If you’re not taking full responsibility for your self-care, you are daily sending yourself out into the world undernourished and unprepared. We would never do that to a child, or advise a friend to neglect him or herself – but we do it to ourselves with disturbing regularity.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are too busy, too important, or (oddly enough) too stressed for self-care. These are precisely the times that we all need self-care most! And today, I am sharing some tips for making use of those ‘in-between times’ to nurture and refresh yourself. So read on – and more importantly, take the importance of self-care to heart and start giving yourself that gift!
If you’re not taking full responsibility for your self-care, you are daily sending yourself out into the world undernourished and unprepared.
Self-Care Tips for Transitional Time
Use these simple, self-care tips to remain alert, appreciative and grounded as your day unfolds.
1. Incorporate one transitional, self-care activity into your daily routine.
Where would your day benefit from adding a self-care activity? Envision your typical energy progression from morning to night. Now note where it tends to falter. For example, do you often wake up feeling unfocused, worried, or resentful? If so, try welcoming your day with heightened
appreciation by developing an affirmation, such as:
“I enter my day with anticipation and gratitude and welcome all that it may bring.”
This is your gift to yourself, offered in warm support and friendship, so take time to let this affirmation take root inside you. Breathe it in and out as you relax into this welcoming energy. The more you nurture yourself, the more you transform the day’s problems into avenues for new understanding.
2. Perhaps you use a timer to transition from one activity to the next throughout the day. Use its signal to take a short self-care break.
Timers help you “reawaken” your intentions to focus productively on your time choices. If you become entrenched in activities at home or work, use a timer to remind you to take a break. Renew your energy by engaging in a short, brisk walk, playing with your dog, or watering your plants. Your physical activity stretches tired muscles and sends oxygen into your system, refreshing both mind and body. This helps to ground you and remind you of life’s small pleasures as you transition from one activity to the next.
3. Notice transitional activities that become rituals.
Just as you begin your day with a routine consisting of specific activities so, too, you have rituals for closing up your day. Take a few moments to envision your nightly routine. Tune into your energies, moods and thoughts, and the patterns they fall into. How do the specific activities you’ve chosen work to close your day? Where does self-care fit in? What messages are you giving yourself?
Now broaden your awareness to look at other transitions you’ve established throughout the day: How do you use specific activities to move from one project to the next, or to mark a singular, significant change? How do these transitional activities impact your energy? How might you modify them to include self-care activities that increase your resilience?
Be specific and mindful, as your self-care rituals will be unique to you if they are to truly address your needs. So, ask yourself:
- How does thoughtful reviewing clarify how best to build on your progress before you move on to your next task?
- How does planning help you step back into your work when you return to it?
- How do affirmations reinforce your life goals and place your time choices in a meaningful context?
So remember to build powerful self-care activities into any of the transitional times in your day.
The way you use your time is the way you live your life.© Copyright 2014 Paula Eder, Ph.D.