time in the morning. You will already be prepared to hit the day running.
The second part is Get Ready for Bed. These are the things you know you will do with or without any sort of routine like brushing your teeth, washing your face, and putting on pj’s. Relaxing in a warm, bubble bath may sometimes be part of this time.
The third part is Quiet Time. Allow yourself at least thirty minutes of quiet before going to sleep. This means no cell phone, or ipad, or tv. It does take some restraint to unplug before hitting the pillow, but you will notice a big difference in your sleep. During your quiet time, you can choose what you like to do to wind down. Some nights I journal. Other nights I might do ten minutes of yoga stretching and then meditate. Some nights I read. When I am ready to turn out the light, I play a meditative app which lulls me to sleep.
You owe it to yourself to enjoy a deep sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. It is simple, just three parts to a winding down nighttime routine — next day prep, get ready for bed, and quiet time. Get ready for a really deep sleep!
Featured photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash.
I recently came across an article (can’t remember where or I would post it), that pointed out how lucky humans are right now in this century because we can look beyond only our physical needs. We wake up in the morning and actually think about how we are feeling or what we want to do to be happy. While years ago and not that long ago, people could only concern themselves with the basics like food, clothing, and shelter.
We are living in a time that we actually know that those basic needs can be met rather easily. We have the time and resources to participate in hobbies, going out with friends, and taking vacations. We are lucky for sure!
Physical needs are simple to diagnose. If you are sick, take medicine. If you cut your finger, put on a bandaid. Emotional needs are a little different and some of us, neglect those needs altogether.
Nurture means the care and attention given to someone or something that is growing or developing, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary. It may be easy to care for a friend when they need extra attention, but what about ourselves?
When our emotions are a little gloomy, we need to be sure to give ourselves the same kind of care that we would if we had a physical injury. No one teaches us how to do this, but emotional well-being is just as important as physical well-being.
I love lists, so of course, make a list of things that you can do for yourself that make you feel better. Keep this list in your nightstand or someplace private. My list includes things like, watch a movie, take a bubble bath, (watch a movie while taking a bubble bath), have a special dinner, invite a friend over, go for a walk, etc. Make sure the things you put on your list are good for you. Eating a chocolate cake might feel good while it is going down, but not so much later on.
The next time you are just feeling down, pick something on your list and do it. Forget the dishes or whatever else, and take care of you!!
Featured photo by Luca Zanon on Unsplash.
Take a moment to look at your surroundings. How does your environment make you feel?
Do you feel calm, inspired, motivated? Or do you feel stressed, anxious, and depressed?
I discovered early on in life that I needed a calming environment in order to be productive and motivated. To create this, I learned how to be organized. Clutter gives me stress so I am as minimalist as possible. I also feel connected to nature so I add plants, wood, and natural fibers where I can. In other words, I created an environment that makes me feel good and inspires me.
Merriam-Webster defines ambiance as “a feeling or mood associated with a particular place, person, or thing : atmosphere.”
Ask yourself what kind of atmosphere is the most soothing for you?
A calm atmosphere might include an ocean theme, or forest/nature, or flowers. Maybe you are a person that is inspired by bright colors so a rainbow theme with pops of color is best. Maybe you like a cool retreat with stone, glass, and marble. Your style is whatever gives you the feeling or sets a mood that makes you comfortable and inspired.
Create an environment, or ambiance, that embraces your style. Incorporate items, both decorative and functional, that will set a mood for your living space. You will enjoy your home so much more and feel energized and comfortable every single day.
Featured photo by Annie Theby on Unsplash.
Self-care simply by definition is the care for oneself. It can be used to justify a spa day, a personal day from work, or just a me day. Taking care of ourselves is not only necessary, it is also essential to happy living.
Self-care usually refers to when we feel emotionally or mentally down. Some people neglect this type of care, but it is just as important as when we are ill. If we feel physically sick, we stay in bed and rest or take medicine. And when we are emotionally unwell, we also need care.
During a period of sadness, it is hard to think about what to do to feel better. One idea is to make a list of things that help. The next time you are feeling low, check your list and pick something to do for yourself. Some ideas might include: taking a bubble bath, going on a walk, reading a book, or calling a friend.
Having a list is helpful, however, it is more important to actually act upon how you will care for yourself. Self-care is also having the discipline to do what you need to do to make yourself feel better. So the next time you are feeling physically, mentally, or emotionally down, be sure to take care of you!
Featured photo by Arnold Leung on Unsplash.