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Still working on your self care resolutions? Or have you forgotten you made any?
Or maybe you’re like me and let the whole resolution frenzy pass you by. Once I saw the very short shelf life resolutions have, my attitude became: why bother?
But I never gave up on self care.
Why make self care resolutions?
Rather than jumping to make promises you know you won’t keep, let’s explore the reasons for making self care resolutions. What good is self care, anyway?
Well, a lot of good, actually. Self care is the care only you can give yourself; if you don’t do it, it won’t get done. And we know what happens to things we don’t take care of…
Rather than being a drudge, self care makes you more fun to be, doesn’t it?
When you take care of yourself, you feel better. When you feel better, you function better. You’re more creative, less reactive. And not only are you your better self, self care also makes you a better family member, a better friend, a better partner, co-worker, citizen.
Self care is your social responsibility. And self care is part of your every day.
You already have a number of self care resolutions in place. Brushing your teeth, for example. Not flossing–too big a stretch for some of us–just brushing, a simple act of self care you practice at least twice a day and wouldn’t dream of skipping.
Why do you brush your teeth? Likely for both the immediate payoff–your mouth tastes better–and the long term benefit–keeping your pearly whites as long as possible.
Let’s not stop at brushing your teeth. What other self care do you practice routinely, and why? What would it take to expand that circle of care?
Turning self care resolutions into self care habits
Your most valuable self care is not an occasional extravagance; it’s lifestyle, small things you practice every day.
Self care has to be practiced consistently. No matter how many times you brush your teeth today, you still need to brush them tomorrow. And the day after.
You know one yoga class won’t cure your aching back. A single meditation might relieve the headache you have now, but it won’t keep you from getting another one eventually.
How do you go from making a self care resolution to building a self care habit? Start with something you enjoy, and don’t go whole hog. Try under-doing it.
Want a meditation habit? Don’t start with hour sessions.
Start by sitting up in bed for five minutes before you jump into your day. Five minutes is short enough to be doable, and long enough to start your day from a more settled space. You can start by listening to this.
From self care resolution to self care revolution
In this culture, a commitment to self care is so bold, it’s revolutionary. But it’s a sweet, gradual, peaceful revolution.
If you want to be happier and healthier, to live your life with a sense of well-being, make one small act of self care today. Pay attention as you take care of yourself. Notice the details of how you feel. Then stay with that feeling a moment longer.
Don’t expect an overnight turnaround. Savor the experience rather than judging the results. Be willing to build your happiness and health the time-tested old-fashioned way, step-by-step, choice-by-choice.
Pay attention to your routine acts of self care. Enjoy being right there with yourself.
Paying attention heightens the benefit. And helps you notice that when you feel better, you function better and you make better choices–choices that keep you feeling better and functioning better.
Self care is an act of slow, relentless revolution. Let’s start the revolution now, or rather, soon. First pause to list your personal reasons, the reasons you’ll return to for inspiration to sustain your revolution.
What’s your why?
I practice daily self care because I enjoy my life and I want to still be fun when I’m 101.
I’m more than half way there, and as the years accumulate, I’ve noticed in some ways, age makes it easier to be fun. And in other ways, age makes it harder. Daily self care makes the harder ways easier.
Now it’s your turn. Please share your personal self care reasons, the ones that really motivate you, the ones you can remember in the moment when you need support.
You can find those reasons anywhere in your life. You might even find them in your family, perhaps your (grand)kids–those you have or those you hope to have.
Please share your most motivating reason in a comment below. Who knows, your reason might inspire someone else to find theirs!
After you share your comment, here are some gifts and tips to make your self care easier:
Even listening to a guided meditation provides a few minutes of effective self care. Here’s a free breath meditation from my Meditate CD.
Reiki is by far the easiest, most accessible self care practice. Basic Reiki self care is easy to learn, but you need to choose carefully as there are no standards for Reiki training or education. Click here for the information you need to make a meaningful Reiki connection.