I’m kinda getting the hang of this self-care thing, and I think I like it!
If you read my most recent post about my struggles with self-care, you’ll understand why this is such a shock to me. Self-care was starting to feel like calculus to me: I figured I just didn’t have the aptitude for it and I would just stick to counting money, or in this case sitting in my car in the Target parking lot scrolling through Instagram and Facebook and calling it self-care.
**By the way, that is also totally self-care if that’s what your self needs at the moment.**
Now, however, I’ve realized that self-care can be as easy and small or big and intricate as I need or want it to be. Sipping wine in the tub or going to Virginia Beach with my girls for an extended weekend – both are self-care. The key, however, is putting the realization to work because – let’s be honest – it can still be hard to put everything else aside and take time for you, even if it’s only an hour a day. As women and moms, we know that that hour we take for ourselves to sit and meditate or drink coffee or sip wine in the tub is an hour that we could be doing laundry or checking homework or making lunches or reading bedtime stories. We begin to feel guilty about taking time away from other important things so that we can do something seemingly less important for ourselves, and no one wants to feel guilty for doing something as important as self-care, and it is important.
The phrase we visited on Monday, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” isn’t just a cute little anecdotal reminder, it’s fact. If you’ve ever been on an airplane the safety briefing instructs that in the case of an emergency you are to apply your oxygen mask first then assist your family members because you can be of no assistance to those who need you if you’re passed out. With self-care, the same rules apply: if you are so empty and worn down inside, who can you help? If your body wears down under the stress of not taking care of it, who will take care of the kids and the spouse and the chores that you’re taking care of instead of taking care of yourself? Whoever or whatever that is, let them/it take care of those things for an hour while you take care of you. If the answer is no one or nothing, that’s fine too. It will be there when your hour is up and you’ll be that much more refreshed and energized to handle it and everything else too.
So, how did I finally put this into motion??? I made a vision calendar. If you’ve checked out Write the Vision Tribe, you’ll know that I wasn’t initially a fan of vision boards, but when used properly they can make a world of difference.
A “properly created/used” vision board is one that works FOR you, not against you. It motivates you and empowers you and drives you to want to keep achieving the goals on it. You shouldn’t feel like a slave to your vision board, as if it’s some looming dictator that leaves you feeling like a failure for not accomplishing everything in a year. That is part of why Write the Vision Tribe promotes mini vision boards (shorter time frames for time restricted projects) and vision journals that may span years to full completion.
My self-care vision calendar was a challenge of sorts, and I totally cheated on it! Usually a challenge is supposed to push you outside of your comfort zone to light a fire under you and achieve a feeling of triumph and success at the end. With my self-care, I was already out of my comfort zone and needed a way to ensure that I followed through with this challenge to hopefully form a habit for myself for the long run, not just check “self-care challenge” off my personal bucket list.
I decided that the best way to do that was to start with a list of self-care options – small, medium, and large (more or less) that I knew I would be able and want to do and then add them on the calendar I created in Excel* to keep up with on a daily basis, and let me tell you: it worked like a charm! I’ve started incorporating time for myself everyday even if it’s just getting up an hour or two earlier than my family so I can have some quiet time to myself to have coffee with God and just bask in the beauty of the silent house. That’s MY time to pour into me so that I have enough to pour into others when the time comes, and that time will definitely come.
For my self-care vision calendar, I used the Hay House vision board app for iPhone, and I also have self-care pages in my vision journal. If you know you’re not getting enough self-care and aren’t sure how to get started, join our FREE Make It Happen email challenge that starts on Monday, 14 May 2018. It’s five days of learning how to move intentionally towards completing your goals, and it doesn’t just have to be for self-care. If you are wanting to go back to school or start a business or even get clear on having a healthier relationship, this challenge is designed to help you with all of that as well, AND it comes with a FREE journal!
Challenge yourself to take care of you more. You deserve it!
*So that I could have access to it at all times, I created the calendar in Excel, saved as a PDF, emailed to myself, opened my email on my phone, and took a screenshot.