3 Steps to Fall into Self-Care
Dearest fall fanatic,
Yes, I’m talking to YOU–and also me because let’s be honest, there’s nothing that makes me more excited than the thought of crisp air, apple picking, and the sound of leaves crunching under my feet as I make my way from the pumpkin patch into the kitchen to make yet another PB&J (this classic knows no season, folks).
It’s no secret that many of us are in love with fall. Some call it “basic,” but I call it “an excessive, yet authentic expression of love and appreciation for the beauty of nature and all things that make you feel warm & cozy inside.” A little long winded, yes–but it lends the due justice that all of us fall lovers know we deserve.
I’d like to add one more component to this “I love fall” puzzle, though. If you have the capacity to fall so madly in love with a season’s colors, scents, and activities, then your heart and mind definitely have the capacity to fall madly in love with yourself…don’t you think?
What better way to fall into fall than to fall into a healthy, sustainable pattern of self-care? (Too much “fall” in one sentence? No such thing.)
Here are 3 simple ways that you can fall into a gentle, nourishing self-care routine…today & every day:
1. Give permission.
She so beautifully presented this truth to me when I interviewed her for my podcast (Episode 6). It’s a concept so fundamental, yet I had never consciously thought about it before (silly me!).
In order to go all in on something impactful that chewly matters (in this case, the promise to take care of yourself) you have to first give yourself permission to frequently engage in behaviors that will make that promise a reality.
Contrary to what today’s world implies, you will never be handed a gold star for being “too busy”….seriously. Yes, it’s important to check things off that “to-do” list in order to move your life forward. However, supporting a lifestyle that triggers the “I’m too busy to make time for myself” line (whether explicitly or implicitly) is not sustainable–nor is it something to be proud of.
You can’t pour from an empty cup (seriously guys…#science). I know you may be busy running around to provide for and please your family, friends, bosses, co-workers, and significant others, but I’ll let you in on a little secret…
The thing that all of the most important people in your life want from you is…you (the best you, that is). And guess what? The best you can’t be achieved or sustained if you’re running on physically, mentally, and/or spiritually on E.
So…long story long, give yourself permission to take care of yourself.
2. Pencil yourself in.
Alright, so we’ve established that we’re all busy. Although you don’t have a gold star for this, my guess is that you do have some method for keeping track of it all. So, this is where I tell you to do what your busy self does best…schedule!
Seriously, write your self-care activity down on your calendar and set an alert for it (if you use an electronic calendar, that is). This way, you’ll 1) figure out how you’re going to work it into your schedule and 2) be held accountable for it (we all know it’s not a good look to stand someone up at a meeting…so would you really do that to yourself? I hope not!)
Allow me to say, however, that this doesn’t have to be something grand. A lot of the time, I think social media makes #selfcare a seemingly unattainable standard. Contrary to what the media may imply (or even say), your self-care routine does not have to be an all day, $200 venture (although it can be, if that’s what floats your goat!).
To help get my point across and get some fab, accessible ideas into your head space, here are a few ideas to get ya started:
- Set aside the first 15 minutes of your day for solitude. Enjoy your morning drink of choice, take a few breaths, and strategize your day–no phones, deluge of emails, or computers needed.
- Create a daily gratitude practice. This could involve writing piece of gratitude down daily in a journal or discussing it with a friend, spouse, or significant other.
- Listen to your favorite playlist while showering, in the car, or while engaging in some form of movement that you truly enjoy.
- Enjoy your lunch in a different location from usual (if it’s nice outside, get some fresh air!)
- Call a friend or family member to share what’s going on in your live (& vice versa!)
The possibilities are endless–the only thing that matters is that you start somewhere, no matter how small.
3. Surround yourself with goodness.
Throughout your journey to taking better care of yourself (especially in the beginning of this journey), it is of paramount importance that you surround yourself with individuals who truly care about you, want you to take the best care of yourself, and support you in any actions this may require.
In my gentle nutrition coaching program, I talk with clients about the importance of finding nourishment in all aspects of life. This sense of nourishment includes, but is not exclusive to food and physical activity. Rather, I expand the definition to: the totality of things you consume–a big part of which involves your relationships with others (both virtual & in-person).
Take time to evaluate all relationships of meaning in your life–if any are a source of constant stress, negativity, or a reason why you may not be taking good care of yourself, it may be time to have one of those tough (yet necessary) conversations…everyone’s favorite, right?
Shameless plug: If you’re looking for a way to not just fall into this aspect of self-care, but DIVE into it & commit yourself to an impactful, uplifting experience, I really encourage you to check out the Fall 2018 Women’s Gentle Nutrition & Self-Care Retreat. This retreat will be hosted by Lucy and myself and provide participating women with a weekend of true nourishment, self-discovery, self-reflection, empowerment, and sisterhood in the mountains of southern Virginia. Check out this page for more information on the retreat!
Now, if you made it this far, I’m going to give you a challenge. I want to know how you’re going to take this information and actually start applying it to your life. Remember, information without action is about as useless as a car that doesn’t start. Click here to share your takeaway from this blog post with me–I want to support you in upholding this promise to yourself.
P.S. I know Lucy and I kind of look like sisters…but we aren’t related (biologically, at least–soulfully, for sure.) I think the only thing that really gives it away is that she’s about a foot taller than me…and she’s a beautiful singer (which you’ll soon find out if you come to the retreat!)