Whether we are travelling or not, self-care and comfort times are crucial for anyone, anywhere, whatever the means.
The speed of modern life
We run from one appointment to the other, we have a job that we love or not, and we have obligations. Our schedules are overly busy. This “exciting” life that we are building is killing us slowly if we don’t remember that we are alive. May I say that we are “OnEarth”? Our body and mind are not the ones of robots. We need to take care of ourselves first if we want to go far. The problem is, we tend to forget this tiny detail. “It can wait,” “I don’t have time right now,” etc. Then one day, we forget entirely what the benefits of allowing ourselves a little attention are, and it’s the first step on the way down from a steep hill.
This exciting life may very well end up with us being so exhausted that we don’t remember that we are alive, we are humans, and we need care and love.
So why do we need downtime? Simply to listen and hear our needs, to have time to listen to our family, our friends, whatever the closest people are for you. We need time to use our senses, slow down, take a break, escape the rush.
But I don’t have time for that.
That the first point. Make time! You need it. Your body and your soul require you to take time for them. I don’t believe that in a whole complete week you can’t find one or two hours, for yourself.
How many hours a week do you spend
- reading “stuff” on your phone
- browsing with no purpose your Social Media
- watching tv
- in your car during the rush hour
- tidying other people stuff in your house
- losing time on recurrent chores, you could schedule
- not getting help from your children, husband, partner whatever
I could go on and on because there are hundreds of ways to find time for helping a loved one who is facing difficulties, let’s say this loved one is you and you need to be taken care of!
What kind of self-care?
I’m not asking you to do your makeup for hours in front of the mirror here. Chances are, the ones who love doing that are already doing it, the ones who don’t already will never take any pleasure in this activity.
I will just underline that you should consider though the amount of time you are spending each day in your bathroom, is it too much or inexistent? I used to calculate the number of hours my Grand-Mother spent in front of the vanity case where she had all her cosmetics. The result did not make her very proud: 6 entire years of her life putting on and off cosmetics, that cost her the beauty of her skin in the end and lots of money (actually this last one did not make my Grand-Father happy!). But the fact is, she enjoyed this more than anything else, so it was worth it for her.
On another hand, if you don’t take care of your skin and hair at all, you don’t protect them from the heat or the cold, and more importantly from the pollution. Few minutes twice a day is enough to have clear, clean skin and feel better all day long.
So, if I’m not about make-up, what am I talking about?
Well, self-care is both physical and mental. It’s important to take care of your body, protecting it, as I just mentioned, but also maintaining it healthy. I mean daily exercise. I’m not asking you to prepare for a marathon, but simply take few minutes to stretch in the morning when you step out of your bed, to stay flexible and allow all your fluids to circulate freely in your articulations, but mainly to not be in pain all the time when you get past 45!
I also mean taking a brisk daily walk, or go once a week to the swimming pool, or do some yoga at home with a Youtube video. Just exercise regularly.
Having some quiet time, make a hot drink and listen to classical music when curled up in a soft blanket in the winter. Walk barefoot in the grass, on the beach, or on a lakeside. Go for a walk in nature; the forests are powerful allies to make us better. Swim in a natural lake. If you don’t have all these because you live in a city, then surely there is a park, or somewhere you can have a peaceful walk.
Take care of your soul too!
It’s essential that you don’t forget the importance of caring for your mind. Mental health is as important as physical health. Meditation for a start is a practice which is thousands of years old, that surely means something.
5 min a day, it all what it takes to be efficient and make it a precious routine.
Reading is very much important! When I say reading, I mean a real book, not a blog post, or some caption from Instagram or Twitter.
Reading 20 min a day is enough to reconnect your mind with your imagination, and upper your level of focus. If you want some books to get back to a reading routine, try these: Reading: 6 Books for Going Back at it this Semester
The importance of laughing
Laugh! Laughing every day makes us happy, laughing 5 min a day makes us healthier! Start by smiling more often. Do the test: smile when you are walking in the street, and you’ll see how better you’ll feel. We tend to adopt a solemn face all the time. It’s more correct, regular, whatever. But I don’t understand why, because smiling is so enjoyable both for you and the people in front of you. Some persons I didn’t know told me that it was so lovely to see me smiling and that it made their day! Being grumpy never helps in any situation, and it’s not right for you, for your health.
How do you include these self-care habits in your busy life?
Simple! Take my previous list from the beginning:
“On your phone” time replacement
- Reading “stuff” on your phone: instead take 20 min a day to read a book on your tablet, your phone, or a real book. But in that case, remember that the library is an excellent alternative to buying a book that will consume trees for the paper, take more space in your house, and cost you money. If it’s not necessary, don’t buy any book.
- Texting: grab a coffee and meet your partner, a friend and talk for real, you’ll have much more pleasure doing this than talking to a screen. Texting is useful for exchanging short info; it’s not meant to be a conversation tool.
- Browsing with no purpose your Social Media: create yourself instead of mindlessly browsing other’s creations. Creativity is a blast for your soul. Any human being can be creative; you don’t have to become Claude Money.
Other time-consuming habits
- Watching TV: listen to some music you love while you take time for personal self-care. Make your nails yourself once in a while; practice dry-brushing it’s a bliss for the skin, do some yoga, read a book, etc.
- In your car during the rush hour: couldn’t you drive less and walk or cycle more? Using public transports is a good alternative. Even if it takes longer, it allows you to do something else, something useful. It’s also less stressful not to be in charge of the driving.
- Tidying other people stuff in your house: instead, you should ask everyone to pick-up their things once they don’t use them anymore. It will keep your house cleaner and save you a lot of time! Watch the video from this post to understand how important it is to keep your environment clear: The Surprising Connection Between Clutter and Your Mental Health
- Losing time on recurrent chores, you could schedule. Be prepared, write a shopping list to go shopping only once or twice a week instead of losing precious time going back to the store for the milk or coffee you forgot. Plan your meals too. You must have a bright idea of your weekly meals to have a relevant shopping list. If you have time to spend hours cooking during the week, fantastic! If not: plan your meals! Keep the cooking times for the weekends and family times.
- Not getting help from your children, husband, partner whatever: yes, I mean it. Women tend to be more modern, but I still believe that most of us are doing the majority of the house cleaning and laundry, and cooking, and getting our younger children ready, and cleaning their bedrooms, and so many things that we could delegate. Your home is a small family business. You have a budget, goals, tasks with a D-date, obligations: everything a small business has. So, manage it as a small business: everyone should have some duties and their part to play in the household tasks.
Once you’ve sorted all that
Make a list and fill in all my points with some of your ideas to make it become a reality for you. You’ll find some time for yourself, your body, your soul, and you’ll feel much lighter for your job and taking care of your family! If you want, you can always make it!
You can open the pdf file by clicking on the image below:
Have fun and tell me about the results, whether by commenting below or emailing me if you don’t want to give your name on the blog. Anyway, I’m always happy to hear from you!
If you have mindfulness and health at heart these are for you: