Now that all the energy and focus of celebrating the holidays of December and the New Year concluded, who’s caring for me? Might sound a little selfish, or needy…guess what, it is! And rightfully so! Gotta be selfish with me; have to take care of the needs only I can! Intentionally prioritizing self-care has increased my confidence, creativity, and productivity. Not to mention, all the feel-good moments that result. I’m taking it all to a higher level in 2020. Let’s upgrade life in creating lifestyles, habits, and rituals that present greater vibrancy, peace, and joy!
Throughout 2020 I will be sharing on self-care, soul-care, and spirit-care. Honestly, if I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. And no one can prioritize my self-care except me. This is actually one of the things only I can do for me. And only you can do for you! It certainly makes me a better me!
Loving myself enough to ensure regular attentiveness to mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, personal, and relational aspects spurs me on in all that I do. Doing the most for everyone and everything else is depleting. Romans 12:1-2 captures this so plainly for me, “…offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” And you know women of today do a LOT! So …renewal is necessary!
It’s always been inspirational and, simply put, quite helpful, to have a list or cheat sheet so that it requires less thought of me during the times of self-care/soul-care. So I am tearing a page out of my self-care mental manual to inspire and motivate you to create your own, or borrow a few from my list.
The simplest of rituals contribute significantly to how life is enjoyed. My list is presented in random order. Have fun with it, even share it! Here goes:
Keep a journal. This has been foundational in my casting vision, reflecting, and in encouraging me in my present. Capturing thoughts, experiences, and life lessons in raw f form reduces stress and anxiety and facilitates my avoiding depression. Journaling has helped me become more aware of my morals and values while documenting transformation and growth. It has become my peace and solace. Because I don’t just talk the talk, family and friends know I love (on most days) to journal. Therefore, I receive journals as gifts (one of my primary love languages) expands the enrichment, guided or independently. Not to speak of the mental and emotional benefits! And it is economical. If just starting out, use a notebook or the notes app on your device(s). I’ve picked up great guided journals at Five Below!
Limit smartphone, TV, and other devices near bedtime. This was necessary for me. My nights became more restless and I found myself waking up multiple times at night. In reading an article on sleep and healthy sleep disciplines, I learned that the overstimulated brain needs time to wind down for us to experience the different dimensions of sleep. I was not experiencing a number of the sleep stages exasperated by my remaining connected up until turning off lights. I had to make a drastic decision, to begin charging my device outside of my bedroom and to begin reading at bedtime. It’s amazing the difference, as I can now experience a full night’s sleep. Now, that’s my experience, may not be yours. However, reducing the stimulation produced by electronic devices at bedtime has benefits for everyone!
Keep your heart and spirit young. Take time out with the children in your life. The purity in which they enjoy life is contagious. I find that when I am around my two grandchildren, my energy level and mindset improves. Not to mention the laughter and sheer joy of their presence. Yes, spending time with children is a form of self-care. It r restores the childlike beliefs and perspectives that may have been contaminated and warped by conditioning and society driven ideas. If you have small children of your home, this does not sound like self-care, it's your everyday. Creatively transform time spent with children to reclaim self-care. Perhaps coloring, painting, playing a game, building, or crafting can stimulate the freedom of expression kids are gifted with. And generate the relaxation and break you desire.
Solitude is priceless. Spend time alone. I allow myself to intentionally create private, uninterrupted, quiet time for myself. With the fullness busyness of life, and the constant influx of noise (digitally, environmentally, and socially), if I don’t take those 30-40 minutes to just quiet my soul to hear myself, I become irritable manifest by impulsive decisions and curtness with others. Get alone with yourself, get to know yourself, love being with yourself. I’ve grown to love my “me time”! Even Jesus spent time alone regularly. Take incremental steps towards the ideal harmony for you.
Quiet the noise. Expanding upon previous ritual of limiting the devices near bedtime, escaping from social media periodically allows me to reacquaint myself with me – my thoughts, my desires, my passions, my purpose, and my dreams. Fasting social media at different intervals makes room for me to shine again. Due to this season of life, I cannot disconnect totally, however I’ve adapted a daily spiritual discipline to replace 30-minutes of scrolling in Facebook and/or Instagram with devotional time – outside of my daily devotional time. This is still a work in progress, because going into social media feels like I go into a black hole and keeps spiraling downward. Getting a better handle on it in 2020! My mental health depends on it!
Just a few tips for this month…keeping it real, everyday isn’t a success. Having accountability and maximizing my calendar (if it’s not on my calendar, it usually doesn’t happen) keeps me on task. Some of which has become routine and ritual for me.
Be on the lookout for next month’s tips as I continue this journey. Please share your tips as well. This is an ongoing conversation…
Enjoying Life Fully requires dedication, transformation, and breakthrough. Celebrate achievements and everyday moments…Live your best life! Starting now…