In my last blog post, I talked about how self care is MANDATORY. Burnout quickly takes over when we are serving from an empty cup. It can be hard to find time for self care, but it’s harder to find time to climb out of a burnout period that could last from a few days to a few months.
Consistent rest and self care is key. The people in your life deserve the best version of you and the whole martyr angle is over-played and not helpful for anyone. You are not a victim of anything-you can take ownership of your life.
So, without further ado, here are six ways I prioritize filing my own cup:
1. Get your mind right.
This is pretty general – I just mean to start a new mantra – ”self care isn’t selfish, it is mandatory.” Say it over and over again until you believe it.
Write it on a post-it note and tape it to your mirror. Read my earlier blog post when that guilt starts to creep in. Remind yourself you’re the product of a society that tells us our worth is based in our productivity and ability to put ourselves last.
Then remind yourself that isn’t true. Changing your mindset is key for the rest of this to work.
2. Start small.
I’d recommend carving out three hours a week for yourself if you’re starting from ground zero. That could equate to 3 fitness classes, 2 long walks with a friend, 1 long afternoon reading at a coffee shop.
There are 168 hours in a week. Surely you can find 3 of those to recharge your batteries. Already hitting three hours? Perfect, let’s go for 5.
Or, let’s choose a daily goal or habit we will reach for. Sacrifice in the name of goal-seeking can be healthy and incredibly rewarding for the human mind.
3. Take inventory.
Let’s revisit how many hours there are in a week (168 if you haven’t been keeping up 🙂 Now, turn that into a pie chart.
Write down how many hours you spend sleeping. Now add in hours working and hours doing “chores.” Figure out how much time out of the 168 hours you’re giving to other people (this includes your boss).
Is that how much time you want to put into the world without serving yourself first? If it seems impossible to find ANY time for yourself, re-read numbers 1 and 2.
4. Say no.
Do you know how hard this can be?! I do!
Instagram makes me never want to miss a social event for fear it will be the most epic night of my life. But that isn’t true. You know it isn’t.
Before you say “yes” to something, consider asking yourself if it will put you where you want to be in five years? Maybe, maybe not. Then consider if it will benefit you in the short term (ie-will it be fun? Will you deepen relationships with people you care about? Will you be happy you did it?)
If you cannot answer “yes” to any of these questions, the obligation in question may not serve you. And when something doesn’t serve you it drains your soul. Don’t let your soul get tired-learn to say no!
5. Make a grateful list.
One of my best friends told me she texts three things she’s grateful for to one of her friends and they exchange their lists daily. What a habit!
Many psychologists agree that focusing on what we have, instead of what our neighbors have or what we don’t, is a game changer for the mind.
You want to know the biggest way to take care of yourself? Actively curate a positive mindset. And I used the word “actively” on purpose, because especially at first you’re really going to have to try.
However, the alternative is much scarier. It’s hard to live a positive life with a dark cloud over your head. Don’t let that be you. Check in with yourself constantly.
Remember what you have. Do not let the darkness suck you in.
6. Ignore the shade.
You know what makes unhappy people uncomfortable? Seeing other people brave enough to take care of themselves and seek happiness.
People in your life may see you moving forward and putting yourself first and some of them may not like it. They may call you “selfish” because they don’t have the courage to do it. They may try to drag you down because their misery is searching for company.
Ask yourself why they might be unsupportive of you. Are their intentions pure? Or are they masked in ego and self-doubt?
YOU are the boss of your own life, my friend. YOU deserve to be taken care of. YOU know better – that you can’t fill from an empty cup.
So, my friends, there you have it. My favorite and most accessible ways to practice self-care. All of these have been tried and tested by yours truly and have all been successful thus far.
Not all of them may be for you, and someone in your life may have ideas better suited for you, but these at least can lay the groundwork.
I hope you found these suggestions helpful and would LOVE to know how you prioritize self-care in your daily life. Comment below!
Remember-your oxygen mask must go on first!