I know what happens when I neglect self-care and 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 10 tips I
flawlessly follow return to—to take extraordinary care of myself. Make them yours.
1. Morning Moments
Take the day’s first moments 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 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. Have a Rescue Kit
It is a certainty that you’ll have bad days, blue moods, and times of self-doubt. We all do. Wouldn’t it be great to have a mechanism to help lift you out of that state? I’ve created one for you. Click here to download Inspired Living, my personal rescue kit. Be sure to complete it on a day that you’re feeling good so that you’ll have it when you need it.
4. Detox Your Mind
Everyone’s talking about juice fasts, and whole-food cleanses and how they’re great for helping your body detoxify and rejuvenate, but it’s just as important to clean out your consciousness. Think of your conscious and unconscious mind 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.
6. Flex your “NO” muscles
In case you missed it or need a refresher, here’s how: “NO” Power!
7. 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 five servings of non-starchy vegetables and low-in-sugar fruits daily. 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!
8. 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.)
9. 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, while others loathe it. Those who loathe it are further discouraged by routines and long workouts. 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 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, and fosters discipline and inner peace.
10. Sweet Dreams
If you’ve read tips #1, #4, and #5, then you understand the constant attention I pay to creating my emotional/spiritual/mental environment. It’s a practice, and once you’ve made it into a habit, you’ll see just how calm, confident, secure, and peaceful you can feel. Spend the last moments of each day focusing on something healing, loving, inspiring, or empowering. Read a text you love, count your blessings, put everyone on your forgiveness list, envision yourself living your dreams, or meditate.