#TryItTuesday: Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Care
If you could give yourself anything for Christmas, what would it be? I’m guessing for many of us; it isn’t something that we found under the tree today. Nope. I believe if we are really honest with ourselves, most of us would like a little bit more time for some self-care.
I give you permission to put yourself and your health at the top of your Christmas list this year. To help with this, let’s unwrap the three most common excuses for not making self-care a priority.
Excuse No. 1: Taking Time for Self ... Is Selfish
This has been my primary excuse.
For years, I believed that I needed to take care of my husband and kids, and others, at the expense of not making time for myself. What I’ve learned though is that to serve others I needed to have a full cup, not a drained and depleted one. Too many times, my cup was dry, and then I’d end up crabby or sick. We ARE meant to serve others, but we MUST take of ourselves first.
Ladies, our well-being must be a priority.
We mothers struggle with this more than anyone as we feel that as long as we’re caring for our children, our well-being can wait ‘til later. While this comes from the best intentions, it ultimately causes suffering for everyone. I’ve learned the hard way that when I don’t make time for self-care I am not the best I can be for myself or anyone else.
Not taking time for self-care can lead to poor food choices, resentment, depression, mood swings, sickness, and an array of other issues.
Excuse No. 2: I don’t Have Time
The most overused excuse for not eating healthy, skipping exercise or skimping on sleep is “I don’t have enough time,” but the reality is, it’s a choice. Our nature as women is that we are givers and in our effort to give to others, we forget the most important person, ourselves.
Our time is our choice. Perhaps it’s not that we don’t have enough time, it’s that we are choosing to spend our time in other areas. Now, I’ve gone through enough of life to understand that there are certain seasons when lack of time is the truth. More times than not though, lack of time is an excuse.
So how do you make the time?
Track your time for a few days. Make sure to include a weekday and the weekend. After tracking your time, schedule a coffee date with yourself. During this coffee date, review where your time was spent.
Are the activities that fill your days helping you live in your priorities? Are they helping you achieve your health goals?
Are there activities you are doing “just because” you didn’t want to say no?
Are you spending too much time on errands or cleaning your home? Consider these ideas:
- Try planning and batching your errands
- Research online ordering and deliver
- Delegate chores to your family members
- Review your budget and see if a part-time housekeeper is affordable
Make Exercise Appointments
This is one thing that helps me most.
Every Sunday I spend a few minutes planning my week. I review our family activities, work obligations, and other events, and then plan my exercise time. I write the times in my calendar and put them on the family calendar.
Writing it on the family calendar not only helps remind me (and my family), it also shows them that I value my health and it’s important to take care of our bodies. This is a valuable lesson to teach our children. And...it helps with motivation.
There’s nothing like your 8-year old saying, “Mommy, I thought you were exercising today" to get you motivated to do just that -- exercise.
Excuse No. 3: It Costs Too Much
Self-care doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. With a little creativity, you can take care of yourself without busting your budget.
Here are some ideas:
Spa Day at Home
- Light those candles and soak in your tub
- Enjoy homemade facial scrubs, or other spa treatments
- Give yourself a mani/pedi
- Plan your meals and snacks
- Discover new healthy recipes that you know you’d enjoy
- Stop eating on the run – schedule a few days to sit at the table and eat your meals
Create an At-Home Exercise Area
- Purchase some highly rated workout DVDs
- Obtain a few staple pieces of exercise equipment, such as a jump rope, a few pairs of dumbbells and a stability ball.
- Add some resistant bands, a yoga mat, and if budget is a concern, online garage sales and second-hand stores have great deals. Often you will find many well-intentioned people purchase workout equipment only to sell or donate it.
So, back to the question, what will you be giving yourself this Christmas?