10 Self Care Tips for November
It's a stressful time and a lot of people are counting on you, but you can't take care of others if you're not taking care of yourself. Here is a list of self-care tips to get you through the rest of the month.
- Movement that feels good — We’re not talking about forcing yourself to go to the gym or go for a 10-mile run. Find movement you enjoy (walking, hiking, yoga, dancing) and do it every day. Movement and light exercise is good for your body and your mind.
- Journaling — Make journaling every day a habit. Whether it’s at night right before you go to bed or first thing in the morning over coffee, writing down your thoughts and intentions for the day is the ultimate mindfulness practice. It helps you to recognize and understand your emotions and work through them so you can move on with your day.
- Sleep — Sleep tends to be the first thing we deprive ourselves of when we’re under stress and have too much on our plates. We stay up late or get up early to get the job done, but the truth is we need at least 8 hours of sleep a night to be clear, focused and high-functioning. Running on fumes is a fast way to burn out quickly.
- Meditation — People always say, “I’m not good at meditating,” but no one expects you to be as peaceful as a monk when you’re starting out. The point is to keep doing it even when your mind runs wild. The point is to be aware of where your mind is going, process the thought and let it go. Keep coming back to deep breathing — inhale, exhale. That’s all it is and if you do it everyday for at least 5 minutes, you will begin to feel that centeredness much faster. Guided meditations on the Podcasts or Audible apps are a good way to get started.
- Say no — We get so caught up in people-pleasing and trying to do everything we think we’re supposed to do that we often put ourselves last on the priority list. Practice saying no when you don’t want to do things. No explanation is needed. It’s hard, but it’s liberating and your loved ones will understand.
- Gratitude list — I see some of you rolling your eyes, but writing a gratitude list is therapeutic and puts a bad day into perspective. Take it a step farther and make a prayer list expressing your hopes and prayers for friends and family.
- Laugh with friends — They say laughter is the best medicine and there’s a lot of truth in that. I personally like to add a glass of wine and a good friend to the mix for safe measure.
- Pay it forward — No matter how low we may feel sometimes, there’s always something we can do for others. Studies have shown that community service, volunteering or other altruistic activities make us happier people who live much longer. It reminds us we’re not alone in the world and hopefully creates some good karma for down the road when you really need it.
- Savor — This one is my go-to self care. It’s a magical practice of being in the present and savoring every second of a joyous moment. It’s almost like placing the world around you in slow motion so you can appreciate it all — the sights, the smells, the breeze, the conversation.
- Let it go — This may be the hardest for those of us who love to ruminate and control situations. Letting it go doesn’t mean you forget it, it means you allow it to not have control over your life anymore. Make peace with whatever is bothering you and release it.