My days are normally pretty full. I have 3 kids, one who is 10 months and two who live with us half-time, a business that I love and am continually trying to grow, a home to manage, amazing friendships to foster, a husband to support and love... oh yeah and then there's me.
I find it generally pretty easy as a woman to take care of people around me. It comes with a certain ease and fulfillment and that innate sense to care for others is wonderful. It is part of who I am as a sensitive, loving woman. I feel grateful to have been blessed with all I have... the children, the husband, a beautiful home, and career doing what fuels me. But in all of my going and doing and accomplishing, sometimes I admit that taking care of myself is not as easy as taking care of everyone and everything around me. In the midst of all I have "to do", I find myself going and going and running around at what feels like 90 mph. I am busy! I have a lot to do! I find myself getting irritated with husband at times when he doesn't do this or that and I am, in turn, whirling around our house in a wild frenzy.
But here's the thing. I will always have a to do list a mile long. You will also probably have this list too. And Its probably not going away anytime soon. So, rather than whirling around checking off your list in a frenzy and working yourself up, how about slowing the heck down? How about putting yourself before some of those to dos? How about finding a way to take care of others on a deeper level? And in a better way? And learning how to enjoy our lists of to dos and accept that we probably wont feel better rushing through each task so it can all get done.... just for the sake of finishing. Because it will start up again tomorrow.
I have found this way to enjoy more, care for others on a high level, and show up as a better me through self-care and doing things for myself that nourish my body and mind and feel authentically good to me in my body. When I am able to dedicate time for myself and say that the laundry, emails, and dinner can wait either 5, 10, or 30 minutes so I can do something just for me... well, it changes everything. It changes the way I interact with the people in my life I love. It changes my priorites and changes the way I value myself. It changes the way I accomplish tasks (I usually do them much better, more efficiently, and enjoy them more after I have cared for myself) I am more in tune with what I love and how to do this or that in a way that I enjoy. I get creative and stop existing and start living. When I take care of me, everyone benefits around me and I honor who I am.
I love thinking back to when I lived in Paris, and the women did not think twice to go full in for self-care. For them it was, and of course still is, essential. Facials are nearly mandatory, lunches out are common, and moms need their space and are not apologetic about asking for it. They are tuned in to their needs, what is enjoyable to their person, and how to create the space so they can receive it. And we wonder why French women are so effortlessly graceful and beautiful? I believe it has a lot to do with being intune with their simple joys and their dedication to self-care. And owning it with power and grace.
So if we know that taking care of ourselves is important (which most of us inherently do), then why do we have a hard time doing it? Sometimes guilt comes into play, often we don't make self-care a habit, or even know what truly brings us to a state of relaxation and joy. And other times we simply forget to make ourselves a priority. So, this is your reminder. Take time for you. I challenge you to create space for you in your day (it is your life afterall) to do something that feels really good. Something that benefits, helps, and supports you on any level. Something that is soothing, inspiring, beautiful, and just feels so.darn.good. And you don't need permission. Just do it. Yes, like Nike. To help you get started, here are some ideas...
Ways to Practice Self-Care
ask for help/ designate others to do a job you normally do (hello laundry!)
take a break and read a magazine in the middle of the day
make a face mask (see recipe below)
speak your mind; be heard
create a boundary and stick to it
get dinner with a friend
shut off your devices before 8pm
take a bath
say no with confidence
say yes with enthusiasm
do your hair and makeup for the day
redesign your mantle or top of your dresser
go to a yoga/dance/pilates/barre/whatever you enjoy
do something that feels easy + enjoyable
go out for a coffee or tea and journal
hire a babysitter for the day/halfday
go for a walk outside
And to get you started, here is a wonderful DIY face mask recipe. Try it. It supports your skin to feel smooth, clear, bright, and just overall amazing. If you do not have or want to buy green tea powder, opt for tumeric powder instead. Look for both in bulk at your local natural foods grocer.
DIY Green Tea & Yogurt Face Mask
by Stephanie Horning
A DIY face mask that takes under two minutes to put together and leaves your skin balanced and feeling AMAZING.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
1/4 cup natural unsweetened plain yogurt (with live cultures)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons green tea powder
1-2 drops of lavender essential oil, optional
In a small and shallow container, whisk all of the above ingredients together until smooth. Apply to a clean face and let sit for 10-20 minutes. Wash off with cool water. You will be amazing how wonderful your skin feels!
I would love to hear .... What is your best form of self love and care? xo