As we head towards the weekend I thought I would share some ideas for self care and get you all thinking about what you might want to do to start nurturing yourself as much as you nurture and care for others. If you currently feel guilty about taking time for yourself start small and just pick one thing you could fit in your week and be present in that moment and that experience. Take note of how you feel during and after. Does it feel uncomfortable? Can you push through the discomfort and start to see that maybe you are out of practice? If it feels good see how you feel in the time afterwards – do you feel more open? more patient? happier? lighter? Try to build on that feeling.
You must learn day by day, year by year to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens. – Ethel Barrymore
1. Go “unplugged” for a day, a weekend, or a week. See how much you gain in terms of time and energy. After your technology diet you can decide new limits for yourself when you return.
2. Pick up a book on a subject you’ve always been interested in.
3. Find a class where you can learn a new skill or improve on one you already have (cooking, crafting, car maintenance, etc).
4. Have a DVD marathon and indulge in all your favourite movies and TV shows. Popcorn is an acceptable dinner!
5. Take a bubble bath and use a fresh and fluffy towel. Don’t save the nice towels for guests – you are worthy of quality towels.
6. Blast music in your living room and dance like crazy, even if someone’s watching – bonus points if you do this in your car!
7. Buy yourself that special dress you’ve been wanting – you deserve to feel hot and beautiful!
The name of the game is taking care of yourself, because you’re going to live long enough to wish you had. – Grace Mirabella
8. Eat well and nourish your body.
9. Enjoy a lie in or an afternoon nap.
10. Go to a store and find some scented candles or oils that you love. Burn one when you need a lift, another when you need to chill out.
11. Meet your spouse at their office and whisk them away for a lunch for two, even if it is just the coffee shop or cafe across the road. Bonus points if they can take the rest of the afternoon off.
12. Go to the gym and try a class you’ve been too intimidated of in the past. Let yourself just be a beginner and see how it goes.
13. Pick out a new magazine – something that speaks to you from the newstand – foreign, glossy, or just featuring a yummy recipe on the cover.
14. Select one spot in your house that is driving you crazy and clear it out. Notice how the emptier space makes you feel.
15. Try out meditation- no pressure.
16. Say no to requests that don’t feel right, take you off your own path or simply drain you of too much time and energy.
17. Go to the gym and skip the workout – head straight to the steam room and unwind. Enjoy having a hot shower where no one comes in to ask you a question. Take more than 5 minutes to get dressed and maybe even put on some make up if you want. The hour is yours to spend!
18. Get a change of scenery – book a night away, a holiday or simply get in the car and head out on an adventure.
19. Take music lessons just because you’ve always wanted to. Who says a 40 year old cannot learn the cello or flute?
20. Pick up the phone and call someone and let them know you are thinking of them. Make sure they know you care – don’t leave it unsaid.
21. Start a blog and meet like-minded people and share ideas with your tribe.
Stifling an urge to dance is bad for your health – it rusts your spirit and your hips. -Adabella Radici
22. Be a tourist in your own town – check out an art exhibit, market, festival, cafe or new playground.
23. If you hate cleaning, hire someone to come in. Weekly, monthly, with the change of seasons. When we eat out we are outsourcing cooking and no one blinks an eye. If cleaning is the bane of your existence, give up something else if needed to find the funds even if it is just occasionally.
24. Call a bunch of friends and go to a small music gig or a new movie that’s just opened rather than waiting for the CD or DVD.
25. Wear what feels comfortable for you whether it is a fab dress and boots or a tracksuit and flip flops. What makes you feel like you?
26. Make a list of books you want to read this year and follow through – even if it is done 10 minutes at a time.
27. Sign up for a 5k walk/run and start training now.
28. Start a journal – gratitude, your personal story, an art journal, use prompts, whatever works for you – get writing and creating.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
29. Plan a regular date night and organise a babysitter, a night at Grandma’s, a sleepover or use a babysitting swap to take care of the kids.
30. Make something fun for dinner like ice cream sundaes, fondue or design your own pizzas.
31. Treat yourself to new sheets or towels.
32. Start saving for your dream overseas holiday- in the meantime get travel brochures, start learning the language, cook some local dishes and enjoy touches of that culture until the day arrives for your trip.
33. Volunteer and help someone else.
34. Find a place of worship that lifts you up and inspires you.
35. Create something with your hands.
Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit.–Mary Lou Retton
36. Write a letter or email to someone you admire / are a fan of. You never know where it may lead. Just because someone is a star at what they do does not mean they won’t be happy to connect with you.
37. Go through all the projects and ideas you have bookmarked and “pinned” and pick five to actually work on. Stop dreaming and start doing.
38. Start a top 10 journal and set out to discover your favourite books, restaurants, songs, movies, etc
39. Join your partner in pursuit of one of their hobbies – even just once – see why they love sailing, playing poker, taking salsa classes, swimming in the ocean…
40. Reach out to a new neighbour and drop off dinner or afternoon tea. Connect with your local community.
41. Order groceries online and use that hour or two (normally spent at the shops) on yourself!
42. Join in a regeneration project and help save a local natural resource in your area.
43. Get involved in a political campaign and support ideas you want to see happen in your community – local, state or federal.
44. Go to a farmer’s market and buy your favourite flowers to fill up your home.
45. Get out your kids art supplies and let yourself go.
46. Go to the park with your kids and see how high you can swing – I dare you to jump off mid air just like when you were 8!
From the home life simplified community:
47. Regularly get together with friends for a girly night in each others houses, no children and no men allowed! – Sarah Lynch
48. Create a “pamper basket” to keep next to your bed with lotions, nail files, clippers, essential oils, remote control, favourite book and anything else that you can do for just a few minutes before bed. – The Distracted Mama
49. Get out in the open… being away from noise is even better, a walk in the bush or on the beach – Sylvia Russell
50. Use guided meditation podcasts – Sharleen Keleher
Do you have a favourite way to nurture your soul or your body? Is there one thing on this list you are going to try out? For me, it is the guided meditation podcasts and buying my favourite flowers (tulips and irises!).
Find your simple,