I've been super busy lately, but when I'm not working on a project or with a client, I'm actually taking time for me. My world has dramatically changed, once I made time for me. Taking care of you, isn't an easy feat. I'm sure there are more than a few of you reading this that always puts your children, your parents, significant other or even your boss before you consider taking care of you first. I'm guilty too and my name has usually been on the bottom of my to-do lists in the past, but not anymore. This year has taught me so much about what it means to self-love and I promise you it has nothing to do with being selfish or narcissistic in any way. So to all my fellow boss babes, here's some easy ways to implement self care into your life.
When you feel yourself starting to get anxious and stressed over a situation, stop. Deep breath. Spend a few minutes to take control over your actions by paying attention to your breath instead. Inhale, Exhale. Close your eyes and take yourself to a happy place. Hugging someone you love, laying on the beach, playing with your pet. Stress and anxiety are evil. I promise you that whatever the problem is, it get resolved. Even if it doesn't turn out in your favor, it just might teach you a lesson in the long run.
2. Laugh and Have Fun.
I strongly believe that laughter heals all wounds, even if it's temporary. Life is so damn short to not laugh and smile. During a very dark period of my life last year I met someone and he brought back the laughter in my life. My cheeks actually started hurting. As silly as it sounds, it was pretty sad. How did I go so long without laughing that when I finally did it again, it was a chore? I promised myself in that enlightened moment that I would never let myself get that far down again. For me, work is fun, because I enjoy what I do. But when I say 'laugh and have fun", I actually mean it. Take yourself to the park and swing on the swings, take a road trip Disneyland or just put on a funny movie and let yourself unwind.
3. Live Well.
Drink plenty of water. Take your vitamins. Eat something green! I'm not yelling at you, but I'm yelling at myself. I still struggle with this, but I'm getting much better. I have a gallon of water on my desk each morning and drink throughout the day. I take vitamins with breakfast. When I keep almonds or fruit close by, I tend to only eat good snacks because they are there, well and because I'm lazy... Plan your meals every week if you can and take time to move your ass!
Get your ass outside. Even if you only have five minutes before your next meeting, there's no excuses. We are so addicted to our phones and computers that we forget about the simple things in life. Eat your lunch in the park and listen to the birds, watch the kids play and let your mind wander. Whether I take the dog to the park or go on vacation, I always make it a point to unplug for as long as I can stand it. Even though we want to share every moment with our friends or followers, it's crucial to have some memories just for you too.
5. Mind Over Matter.
What we think, becomes our reality. I don't care what your excuse is or how bad you think you have it, stop obsessing over it. Don't be a victim. I can tell you first hand that when I have felt sorry for myself in the past, bad shit always surrounded me. Change your mindset. If you really focus on the positive and the best possible outcome, the universe must deliver. Think about what you want and how you really want your life to unfold. While living in Denmark, I made a dream board. I spent an afternoon tearing out words and pictures of things I wanted to manifest in my life. I hung it on the wall and looked at it everyday. I imagined myself wearing the clothes, flying a plane on vacation and creating an abundant life. This became a ritual that only took a few minutes every morning. About a year later, I looked at that pink poster board covered in magazine cutouts and stood there crying. I had achieved 90% of what was on my board. Trust me, the mind is a magnificent thing.
6. Treat Yourself.
Whether it's a facial, manicure or a retail therapy trip to the mail, you deserve it. Even if you can only afford $5 on yourself, do it. You don't have to go overboard and buy that gucci bag you can't stop thinking about (or maybe...) but just give yourself a gift. I, personally, get excited over a new nail polish or stationary. Investing in yourself is necessary. It's an external way to practice self-love. Do something for yourself every day, no matter how small it is, you will see the difference it makes in no time.
7. Practice Gratitude.
There is so much to be grateful for, even the little things. No matter how bad your situation might be, there is always someone else that has it worse. I've been homeless, poor and depressed, but there were still people in this world that had it far worse than I did. For me, success is something that was handed to me. It wasn't something that just magically happened one day. I'm grateful for every experience, even if it was traumatic, if it changed me in any way then it helped me grow. I'm grateful for my friends and family and even the strangers I meet. A smile from the barista handing you your coffee or someone holding the door, can go a long way just at the right moment. Write in a journal or just spend a few minutes every day silently listing out what and who you are a grateful for. When we appreciate life, it appreciates us right back.
photo credit: wildfox