One of my favourite places to speak at is the Women’s Centre. The women there inspire me with their stories, their questions, and their constant quest to learn. Today I delivered a talk focused on self care (see Heart Awareness – Inside and Out) based on health basics. When life gets complicated, we get simple. We simplify our environment, our food, our material possessions, our needs and our life. I equate it to treat ourselves like a toddler. What does a toddler need? Food, sleep, water, love, and exercise. We require the same things. When a toddler is off routine, they are cranky and unbalanced. When we are off our routine, we are the same way. Hence, we bring it back to treat ourselves like the children we lovingly take care of. Below are the four steps in simplification of self care.
The first step in simplification is to organize. We organize our possessions into what we need and what we no longer need (the minimalist approach to detoxing our material possessions).
The second step is to prioritize. Many times I hear – “I didn’t have time to eat because I had to do this task”. Unless the task is life or death (most times it’s not), then you are worthy of taking the time to eat. We always make to-do lists, but we don’t continue further and prioritize what the most important tasks are to do on that list.
The third step is to execute. We have come up with our goals, now we need to put them in to action. Sometimes I like to use a tracking system like putting a sticker on the calendar every time I execute the goal. Or I set up a simple goal chart. After two weeks I readdress my goals and acknowledge what some of my obstacles may be to fulfilling this goal then problem solve to change it.
The last step is routine. It takes 2-3 months of consciously executing a goal before it becomes routine or autonomic. Many people will stop something because they don’t see results in two weeks. Things take time. Habits take time to break and we need to give ourselves that time to change.
As women we are great caretakers, but are we great self care takers? Caring for someone is not synonymous we actually carrying them. Naturally women are multitaskers, but just because we can do everything doesn’t mean we should. Expend 50% of your energy towards the task, and the other 50% towards yourself (or start small with 90%/10% to 80%/20% to 70%/30% and so on). One of the most difficult things for us to do is love ourselves – the first step is self care. You care for those you love, so if you start caring for yourself than love will follow naturally (the body feels valued hence the person feels appreciated, and love follows in).
One of my favourite comments during the talk was, after explaining prioritizing at least 5 minutes of mindful eating time each meal, “I deserve more than 5 minutes. I deserve 10 minutes”. Yes, yes you do. You are deserving of self care.