As women, we often feel the need to do AllTheThings, and that can lead to feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. Today I’m talking about my favorite self care tips, and how caring for yourself allows you to be available to those you love most.
I firmly believe that one of THE MOST important things you can do in your life is take advantage of small, everyday moments as they come.
God will put people in your path. People you can help and love because of your unique traits, circumstances, and experiences. This can include your family, friends, or someone you don’t even know yet.
Throughout the course of any given day, there will be opportunities that are uniquely yours – opportunities to help others feel love and connection and peace.
You can be prepared for these moments by filling your cup daily so you are ready to receive inspiration and give to others when opportunity arises.
Somehow, at some point in time, self care became a luxury instead of a necessity but my friend, you need to take care of yourself. I’m not saying you need to log 9 hours of sleep and plan a trip to the spa every month, and there will be times in your life when some of these basic necessities will have to be sacrificed for one thing or another.
But please don’t make a habit of sacrificing your well being when it isn’t necessary.
So let’s dig into necessities first. This includes getting enough rest, eating 3 meals a day, carving out at least a few minutes for quiet meditation, and making space for connection in your day (play dates, walks with a friend or your spouse, phone calls, etc)
I know you might be thinking that you just don’t have time for that.
But instead of telling yourself you don’t have time to care for your basic needs, find small pockets of time to meet those needs as much as you can.
Understand that by taking care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to meet the needs of those around you.
For example. Leave the dishes and unmade bed as they are and take a nap while your baby is sleeping. I promise you, the dishes will still be there later. Man, I struggled with this one, but years and thousands of sinkfuls of dishes later and I realize I could have taken that nap.
Your body and mind need fuel. If you’re struggling to get in those three square meals a day, plan a food prep day or purchase some ready-made options like protein shakes, bars, or freezer options. You will have more energy and be able to think more clearly which will lead to better use of your time.
Meditation can look however you want it to look, what’s important is that you have at least a little time each day alone with your thoughts. There are some great apps with guided meditation if that’s your jam, or you can take a yoga class.
If your time is limited, meditation can also look like taking an extra 5 minutes in the shower, or sitting by a window in the morning and thinking of a few things you’re grateful for. Try writing in a gratitude journal before you go to bed, or going for a quiet walk by yourself without your device.
Connection is important for everyone, especially women. Create time in every day for connecting with adults – you need it! If you get lost in a sea of social media without real connection, you just might end up feeling more and more isolated, inadequate, and alone.
Take time to call or text a friend. Plan a playdate. Go on regular dates with your spouse, even if that just means going grocery shopping together. Find a friend who can go walking with you on a regular basis. Plan a girl’s night out, or a girl’s night in.
Here are a few ideas of ways you can keep your cup full so you are available to those around you when they need you most. I would love to hear what you are doing, too! Please comment below and share.
Self care tips
1. schedule quiet time in the morning
I like to get up before the kids so I can have some quiet time to think and reflect while I’m getting ready. I realize that’s not everyone’s jam and honestly, sometimes it isn’t mine either.
I am not a morning person and struggle to get up early, but I treasure that peace and quiet and find that my day goes so much better when I can have a relaxed and quiet start to my day.
So, whether you start your day or not, make sure you carve out at least 10 minutes to be alone with your thoughts.
2. Listen to uplifting music
I like to listen to the song “You Say” by Lauren Daigle first thing in the morning while I’m in the shower. It reminds me of who I am and what I am capable of. If you haven’t heard this song yet, you can find the music video to You Say on YouTube – it is beautiful!
Find a song that inspires you and helps you feel like you’re ready to conquer the day. I would love to hear your suggestions!
3. In your morning prayers, ask God to provide ways you can show love to your family and those around you.
Life is hard and busy and full. And you don’t need to do it all! What you do need to do is take advantages of the opportunities that naturally arise throughout the course of your day.
As you pray for the ability to notice these small opportunities to love and serve, you’ll feel more peace, less pressure, and more often recognize the hand of God in your life.
4. Make your bed
Of allllll the self care tips I could share with you, this one is probably the easiest! Your mom knew what she was doing when she nagged you to make your bed every morning. Research has shown that Making your bed first thing in the morning leads to a happier and more productive day.
The simple act of making your bed takes only a few minutes, and is an automatic win first thing in the morning, setting you up for success.
Go throughout your day looking for opportunities to show love.
It might look like putting your phone down to listen to your child’s day, texting a friend you’re thinking of, stopping to talk to a friend or neighbor while you’re out on a walk, calling your mom, giving an extra bedtime kiss, or staying patient through a tantrum.
The more you act on the impressions you have to show love, the more you will recognize opportunities when they come your way.
6. schedule time to learn
There are so many opportunities to learn that take as much or as little time as you have available. You can learn about any topic, on your own time, for little to no cost; isn’t that amazing??
I have two favorite ways to learn, one is listening to podcasts and the other is reading books.
You can find a list of my favorite podcasts here, and I would love to know what your favorites are, too! Podcasts are great because they are usually only about 30 minutes, so I can listen while I get ready in the morning or on the way to pick up kids from school. There are many apps you can use to listen to podcasts, my favorite is Google Play.
There are SO MANY excellent books to read! If you’re not sure what to read, think of your favorite genres and then ask friends or family for recommendations. You can also use apps like Good Reads to search and read reviews, I have found a few new favorites that way! I also like to keep a wish list on the Good Reads app so that when I finish a book, I have a list to pull from for the next one.
It is easy to check out a book for free at your local library. You can also purchase one on Amazon or listen to audio books. The latter is my favorite because listening to books helps me fit reading into my busy schedule!
I use Audible to listen, and if you haven’t tried it yet you can listen to your first book for free to see if you like it
Like podcasts, listening on Audible just gives me the opportunity to fit small chunks of reading in throughout my day. I love to listen while I’m at the gym, in the car, or sometimes before bed.
I do also like to read physical books, it is nice to have a break from screens and sometimes I feel like I can digest the material better when I’m reading something a little heavier.
You can find a list of my favorite self-help books here.
7. let the light in
We NEED light. Sunshine. One of the easiest ways to boost your mood is to go outside! If you feel like you’re in a funk, go outside.
Sit on the porch. Take a walk. Do some yard work. Take your kids to the park. If you don’t already, make it part of your morning ritual to walk through the house and open all the curtains to let that light in.
8. give yourself grace
Some days, you’ll feel like you could conquer the world while other times, it might be a struggle just to get out of bed. Maybe you have a lot of days like that. Whatever your day looks like, just try. Keep fighting for peace, and joy, and to push past your limits, but give yourself grace as you try.
All these small moments are woven together into a beautiful tapestry that is your life. They might seem small, but they are NOT insignificant.
The truth is, you will never know the full reach of your actions. Don’t underestimate the ability you have to do great things with what you have today! You don’t need large amounts of money or time or energy. You have everything it takes right now to make a difference.
Those small things that you do in the unseen moments of the day just might be the most important and far-reaching actions you take.
What are your favorite self care tips, and how do you take advantage of everyday moments to make a difference? Please share below!