Spring embodies new growth, and its abundance is everywhere you look.
By its very nature, spring encourages us to renew ourselves as well, using practices like self-care, mindfulness, and more.
One way to restore your mind and body is to choose a self-care task that is important to you, that truly impacts the way you feel inside and out.
Putting yourself first, however, isn’t always easy. Especially among women, who are generally hard-wired to take care of everyone else first, often leading to disappointment, guilt, exhaustion, and feelings of resentment.
Below are a few ideas to maintain a self-care practice that can help you take care of yourself first, beginning with practices that support and strengthen your foundation.
3 Easy Ways to Support a Deeper Mindset
1. Be fully present.
Have you ever found yourself doing one task but thinking about another? Or, overthinking a task to the point of exhaustion and not doing it at all?
There’s a humorous saying about weight loss; “If my obsessive thinking about exercise worked, I’d be a size 0 without breaking a sweat!”
We’ve all been there.
One way to gently sidestep this obsessive overthinking is to simply bring yourself back to the present moment without judgment.
The trick, however, is having the awareness your thoughts have gotten away from you in the first place.
Here are 3 simple steps to re-center your attention in just a few seconds…
- Bring your awareness to the sounds and fragrances around you in the present moment.
- Next, look around and take in your surroundings in detail.
- Once you feel fully aware, return to and focus on your task. Let go of the rest.
This self-care practice can be done as many times as needed. Eventually, it will become more instinctive than learned.
When you honor the present moment, you’re acknowledging to the universe the task at hand, even if that task is demanding and challenging. Being fully present is a form of gratitude - a gift to you and the universe.
1. Set an intention, mantra, or affirmation for your day or week.
Choosing a self-care mantra or affirmation offers you something you can verbally or silently repeat when you return to the present moment. You’re giving your mantra or affirmation its full attention while the universe is listening.
This can sound like, “Enjoy the journey,” “I am patient today,” “I claim my own power and I lovingly create my own reality.”
“I free myself and everyone in my life from old past hurts. I am free to move into new, glorious experiences.”
A wonderful idea to remind yourself to do this is to place a small colored sticker in various places. These can be doors, walls, your desk, the rearview mirror of your car, a bedside table, your phone, or your fridge.
1. Anticipate your vulnerabilities bubbling up.
When you add a self-care practice that’s important to you, you may be surprised to bump up against resistance.
“I don’t have time for my self-care task today,” or, “I’ve lived with it this long, what’s another day?” Or, “This really isn’t that important to me,” are typical phrases we say to ourselves.
What follows is disappointment in yourself, guilt for not doing it, and the carousel of negative self-talk.
Studies show that self-worth is at the core of doing or not doing your self-care practice. It’s easier to put others first because it appears noble, however, this can lead to resentment and frustration.
Try opposing your excuses with practices #1, & #2, and remind yourself you are worth this self-care practice.
Or, be curious about your vulnerabilities, fears, and anxieties. View this as an opportunity to get to know yourself better.
Speak to yourself in the second person, as if you were sitting next to yourself and you are your dearest friend. What questions would you ask her to help her unravel her pain?
Treat yourself with the same kindness and empathy you would a friend. Write down what comes to mind.
Whatever your vulnerabilities, fears, and anxieties are, they are only a thought.
And remember, a thought can be changed.
Internal Self-Care Ideas
- Setting boundaries. This can include saying “No,” asking for what you need, and putting yourself first.
- Staying at home. When your body and energy levels are telling you to rest or stay in, self-care can look like honoring those instincts.
- Taking a step back. This can include listening to yourself when things are feeling overwhelming or unsafe.
Sleep restores your spirit and heals your body.
3 suggestions for the best possible sleep:
- Eating slower, drinking more water, and choosing better foods give your body the ability to assimilate its nourishments. Night sweats, insomnia, and bloating can be caused by your body working harder to absorb and digest foods high in salt and non-organic fats.
- Pour Epsom Salts and one essential oil into a hot bath and settle in.
- Leave the media alone.
- Read your good book.
- Sit quietly in the warm sun during your day. Drink in Vitamin D and practice a grounding exercise.
External Self-Care Ideas
- Declutter a space. A make-up drawer, a kitchen cupboard, a bathroom cabinet, or your closet.
- Give away what you don’t wear anymore. This is a self-care practice that gives back.
- Change your lightbulbs to warm, dim lighting.
- Use an air filter.
- Wash your sheets often.
- Clean out the interior of your car.
- Wipe down your refrigerator and freezer.
Take a Little More Time To...
- Move and strengthen your beautiful body. Stretch, dance, walk or lift weights.
- Write in your journal what comes up in your “self-care” practice. Strive to learn from it.
- Allow yourself to fully unplug and focus on something else entirely with a good movie, book, or drama.
Lastly, your self-care practice can be more effective if you think of it as an “intention” rather than an “expectation,” or worse, a “chore.”
Start small to make it easy to attain. Set a time limit of 10 minutes to 30 minutes, twice or three times a week.
When your self-care task is completed, let it go. Move on to the next task fully present.
Be gentle with any corrections. Even highly evolved minds wander, but those people simply bring themselves back to the present moment gently and without self-judgment.
It’s vital you celebrate your accomplishment. Compliment yourself!
Self-care, like spring, adds color to your landscape. You are your own garden. Give yourself the same attention, nourishment, and time.
Weeds can be viewed as your vulnerabilities, anxieties, and fears. They, too, require attention and time. So, tend to your garden. You can keep the weeds from taking over.
Take care of yourself.