Last week we spoke of the important of self care, of how, when you don’t take care of yourself and your needs, every thing and every one in your life is impacted. You may think you’re doing the “noble thing” by putting yourself last but please wake up and look around. When you’re rushing from one thing to the next, the people around you are suffering. Plus, how are you spending this one precious life? Running from target to safeway to a carpool? Are you here on earth to run errands? I heard from several of you that you’re ready. You’re ready to start taking better care of yourself and treating yourself kinder but…you ask, how? I’m sharing the 5 things I do every day for my physical + mental being. These things are non-negotiables in my day. If you’re looking for how to start taking care of yourself better, how about you choose one of these and do it for a week? I promise you’ll notice a difference. Small shifts make big impacts. It doesn’t matter what you start with, it matters that you start. 

1) Wake up.  I start my day waking up when I say I’ll wake up. Why? I intentionally choose that the first thing I do each day is to keep my word to myself. I haven’t dug into research on this but I’m quite sure that pushing the snooze button is a confidence buster. Why? Because, when you set your alarm at night, you have the intention to do something and then, by pushing snooze, you’re breaking your word to yourself. In your first action of the day! I don’t want the first message that I send to myself to be that I don’t do what I say I’ll do. That I can’t depend on myself. This is one of those small shifts that has a big impact. I encourage you to wake up when you say you’ll wake up. Choose to do what you say you’re going to do. Keep your word to yourself in the first action of your day.

2) Move: I make a point of moving my body every day. Sometimes that’s a gloriously intense run. Other times, it’s in a slow stroll around the block. No matter what it looks like, I make a conscious choice to move my body every day. Our bodies are meant to move. Let go of the rules on how to move your body (it doesn’t have to be for a certain amount of time or in a certain class). You are given this one body and when you wear it out, it’s over. Begin your day by asking, how can I treat my body with respect today? A body at rest stays at rest (and aches and hurts). A body in motion stays in motion. Gone are the old rules that when you get older you’ll ache. We now know that we can increase our flexibility and range of motion until the day we die. Stretch. Go for a walk. Bend. How can you move your body today? Go do it.

3) Nourish: I feed my body foods that help it. I spent a lot of years doing the opposite: restricting or binging. Drinking or eating chemicals and highly-processed foods. I grew up in the 80s so thought that as long as it didn’t have fat in it, it was ok for me. Enter diet Dr. Pepper and gummy bears…and then I’d wonder why I felt sluggish and constantly had headaches? I can laugh at myself now but the point is, true self care for me isn’t drinking a glass of wine, having a bowl of ice cream, or digging into that bag of chips. True self care is choosing foods that feel good in my body as I’m eating them and when I’m digesting an hour later. When I treat my body with respect, it shows up for me. How are you treating your body? How does it feel?

4) Connect: I carve time out daily to connect with people who are important to me; those whom after I talk to them I feel better. I imagine a cup: does this person fill up my cup or empty it? I make time to stop and connect with people who fill my cup. Luckily I currently live with 3 of them. Actually, I shouldn’t say luckily as luck has little to do with it. I consciously and intentionally crafted a life so that the people who are around me are the people who lift me up, inspire me, support me, and encourage me to be the best version of me. To say this was always my reality is laughable. I had very “interesting” relationships with my biological family and my ex husband was not a man who was any sort of supportive. I’ve crafted this life I love and that’s part of why I podcast weekly: to show a vision of what is possible: in family life, in marriage, as a mom, as a woman. Healthy relationships are an integral part of our experience here as humans. Who do you choose to spend your time with? How do you feel after spending time with them?

5) Mind Management: Yep, all the other pointers aside, the most important and empowering thing I do each day is to manage my mind. We have 60-80,000 thoughts zing around our head daily. The thoughts we focus on create the way we feel and the way we feel drives how we act. If I’m not paying attention to what’s going on in my head I spend my day in a reactive, emotionally-driven way. How do I manage my mind? There are many ways but nothing has changed my life the way meditating has. Yes, I used to be that woman who thought I didn’t have time to meditate or couldn’t see the point in sitting with my eyes frigging closed. Then about three years ago, I made the commitment to meditate for 3 minutes a day. 3 little minutes. Nothing has changed my life more. I’m often asked by people who may want to meditate, what meditation gives me?  It has given me self-awareness, self-compassion, the ability to complete a task, calmness when parenting, stronger relationships, and a better ability to manage my emotions. What has it taken from me? Stress. Anger. Anxiety. Overwhelm. Confusion. I now meditate between 10 to 20 minutes a day and just passed my 600 consecutive day mark (yay me!). If you don’t want to meditate yet, another way to manage your mind is by doing what I call a brain dump. Simply put, get out a piece of paper and a pen and dump your brain out on paper. Write out some of those 60-80,000 thoughts. When we get them out of our head, they lose power. Instead of sitting there and worrying about your son in the lunch room, dump it out on paper. You may still worry about the same thing but the power of that thought is lessened. Don’t believe me? Try it. Start small but please start.

So dear warriors, what are your non-negotiables for feeling good? Or are you not feeling so good and you’re going to try one of mine? Let me know! 

If you liked this post, please share it! Text it to a friend who needs to hear this message; Take a screen shot and share it on instagram (tag me @4smbwellness, I will reply and follow you!!). Big love to you warriors! 

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