Make self-care your absolute priority in 2020

12:11 PM

As we are well into January by now, I am sure that you have forgotten most of your New Year resolutions already.
You know the whole loose weight, limit your caffeine intake, eat more salads, workout more, achieve the impossible without drafting a plan first...yeah those resolutions!

It's a good thing you dumped them by the way, you should be making goals, not resolutions anyway. What you should not dismiss however is listening to what your own body and mind are saying and listen to those silent voices above all others.
Because, what good will it do you to be an overachiever if that is going to lead your Burnout-ville?

So stand up in front of your mirror, or write it down :

In 2020 I vow to be selfish, and make my wellbeing my top most priority

Actually, DO write it down, and paste it on the wall or the fridge, or your bathroom mirror so you see it everyday. 
A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about the importance of loving yourself first, it still stands true. Self-care is a bit more elaborate than just making sure you love yourself first though, it's about recognising you have limits, and that it's OK to take a break in a busy day, week or month. 

It's about lifting your foot off the gas pedal, and doing what is right for you rather than what is said to be right by either your inner party pooping voice or people around you. 
It's about recognising that your limits are valid, and that pushing yourself isn't going to earn you a special award or trophy.

I'm a pretty happy, balanced soul (most of the time), and my secret lies almost exclusively into making time for myself...EVERYDAY! 
I work from home, so you might argue that I have more freedom than someone going to office, but the temptation to load up my plate with more than I can handle is pretty big. My creative work hours can stretch but the pressure of just cleaning that pile of clutter, doing that extra load of laundry, spending some extra time cooking something a bit more elaborate than just steamed veggies and grilled meat is always hanging over my head, along with the urge to slouch on the couch and binge watch something on Netflix. 

There are a few things I do on a daily basis that make a big difference in my general wellbeing : 

- I wake up between 6 and 6.30 am, and the first thing I do is set intentions for the day to come.

- Then I head straight to the kitchen and fix myself a simple breakfast and a cup of tea, which I'll have in bed.

- Nobody is allowed to bother me with chit chat, or any task between 6.30 and 7.30 am, I eat breakfast then play a few games on my phone or iPad, and check my feed on Instagram because watching pretty pictures makes me happy.

- I absolutely and definitely refuse to pack a snack tiffin, hunt down lost socks, or do any school related things in the morning. My daughter has been packing her fruit tiffin since she was 7 (she is 10 now) and since she has a cafeteria meal I subscribed her to, I don't do lunch tiffins. My only responsibilities in the morning is to remind her to get ready at 7.30 and drop her to school at 8.15.
If she forgets anything school related, that is her problem, not mine and I made it clear with the school the one time they scolded me for something she forgot.

- I then spend an hour of quality time with hubby before he heads to office, and then do my own work.

- I take a 1 hour break in my day, sometimes I watch Netflix, sometimes I nap, sometimes I just read or relax playing a game on my phone. It comes on top of lunch, not part of it.

- I club all the errands I might have to run on that one day, and if it is a busy errands  day, I will eat lunch at one of my favourite place, solo and in absolute bliss.

- I make time to spend with friends, it's non negotiable, and I usually meet them once a week for a lunch date, it's fun, we laugh, we talk, we connect and it's therapeutic...and cost less than being in therapy due to stress, and being burnout.

- I quit my parenting duties at 8.30pm, as in I'm D.O.N.E! All school matters, homework checking, and parenting stuff is done before that time. My daughter is usually tired by 8 and on those days she isn't, she is free to do as she please in her room, but I'm off duty...period

- On most day I am done with any work, be it household or creative work by 9 - 9.30 and it's lights out by 10.30. The phone goes on silent, any message, email, or whatnot will have to wait until the next day.

Then there are the days nothing goes right 

We all have these days! The days we risk lighting the house on fire by simply boiling water on the stove or microwaving leftovers. I wrote about those crappy days and how to salvage them a few years ago. 

The first thing to do is to not feel bad, let go of the guilt, take it as easy as you can, if you work from home, take the day off, if you work in an office, it's ok to eat outside food and not pack a tiffin, it's ok to cancel that playdate after school too. 
And if you are coming down with a cold, just take that day off already! We all need rest, we all need to pay more attention to what our body is telling us. 

On those days, I do the bare minimum. I leave my computer, brushes and paper well alone, those emails and messages can wait another day and dinner will be either take out or something as simple as pasta.  

Learn to delegate

Part of self-care is to finally admit you can't do it all. No one can....period

What I see too often are women who feel the need to pack their entire day with entirely too many things to do and feel that if they don't do it, they have failed as human beings. 


That crap Has. To. Die! Automate, and delegate what you don't like doing and start doing it TODAY. 
As you all know if you are frequent readers, I don't have a maid, because I was sick and tired of arguing my breath out with them every morning and being left to have to clean up after them. Not having a maid in India is something many argue is impossible to do. 

I made it work because I wanted it to work, the first year of it, we did it all ourselves without any automated help whatsoever. I would sweep and mop daily, hubby and I would share the dishes load, and our daughter was responsible for her room. We would dedicate 2 weekends a month to heavy deep cleaning and got into the habit of cleaning up after ourselves as we went through the day. Then we got a dishwasher, and later a cleaning robot. We didn't get it all at once, and we still split the work load between us 3. 

As I said, my daughter packs her own morning break snack, because I don't think it's beyond the grasp of a 10 years old to put a few strawberries in a box or use an apple slicer. On days she is inspired she makes her own multigrain bread sandwich, and it's been a year now that she started using her kids cookbook to make simple recipes on the stove by herself. 

By delegating work, you efficiently create more time for taking care of yourself. 

It's not about looking great, it's about feeling awesome

Self-care, unlike the stuff most resolution are made of is not about working toward altering your body image like loosing weight or the perceptions others have of you like when you vow to be more disciplined. 

It's about feeling your absolute best inside. Which is why my sole and only resolution year after year is to keep on being awesome. 
It's not a joke people! I've been keeping it for over 20 years because it is building on something I already am to begin with. 

I am awesome, it's given already. The only work is on KEEPING IT UP, so with that in mind, it's easier to take care of myself, the pressure to achieve it from scratch is off entirely. 

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