Putting Yourself on Your Own Agenda


Self-care can be a bit of an abstract concept. Yes, most people recognize that in order to be fully functioning humans we need to spend some of our time doing things for ourselves, but in real life, actually putting it into practice can be tough.

I hear it a lot from new mamas, but really just about anyone who is undergoing a new season in their life.

“All I do is nurse and change diapers, how can I find the time to get in a workout?”

“I just started a new job, I’m overwhelmed and exhausted by the time I get home.”

“My loved one is sick, all my free moments are spent caring for him.”

A new job, new responsibilities, new communities, these things all take a great deal of mental and physical energy. Making the time for yourself can be a challenge. But maybe we’re looking at it the wrong way, as though self-care needs to be some huge valiant effort and time suck in order for it to count?

As a work from home mom with a toddler and a preschooler, I get it. Shit gets crazy here some days. I spend my days making snacks, pouring drinks, cleaning up the drinks after they’ve been poured on the table, trying to teach them how to be considerate, kind, and curious people, and wiping butts.

There are days when I show up at preschool with my toddler in jammies, yesterday’s eyeliner still on my face, bedhead, and no idea what the theme of the days is. But even on those days that I’m barely holding the pieces together I manage to carve out some time for me.

Because I know that just 10 minutes of deliberate self care makes me feel much less like a mombie. And just putting my energy and intention into myself for those few minutes can make a world of difference in my feelings about my day.

If you’re just starting out on the path to a healthier life, start small. Small habits done with intention consistently add up to big change. Some simple ideas to put yourself on your own agenda:

  1. Set your alarm 10 minutes early and start your day with some stretching or a yoga flow.
  1. Make a point of getting up from your desk every hour, having a stretch, and take a lap or two around your office.
  1. Enjoy tea? Make a point of making yourself a cup of caffeine free at night after the day’s business has subsided.
  1. Plug the smartphone into its charger 10 minutes earlier tonight pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read.
  1. Schedule a water break every couple of hours. And drink it!
  1. Ask your partner to handle one thing you usually do for the day. *cough bedtime cough*
  1. Put a scoop of protein in a shaker cup the night before so you have an easy to prepare snack option on the way out the door.
  1. Get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way.

Self care doesn’t have to equate to a 3 hour salon visit or a two hour workout. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes here and there for yourself. Need more solutions? We’ll have tons more ideas to share in Move Renew Repeat.

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