I know what happens when I neglect self-care and I know how easy it is to slip up during the holidays. I’ve done it many times and witnessed others do it countless times, too.
So today I’m opening my private journal to share the 8 keys I
flawlessly follow return to—to take extraordinary care of me. Make them yours.
1. Morning Moments
Take the first moments of the day to get centered and set the tone for the day you’d like to experience. Breathe deeply. Give thanks for waking up and choose a quality to embody, notice, or attract more of into your life (peace, joy, abundance). Focus your energy on your heart and immerse yourself in the feeling of the quality you’ve selected. Give yourself at least 5 minutes.
2. Time Test the Stress
When you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or worried ask this question: Will this situation, circumstance, or thing, matter in a year from now? The overwhelming majority of things that rob us of present peace will not matter in a year or even a week. Use this test to identify wasteful energy exertion. If the thing you’re worried about will matter in a year, turn to the other 9 steps and fortify yourself so that you can make wise and solution-oriented decisions.
3. Detox Your Mind
Everyone’s talking about juice-fasts and whole-food cleanses and they’re great for helping your body detoxify and rejuvenate, but it’s just as important to clean out your consciousness. Think of your mind—conscious and unconscious—as a glass of water. When you fill it with bad news, predictions of doom, anxiety, fear, criticism, and complaints, the water becomes murky and you feel rotten. If you fill it with loving thoughts, hope, joy, laughter, success, generosity, serenity, peace, and creativity, the water is crystal clear and you feel great. Get conscious about what kind of water you’re pouring into your glass. Eliminate or drastically reduce your exposure to toxic environments, people, and sources (like the local news). Construct an environment that cultivates the way you want to feel.
In the middle of the day, carve out a few moments (even just 5 minutes) to soothe and renew yourself. Meditate, have a solitary cup of tea, sit and breathe deeply, listen to a song that touches you, or take up Tai Chi. Return to the set point you created in your Morning Moments. This practice of choosing and reinforcing your internal intention will change you. In time you’ll spend more time in the state you choose and less in reaction to the world.
5. Flex your “NO” muscles
In case you missed it or need a refresher, here’s how: “NO” Power!
6. Edge Excess Weight Out
Feeling or fearing fat? What you focus on expands—including your waistline! Mother nature hands us the keys to a vibrant life in the form of fresh (frozen if necessary, but never canned) fruits and vegetables. Don’t worry about what you can’t and shouldn’t eat every day. Instead, focus on eating at least 5 servings a day of non-starchy vegetables and low-in-sugar fruits. Do this and lesser quality foods will be reduced and often edged out completely. The benefits are too numerous to list here. And if you think vegetables taste awful, let Google prove you wrong. Look up recipes for cauliflower, broccoli, kale, or Brussels sprouts and they’ll turn you into a veggie connoisseur with a healthy body. Try it!
7. Epic Rest
Sleep in a quiet, dark room with no electronics (TVs, Computers, iPods etc.), every night for at least seven, preferably eight, hours. According to the Centers for Disease control, insufficient sleep is linked to the development of a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Do what you have to do to get your epic rest. (This one is my vice . . . I love to stay up all night.)
8. Sweat Every Day
Move your body! It makes you smarter, happier, healthier, and younger. If you don’t have a lot of time, you hate to exercise, or you just don’t want to, fine. Do just enough to break a sweat. Some people love to work-out, others loathe it. Those who loathe it are further discouraged by routines and long work-outs. Free yourself! Just do enough to sweat, every day. If you’re feeling good do more. The most important component of your exercise plan is that you show up again tomorrow. My favorite exercise is yoga (in class, on YouTube, or with a DVD). If you’re new to yoga and you want to try it out, take a beginner Iyengar class and work up to Vinyasa, or Flow yoga. Yoga harmonizes the mind and body, builds muscle, increases flexibility, lubricates joints, massages the organs (promoting detoxification and flushing the entire system), improves posture, fosters discipline, and inner peace.
Those are my top eight and I know you have more that I haven’t thought of. What’s your best self-care tip? Leave me a comment below.
Have a beautiful holiday!