Hi friends, it has been a hot minute. If you recall, I went on a trip to NYC last week and had the best time, only to be felled with the flu upon my return. (I blame the train ride home.) The last week has been a blur. I slept for pretty much 3 days straight and felt like I was hit by a truck. I haven’t been that sick in years. Long story short, I have been playing catch up ever since and to be honest, it has been overwhelming and a bit frustrating. My body is still recovering and I need lot of rest, while the to-dos are piling up. Anyway, I thought this was the perfect time to share my thoughts on the importance self care. Enjoy!
If you are a busy career woman, or mom, or both, taking care of yourself is of the utmost importance, but often ignored. As women, we often put other’s needs in front of our own , but we must remember to take care of ourselves. Self care can take many forms and I like to call it preventative maintenance. It is kind of like changing the oil in your car to keep it running smoothly and to ensure it doesn’t break down. Self care doesn’t have to be a weekend at a pricey spa ( although I wouldn’t say no to that). Even small things can bring joy and contentment. The most important thing is to remember to do them, so my first piece of advice is to actually set aside time to practice self care.
Put it in your calendar, just like would a dentist appointment or an oil change, and stick to it. (That is another thing – make sure you actually DO schedule your doctor’s appointments and go to them. Get regular check-ups and don’t just go when there is something wrong or you are not feeling well.) I learned this tip from the amazing Emily Ley. I use her Simplified Planner religiously and also read her book – “Grace, not perfection”, which has some amazing tips for simplifying your life and living happily in the moment. It is one of my favorite books ever and a great guide to self care. For example, I schedule a lunch break even when working from home. It gives me 30 minutes a day to actually enjoy my lunch and not eat it while hammering away on my keyboard. I almost always conclude with a cup of tea and a cookie. Another example is that my husband and I have date night once a week. Sometimes we have to get creative, like squeeze in a dinner date while our son is at soccer practice, but we make it work. It is on both of our calendars and it is a priority. It is our chance to catch up with each other and truly have time alone.
I actually hate exercise and to me, it is a form of punishment. I do not find it enjoyable at all. However, I do love a good walk around my neighborhood on a sunny day. I cherish the alone time and breathing room, but my husband and I also take that walk together and it is just as enjoyable. I recently started BBG and will have to start over again, since getting sick. It is $20.00 a month. You can download the app and it guides you through the exercises and also has a food plan. It is a worthwhile investment to me and cheaper than a gym membership.
Schedule a Grocery Delivery
Mondays are my re-set day, where I clean, do laundry, plan meals and get ready for the remainder of the week. I used to find it impossible to complete all of these tasks in one day and immediately felt that I was behind. As a result, I started my week out stressed. Now, I plan my meals on Sundays and also schedule a grocery deliver simultaneously for Monday morning. This has become a huge timesaver and stress reliever for me. No longer do I have to leave the house and interrupt my cleaning schedule, yet I have a full fridge and dinner ready by the time everyone gets home. I use Pea Pod, which I love. I get all of my weekly staples delivered and at least one or two dinners I have planned. This lets me get a head start to my week until I can go grocery shopping and go on my weekly Target run.
This could be anything from exercising or a girl’s night out, to getting your nails done, or going to bed early with a good book. They key is to do something that makes you happy. One of my favorites is taking a hot bath with a glass of wine and a book, or binge watching Netflix on the nights my hubby is out of town and the kids are watching their own shows. I slip into my favorite pajamas, put on a good mask and light my favorite candle. The ritual is part of it for me.
When I do go to the store, I like to buy myself small treats, such as fresh flowers, a good chocolate bar or a fancy linen spray. They are not expensive things, but bring me pleasure every time I look at them or enjoy them. Trader Joe’s has the best flowers and fancy chocolate. I also love using Mrs. Meyers dryer sheets on my sheets and towels. A new lipstick is a small investment and can really boost your confidence.
It is okay to say no to things. It took me only 40 years to figure that one out. If someone asks you to do something and you feel that internal struggle or that little voice telling you to say NO, listen to it. There are nice ways to let someone down such as: “I wish I could, but it is just not possible right now. Thank you for thinking of me.” or “This year my priorities are very few but focused. I won’t be able to squeeze this one in.”
I hope you found this helpful! Now go and schedule some me time and do what makes you happy!