Taking care of yourself is not selfish nor self indulgent. Certainly there is a level where this can be the case, but most women that I talk to about self-care say this: I can’t even get 5 minutes alone in the bathroom to pee.
In April 2015 I hosted a 30 Day Self-Care Challenge. Each day, participants were emailed a simple, short task to complete, that would go towards either developing a daily self-care routine or make them aware of an aspect of self that they should pay attention to. (You can do a self-paced version here).
Self-care is vital to boosting self-confidence, maintaining good health, increasing your productivity and focus, and lowering your stress level. Taking good care of ourselves means that we are at our best when we need to take care of others – whether that is being a parent or interacting with co-workers.
8 core self-care habits
Although the challenge in April included 30 things that went towards self-care, there are eight core habits that we identified as essential. These are things that should be done daily, and nicely none of them take more than a few minutes.
1. Believe in your (super) self
Research shows that taking a superhero pose (literally) can boost your self-confidence. (Check out Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk). Do this while brushing your teeth and say to yourself, “I believe in myself.”
Breathe properly, that is. From the diaphragm. Check out my series of videos on breathing. [YouTube]
3. Drink Water
You know you’re supposed to be drinking more than you do, so just resolve to drink more. Try substituting one sugary beverage with a glass of water.
You don’t have to become a marathon runner. Just try adding more steps into your day.
Little effort and big reward. When you smile your body releases endorphins – the feel good hormone. Smiling is a natural high.
6. Give Compliments
Not the fishing-for-one-in-return kind. Just give a nice, genuine compliment to three people a day.
Don’t roll your eyes, ye of great skepticism. Meditation has been around a lot longer than you and has been scientifically proven to work. You don’t have to sit cross-legged or chant. Just take a few moments to concentrate on your breathing. That’s it. You can take it to another level once you begin relishing the joys of finding peace in a moment.
8. Express Gratitude
Appreciate what you have (people and things) instead of focusing on what you don’t have. I think of at least one person or thing for which I’m grateful every day, and I think about why I’m grateful for them/it. It’s really helped to make me a happier person.
The eleven-page ebook includes a poster page you can print and hang up to remind yourself of the habits. Get the free ebook here.