First, let me disclaim this post: self-care is something I am horrible at. Terrible. I tend to push myself in just about every way, so by no means is this some preachy, do-as-I-do situation. In writing this post I am trying to be honest about my lack of skills in this area, and remind myself about what I need to do to take care of myself and maintain balance in my life.
So what is spurring this on? The worst flu/cold I’ve had in years took me down this week. Today marks three full days in bed; the kind of days where you don’t even miss the real world, you just hunker down and ride out the storm. My body is giving me a not-so-subtle reminder to slow down and I’m going to listen. If I’m being really honest, I should know better. I’ve had immune system issues in recent years and probably ignored warning signs in the past few months because I was hopeful I ‘grew out of it’. Not so.
Summer is such a busy and fun time! That said, once life gets busy it’s so easy to forget yourself. So in an attempt to remind myself and anyone else who needs it, I’ve shared four key things that help me stay sane and healthy below.
What are your self-care tips? I could always use more…
1- Don’t Overbook
This is a hard thing for me to do. It’s so easy to make a plethora of plans one week and be totally overwhelmed the next. Between work, friends, family, blogging, housework etc., the hours of each day can fill up quickly. My goal through the summer is to not make plans on Mondays or Tuesdays. That will build a buffer into my weeks to get tasks done so I can be fully present and enjoy plans during the rest of the week.
2- Watch the Diet
Not sure if you are one of those lucky people who can eat whatever they want with no consequences, but I am definitely not. I don’t get the tummy trouble stuff, but instead I have the insidious, sneaky immune system issues of an allergy. Yay. My nemesis? My former bestie, dairy (macaroni and cheese would be my last meal, and maybe a grilled cheese sandwich on the side). I’ve been feeling so great for nearly a year, but clearly all my cheats here and there are adding up. It’s time to go back to square one, eating super clean and giving my system a rest.
3- Weekly Meditation
As I mentioned, I tend to push myself. I always prioritize a hardcore, intense workout over yoga because I feel like my time is limited and I need to make the most of it. This may not be super logical to some, but it’s how my brain works. I know I feel great and my mind feels quiet after a yoga class with meditation so I am bringing it back into my routine.
4- Workout Less and Get Out More
With the exception of one spin class a week (because I love it), and one meditation class a week (because I need it), I’m taking the rest of my workouts outside. Whether it’s running, hiking, or cycling, it’s easy to plan. This is less about getting outdoors, since I don’t need any convincing, but more about building these rewards into my weeks. Planning a hike or a long evening cycle reaps a multitude of benefits: vitamin D, fresh air, exercise, views… the list goes on.