SELF CARE SUNDAY - TAKING ME TIME

07:56:00

Taking time for ourselves can be hard. There is work, daily chores, grocery shopping and obviously your loved ones. When I was working full time I barely had the energy to both cook and buy food after work, let alone drag myself to a workout class. I can´t even imagine what it must be like if you have children or especially babies. So these tips come from a relatively privileged position. For the majority of my life studying has been my main job and over the past four months I have largely been funemployed leaving me an intense amount of time to focus on myself. However I hope some of you still may find these tips helpful in their daily life.


1. Make yourself a priority

Generally speaking we are afraid to appear selfish. We do not want to put ourselves and our wellbeing over the needs and feelings of others and we do not want to cause any issues for other people. While this may be a very accepted and polite way to live life, it is ultimately detrimental not only to your own mental health, but also to your relationships with others. You cannot pour from an empty cup. If you do not take care of yourself first, love yourself first, deal with your emotions first, you will not be able to help others. It may work for a while, but in the longterm, constantly putting your needs behind those of others, will make you not only unhappy it may make you emotionally and physically sick. It can lead to burn out, depression and severe physical illnesses. So even if you only do this to be a better partner, friend or lover: put yourself first. Always.

2. Schedule me time like you would other appointments

This is not the newest trick in the book, but so so important especially when times get busy. Every Sunday sit down and plan out the week ahead. Put in your dates with friends, your work schedule, any important meetings... and then find time just for you. You need to find out what type of me time is most beneficial to yourself. It may be a Yoga class, it may be a sweaty gym session, it may be a spa treatment. But make sure all of these things have a date, a time and have the same priority in your schedule as all other appointments you have that week. Actually they should be more important than others, because this is your time to recharge and get the energy to do all the other amazing things you do. So mark them in your calendar and mark them in red. And make sure you do not skip them.


3. Focus on me time in the morning

I think the easiest way to carve out more me time is to get up a little earlier. Now I also LOVE to sleep in and have a lazy morning, but changing up my morning routine has completely transformed my life. Getting a few acts of self care such as oil pulling and drinking lemon water in as well as doing meditation first thing in the morning makes my days so much happier and generally healthier as well. You have to find a way that works for you. I will get up 30 minutes earlier for meditation and a relaxed start to the day, but while I prefer working out in the morning I will never get up at 4 am to work out. I have also found I am fine with having breakfast at work since I am usually not that hungry in the morning anyways and can easily bring overnight oats to work or store yoghurt and fruits in the office fridge. So develop a morning routine that works for you but why not try and take 15 to 30 minutes in the morning just for you.


4. Make me time a habit

Now in saying mornings are perfect for self care time I am also aware that not everyone starts their office days at 9 am like me. I am currently waitressing and the café I work at opens at 7 am, so I am there at 6:45, which means getting up at 5:30. You bet I don´t have time for myself in the morning and I am pretty sure I would fall straight back to sleep if I tried to meditate before 6 am. However meditation, gratitude journaling and Yoga have become habits for me. I know they are the most important part of my day to feel good and I do them almost every single day. Now it sounds like a lot,  but at the end of the day getting this three things in, which are super important to me takes about 45 minutes. That is such a small percentage of my day for a huge impact in how I feel on the daily. Even with working two jobs, one from seven to four and another from six to nine, as well as a thirty minute commute I have still managed to meditate, journal and do Yoga because I prioritise these things now. I know how much better they make me feel and I immediately miss them when I don´t do them. So start with a small goal like doing 10 minutes of Yoga everyday. Try to do that for a month and once that month is over this will be a habit for you. These monthly challenges are fun, because they are easier than saying: "I´ll do this everyday for a year" and because if these habits don´t benefit you as much as you hoped you can simply stop doing them. Building healthy and loving habits is an absolute key to feel good about yourself and your mental health, because while motivation may go up and down, habits stick with you.

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Thanks so much for your lovely comments, constructive criticism and suggestions. I will try to answer all of you!

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