Sometimes we actually need to give ourselves permission to take time out for self-care. It needs to be on the To-Do list! I’ve been learning this lately. I usually eat my food while walking around doing things, like typing on my keyboard with the non-eating hand, or finger! Now I remind myself to sit down and enjoy the meal. And perhaps look out the window and enjoy the view!
What extra steps can you take in the direction of self-care? How could you go the extra mile to give yourself the care you deserve? Some things that appeal to me are as follows:
- Taking a quiet walk in the park where I get to sort out my head! Silence and walking do wonders for me as I’m quite kinesthetic! I think more clearly, get some mind and body exercise and feel refreshed after such a stroll. The increased oxygen-intake is also a health benefit. Sometimes I can’t avoid having my kids with me but I let them know that this is “mummy’s quiet time”, and they are learning to respect this. Perhaps learning the habit as well! At other times we enjoy animated banter or a sing-along as we walk! I find this equally refreshing and good for building the child-parent relationship. Important for my life balance as well.
- For me, a bath or shower isn’t just for cleansing. It’s for chilling out too! Think aromatherapy, soft towels, soft lights, room at right temperature and you are getting my drift. I often hurry through a shower due to a tight schedule (imagine that!) but I insist on the occasional chill-out in the water. And it works just as well as a stroll in the park to get me relaxed and thinking clearly. Thankfully, the kids aren’t in on this one, though they are often whining at the door!
- A leisurely read! Much of my reading is work-related. I love what I do, so work and play sort of keep on mixing! For instance, I love reading Psychologies magazine, but as a coach that’s kind of work as well! It has therefore become necessary for me to give myself permission to enjoy a leisurely read that isn’t in any way work. Like a fiction novel, something spiritual (I love my Bible or daily devotional) or a magazine (Good Housekeeping, Ebony, Readers Digest are some of my chill-out favourites).
- This brings me to my next self-care step: Turning things off! Things such as my laptop and TV. While I enjoy a leisurely read, it certainly must not be online! You know how one thing leads to another when you’re surfing the net! So I occasionally give myself computer-free mornings, afternoons, evenings or whole days. If I need to check email I allow myself a sneak-peek on my i-phone. But the laptop stays on the desktop, firmly shut!
- If the laptop and TV are staying off I could either spend the time in refreshing silence or listen to some music. My favourites are classical, smooth jazz and gospel. So it could be just music and me, or music while I work.
These are five of my self-care activities that foster improved work/life balance for me (I have more!). They help me fit living and working into my day, as well as the other things that matter to me. Such as my family relationships, my spiritual, mental and physical well-being and personal interests. Care to share some of yours (you are self-caring, aren’t you)? Why not post a comment and share them below? Or if you aren’t yet self-caring and actively working out your work/life balance, tell us what you’d like to start doing, and how this could help you.
These are some of the beautiful sights I enjoy on my walks in the park. Enough to keep me motivated to do my 30 minutes of brisk walking every day! I hope you like them too.