Hang around me long enough and you’ll discover that I am a huge proponent of self-care. I believe making self-care a priority will make you a better leader but I know establishing a regular rhythm for self-care can sometimes feel daunting.
So to help you out, here are 10 simple self-care practices you can start doing to incorporate more self-care into your regular routine.
Start a compliments file
This can be either a digital file or physical folder but the goal is for you to start keeping track of the nice things people say about you. Print that email, document that compliment. Keep track.
When you’re having one of those nothing-is-going-right days, you can pull one out and remind yourself how fabulous you are even in the midst of a bad day.
Reframe exercise as movement and move your body
Exercise feels like such a chore. You know you need to do it but it often ends up feeling like something you HAVE to do instead of something you really want to do.
Stop thinking of it as exercise, and see it as you simply moving your body. Then commit to moving your body for at least 20 minutes, 3 days a week. You can move your body anyway you like – dance, walk, run, whatever. Just get moving :)
5 deep breathes
One of my favorite, and I think easiest, things to do when you need a quick moment is to take five (5) deep breaths.
Hand on chest, inhale for a count of 5 and exhale for a count of 5. Repeat 5 times focusing all of your attention on your breath.
Turn your electronics off for one hour every day
Ironically, our overly connected society is resulting in a very disconnected society. Try turning off your phone, computer, and all electronic devices for an hour every day. It just might become your favorite hour of the day.
If you’re feeling really adventurous, try going a whole day without getting on any of your electronic devices.
Sit outside in the sun for 10 minutes doing nothing but being present
Most of us don’t get enough natural vitamin D that the sun provides. Go outside for 10 minutes (set an alarm if you have to) and just soak in the sun.
Don’t do anything, do your best not to think about anything. Your only goal is to enjoy the feel of the sun on your face and body.
Enjoy your morning cup of coffee (or tea)
I’m guessing most mornings you are racing through your morning routine, barely aware of your cup of coffee. If you enjoy coffee (or in my case tea) then try actually sitting still and REALLY enjoy your cup of coffee.
This might require you to change up your morning routine but change is not a bad thing J
Wear clothes that make you feel good
This isn’t just about wearing clothes that are comfortable; this is about wearing clothes that make you feel good either because the material feels good against your skin or because the fit is perfect for your body type.
Whatever the reason, put on clothes that make you feel good and watch how it impacts your day.
Read a non-self help book
I bet you’ve got a reading list a mile long of books to help you be a better leader, mom, wife, friend, etc. I’m all for doing everything you can in the way of personal development.
But sometimes, you have to leave the self-help behind and pick up a good chick lit or a fun sci-fi. You just might find some unexpected inspiration.
Write for 15 minutes about nothing
Put your pen on your paper and just start writing, without judgment, for 15 minutes. Anything that comes to mind fits the criteria for you to write about.
The key is no judgment and you have to keep writing until the 15 minutes is up. Once you’re done, I’m guessing you’ll have discovered a few surprising things.
Start a happiness jar
Get a really large jar. At the end of every day, note one thing that day that made you happy and put it in your jar.
When you’re having a bad day, reach in and pull out something from your happiness jar to put a smile on your face.
Self-care is not a one-time deal. It is an on-going practice that you must cultivate if you’re going to be successful. Otherwise you’ll end up paying a price you don’t want to pay.
Try at least one of these simple self-care practices and start getting in the habit today.
From my heart to yours,
Having a heard time figuring out where to start with putting a self-care routine together? I can help. It’s my passion to support women leaders in reshaping how they experience their leadership and life. Let’s talk about how I might be able to support you. Click here to schedule a complimentary call with me today.