Recently I posted on Instagram that I am terrible at self-care. Other than eating well (which as a blogger and instagrammer can often be stressful itself!), I usually only take moments to care for myself when I am nearly depleted and my body forces me to slow down. And by the response to my post, many of you are in the same boat!
This was often a trap I found myself in as a lawyer, given a demanding schedule. But now, with a baby due in only 7 weeks, even those things that would normally be self-care are mandatory for the baby - eat these foods, take these vitamins, do these exercises, drink this tea, set up the nursery, etc.!
I find this phenomenon - when self-care itself becomes stressful - happens often. In today's world of wellness, we feel pressure to be perfect in our self-care, to fit in lemon water, journaling, meditating, yoga, daily workouts, and bubble baths can sometimes be even more overwhelming than no self-care at all. But this is no excuse to not try.
So I am going to do at least one small act of self-care daily this December - a time self-care is especially needed! I will also reframe many of my daily tasks to be self-care rather than just another thing on my to-do list. Take exercise for instance - rather than pressuring myself to workout everyday because I should, I will just move my body intuitively. I will still get exercise, but I won't do it only because I should.
I will share my daily acts on Instagram either in posts or stories and I encourage you to take part as well! Tag your moments #agheefulself so I can see. And to get you started, here are 31 small acts you can take to give back to yourself today!
Ask for help on something, small or large.
Gift yourself a day (or week!) of meal delivery to have a break from food prep and dishes.
Meditate for 10 minutes.
Walk around the block at lunch or just go outside and sit in the sun for 5 minutes.
Listen to your favorite song without also browsing social media or returning email.
Text your spouse or other loved one something you love about them. Not only will this make you feel good, but it can make someone else feel great too!
If appropriate for your workplace, bring in slippers and wear them under your desk - I loved doing this during colder months!
Schedule a manicure, massage, or other spa appointment. Just having something to look forward to is amazing!
List 5 things you are grateful for.
List 5 things you love about yourself.
List 5 things you accomplished this year.
Stretch for 5 minutes, even if you’re on a conference call.
Say no to an event you really don't want to go to. This isn't the season of going to every event, so don't. And if you have more time, read Essentialism to learn more about how to say no.
Schedule in your workouts for the rest of the year and don't let that time get compromised.
Unfollow someone on social media that doesn’t make you feel great about yourself.
Resolve to give up something that doesn’t bring you joy, even if that is yoga, being gluten-free, or meditating!
Listen to some comedy! My husband and I love listening to comedy on Spotify in place of music. Some of our favorites are John Mulaney and Kathleen Madigan.
Make yourself a cup of tea and finish it before it gets cold.
Leave a holiday party early to get a drink with your date or just go home, put on fuzzy socks and have a cup of hot cocoa.
Write down the reasons you cannot accomplish what you want and realize they are all false limiting beliefs.
Read It’s Never Too Late by Dallas Clayton. This is a children's book for adults and makes a great gift as well!
Look at your to-do list and cross one thing off. You don’t need to be Martha Stewart, Oprah and whoever else all rolled into one this holiday season.
Enjoy a glass of wine in the glow of the holiday lights or by the fire.
Go to bed early, even if its just 10 minutes early.
Spend an extra minute in the shower just enjoying the feel of hot water.
Dry brush before your shower.
Donate one thing in your closet that you hate.
Donate 5 items in your home. Minimalism has made the world of difference for me!
Turn off some notification on your phone that you don’t really need. Do you need all those news alerts? And all those post alerts? No.
Review your New Year’s Resolutions and pick only one to start with! Or make none at all!
Eat any holiday treats intentionally and slowly. Don't just gobble them down, but truly have the cookie you love and enjoy every bit of it.