“THIS year. This year I’ll take care of myself amidst the chaos.” Does this phrase sound familiar? It’s a phrase that many people speak or think with the best of intentions come January 1st each year. Sometimes we forget about one of the most important focuses that we should have for every New Year and – really - every single day: Self-care. While self-care can look differently for everyone, there are some basic – and simple - acts of self-care that everyone needs to be healthy and rejuvenated.
Life is busy, always connected, and full of unknowns. Self-care isn’t a practice that naturally takes its place, especially if your focus is on other people’s lives. Yet, self-care should always be prioritized, especially for the modern working caregiver. Without it we burn out and can’t care for others. This is why at the start of every New Year (and throughout the year) you should check in with yourself to see if you’re truly caring for yourself the way you should be. Following are some of our top basic self-care habits for the busy, modern caregiver.
Take Time To Reflect
Reflection is key. It provides perspective, teaches, and fosters ideas. It doesn’t take a lot of time. Before you get out of bed, think of a few positive things in your life. Before you fall asleep, reflect on at least one positive thing that occurred in that day. This simple habit can be life-altering.
Letting go of any kind of negativity or circumstance that’s out of your control is huge. Learning to let go of these things is not always easy, but when you do, you’ll experience less stress and more contentment.
Get Enough Sleep
No matter what you need to shift, this is critical. Sleeps provides energy, mental health and clarity of thought. You need to allow your body to have a regular sleep cycle, so that you can rest easy and well. It takes time to build up a regular cycle, but your body will thank you for it.
Positive Self Talk
Speak truth and positivity to yourself and into your life. It’s easy to let a difficult situation create negative energy, but allowing that will create more chaos. Choose to reach for a better feeling and then walk in that. Be kind to yourself. Build yourself up!
Have An Accountability Partner
This is a simple way to ask for help. Reach out to a close friend or family member and offer up the opportunity to be accountability partners. You can have an accountability partner for really anything, but definitely have one who will check in with you to see how you’re doing with self-care and your goals.
Celebrate Every Victory
Life is too short to not celebrate every victory that you and your loved ones have – big or small. Celebrations are immensely important for happy and healthy self-care. They remind us that every day, we are growing and moving forward even when life is crazy.
This can mean physically clearing out your home of clutter, as well simplifying your to-do list. Create boundaries around your obligations and learn to say no. Focus on what is most important to do and leave the rest behind. No one can thrive in a cluttered life.
Intentionally Schedule Alone Time
Be sure to schedule in some alone time or some “me time.” No matter your situation, you can achieve this. Having time alone from everyone helps you to reflect more intentionally and it allows you to truly rest and recharge. This can be as simple as time in the car or a 10 minute walk outside.
Say “No” Without An Explanation
It’s one thing to say no and declutter. It’s another to do so with meaning and simplicity. Learn to say “no” without an explanation to the things that aren’t a priority in your life. You don’t have to justify your priorities to anyone.
Choose to have grace on yourself. Modern caregivers never feel like they are doing enough. Be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack. Choose to have grace all of the time, no matter what. Life is messy because people are messy, and accepting this helps bring the beauty of grace to light.
2019 is here. No matter what is going on in work or at home – grab hold of this year! Bring your best self. Promise yourself that you’re here for you this year – as well as everyone else.