It’s hard to make myself a priority.
I seem to be doing ok.
I know I should make more of an effort but other things absorb all my time.
I think I will have time but then some emergency comes up.
I am so drained I don’t know what I need right now.
I know what I should do, but I don’t really feel like it.
These are just a few of the things that keep us from taking care of ourselves in the way we need to.
I have had so much fun getting together this fall with moms, family caregivers, and a group of nurses to talk about self-care. They have been courageous at delving into the topic with me. I always find myself convicted and having learned so much after our talks.
And afterwards the important thing is to make one small change when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Even when the reasons above seem to take over, the thing to remember is that so much of self-care can be done in a single act that takes 15 minutes or less everyday or even just a couple days a week.
Now you might be tempted to write me off right now. But hold on tight. It is important to focus on small changes and to feel the sense of victory with having accomplished them. And it is possible to become healthier with an extra 15 minutes a day spent on yourself.
In thinking about self-care I like to look at it from the frame of reference of 8 categories of self-care: Physical, Psychological, Spiritual, Relational, Balance, Purpose, Professional/Personal Interests, and Playing. So here is a list of self-care activities that can be done in 15 minutes or less each day listed under the category they are a part of. Pick one for each day or the same one to do as a habit…
1)Fill water bottle in morning and challenge self to drink by noon then fill again
2)Plan meals for a few days being intentional about healthful foods
3)Put protein bars or bags of nuts in your car, purse, or on your counter for a quick healthy snack
4)Take a shower
8)Take your vitamins
9)Pick a vegetable or fruit to eat at the same time everyday
10)Cut up veggies and fruit to have ready in the fridge
1)Read an article or chapter of a book about something you are dealing with right now
2)Listen to a song that energizes you or is meaningful to you in some way
3)Write in your journal
4)Call a friend to share a hard time
5)Find and chat in an online support group
7)Read an inspirational book or Bible
8)Read a chapter of a book about overcoming hard times
9)Sit with your pet and pet them
10)Write down everything you are worrying about and put it away to deal with another time.
1)Write a Bible verse or inspirational quote on your mirror
3)Read Bible, inspirational book, or devotional
4)Talk or text a spiritual mentor
5)Set a goal for the week
6)Write 10 things you are grateful for
7)Send a thank you note to someone who has gone the extra mile for you
8)Find a new book to order that will challenge you
9)Spend time outside
10)Start a quote book
1)Plan and schedule an event with a friend or family member
2)Make a list of people you want to get together with in the next month
3)Text a friend and tell them something you appreciate about them
4)List out the prominent people in your life, star the ones that bring energy to you and you want to capitalize on, circle someone that needs your encouragement right now
5)Tell 5 people you love them today
6)Find a group to join, with like interests or need for support
7)Plan to visit someone who has been sick or in the hospital
8)Think about someone you were close to in the past that you would like to revitalize your relationship with.
9)Give someone a hug
10) Read a book about marriage or relationships
1)Write down these 8 areas of who you are and write down what you are doing now to care for yourself in these categories and then rate on a scale 0 (not satisfied at all) to 10 (very satisfied) how satisfied with how you are caring for yourself in that area
2)Check-in with yourself: how have things been running lately? Are you restless? Is there an area you need to spend more time on?
3)Think about the 3 main things that are taking up your time? What is the core reason why you do them?
4)What are you being called to at this time in your life? What brings you passion?
5)Ask 3 people in your life to tell you there opinion about how you seem to be doing lately.
1)Find an article online and read it about something you want to learn more about
2)Text a goal in this area to a friend that also is in the same field or interest
3)Find and download a podcast about your interests
4)Make a plan to do something you enjoy
5)Sign-up for a newsletter or blog in your area of interest
6)Find a Facebook group that chats about your interest
7)Think of a way you can do your loved hobby in less than 15 min
8)Make a list of 10 things you can do to grow in this area
9)Check out a book from the library to learn about this
10)Pick someone who knows more than you do about this and email or call them with your questions
1)20 jumping jacks
2)Have your own dance party or play the music loud
3)Move the furniture around in a room for a fresh look
4)Play a card game with someone
6)Wear something sparkly
7)Complement 2 people today
8)Pick something to do for no other reason then it sounds fun
9)Watch 15 minutes of a comedian on Netflix
10)Put a smile on your face and keep it there
So there it is. Self-care in 15 minutes or less and you can do an even better job then I at making a list of self-care practices that meet your needs. PICK ONE!