Last week we talked about the importance of self-care and how much it can improve our daily lives, both personally and professionally. So, you're ready to start adding a little self-care into your day. Now what? In order to reap the full benefits and truly make self-care a habit, you've got to figure out a way to incorporate it into your daily life. Below, you'll find my top tips for adding a little bit of love into your routine.
1. Find an activity that you love
This is the first hurdle. Taking time out of your day to do something you love; like reading a book, knitting, or painting, can help reduce stress levels. Find something you truly enjoy and never seem to have time for - and start small. Trying to take on too much, or forcing yourself to do an activity you're not totally in love with will feel like a chore - the exact opposite of what we're going for here. Exercise is another excellent option because it can reduce stress levels, use up excess energy, and has a multitude of wonderful physical side effects. But while it’s great for your physical and mental health, if you don't enjoy it, you may find that it adds stress to your day. Again - this is not what we're looking for. The key here is to find your one activity that you truly love, and take a few moments each day to enjoy it.
2. Make time for it
Block some time out of your day for you. You wouldn’t cancel an appointment with an important client, so don’t cancel an appointment with yourself! If a client calls and needs to see you during your self-care time, tell them you are busy, because you are… you are busy taking care of yourself. Make this a sacred part of your schedule, and you will soon start to see the benefits.
3. Switch Off
This is probably the hardest to do but remember, our whole generation (yes, I’m dating myself!) survived without cell phones and so can you for an hour! Turn off your phone, computer and make time to connect with yourself. By removing all other distractions, you'll be able to fully immerse yourself in your activity, thus increasing its positive effects.
4. Say "Goodbye" to Guilt
Self-care is not selfish, it is essential to live a happy, fulfilled life. The happier you are, the happier those around you will be. So do your best to get rid of those nagging feelings of guilt. If you let them come along, you will sabotage the time you are giving yourself with those negative thoughts. This totally defeats the purpose. If you find you are truly struggling with this, maybe spend some time journaling or talking it over with a friend or loved one. This might help you get to the root of why you're feeling guilty, and work to ease those feelings so you can truly enjoy this time for yourself.
Give these a try! I'd love to know how these techniques work for you. Tag #ibltribe on Facebook or Instagram with photos of your self-care routine - and we'll feature some on our feed!