This post was written by Tracey Delfs, life coach and wellness speaker that has been teaching mindfulness and meditation classes and retreats for the last 15 years.
“Put yourself at the top of your to-do list every single day and the rest will fall into place.” - Unknown
As a stress-management and mindfulness coach, I have had many clients come and see me because they are feeling exhausted and burnt-out. It turns out that this is often the result of them giving too much of themselves and not making self-care a priority. Therefore, I have put together a handful of my favorite self-care tips to share with you in hope that you’ll choose to move self-care to the very top of your ‘to do’ list.
1. Create a Morning Ritual
Before you hit the ground running in the morning and start saying ‘yes’ to others and the demands of your day, I recommend you carve out a bit of time to ‘fill up your own cup’. I refer to this time as creating a morning self-care ritual.
I’d recommend starting your morning by not turning on any of your electronics (including your phones) until you’ve taken some time for yourself first. Everyone’s self-care ritual will vary depending on interests, time available, etc, but the most important thing is to be consistent with taking time for you every morning.
Self-care morning rituals may include meditating, yoga, exercise, journaling and time for reflection and contemplation. When you start off your day by doing things that fill you up, you’ll move into our day feeling a lot more grounded, more positive and in a state of flow versus feeling frazzled.
2. Nourish Yourself
Nourish yourself throughout the day by making sure you are eating healthy meals, drinking enough water and getting fresh air and exercise.
Sometimes we get so busy that we forget to eat meals or drink enough water. Make it a priority to schedule regular meals and exercise into your day, and try to get outside to nourish yourself with some fresh air.
3. Quality Sleep for Self-Care
Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do to take better care of yourself. Start by making sure you get to bed early enough to get the adequate amount of sleep that your body needs. To help improve the quality of your sleep: meditate daily to help decrease stress, limit your caffeine and alcohol intake and keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet. Make sure to turn off all of your electronics an hour or more before bed, because the blue-light emitted from them suppresses your melatonin levels which will impact the quality of your sleep.
4. Learn to Say No
Learning to have clearer boundaries and saying ‘no’ can go a long way in regards to self-care. We need to remember we can’t say yes to everything and to everyone, all the time. If we do, this will lead to resentment, exhaustion and burnout. Therefore, we have to get crystal clear as to what we want to say ‘yes’ to and what we can start to say ‘no’ to. One of my favorite quotes is from the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown. The quote is, “If it’s not a 90% or more yes, then the answer should be no”. My challenge for you is to start to be more mindful about what you are committing to by asking yourself the question, “is this a 90% or more yes?” Meaning do I REALLY want to commit to this invite, do this, buy this, etc. If it’s not a 90% or more yes, then politely say no (to others or yourself) to whatever the request or opportunity was. This will help to simplify your life, which is in alignment with self-care.
5. Time to Recharge
We all need time to rest, rejuvenate and re-charge our batteries, just like our cell phone batteries do! What do you do to fill up your cup and recharge? Examples of things you could do during your day to recharge include getting some exercise, taking a nap, calling a good friend, reading a book, having a bath or a doing a short-guided meditation. We also need to remember to take time throughout the year to recharge and recover, such as spending a day hiking in nature, going on a holiday or to a retreat. I have led over 30 mindfulness, meditation and yoga retreats at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and have had the opportunity to see hundreds of guests leave the retreats feeling totally rejuvenated and recharged.
I’d like to wrap up by reminding you that it is never selfish to make self-care a priority; instead it’s self-fulfilling. Everyone in our life benefits when we are giving from a full cup.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.” - Unknown
I hope to see you at one of my upcoming mindfulness, meditation and yoga retreats at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Until then, remember to slow down and enjoy the present moment.