When the oil change light goes on in the car, we know we have to accept the demands our car is making or pay for it later. The same goes for ourselves. Regular self maintenance is not a luxury – it is a necessity. We don’t have to break the bank to make this happen or schedule full days at a time. Here are seven ideas to squeak a little self care into your schedule.
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Schedule time for yourself
Even a lunch break taken during the work day can become a few moments of calm if used correctly. Pick a time during the day – even just 15 minutes – when you can focus on not just pausing physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
Need a little help figuring out when to squeeze this in between the drop off and the pick up of the kids, the laundry and the meal preps? Check out this great appointment book:
Learn to say, “No, thank you”
When someone asks for help, we often feel obligated to help them, even if helping them is not in their best interest (think ENABLING).
If a friend or family member is begging for help doing something simply because they just don’t feel like doing it themselves, then this is a good time to practice that most dreaded of words….
Sounds cold? Try something a little more wordy, such as, “I’m sorry, that’s not going to work for me”, “I’m not available that day”, or even, “No, thank you”.
Or, if the situation warrants, try offering a, “If you help me with this, then I will have time to help you with that,” teamwork approach. It could actually end up a win-win situation for you both.
Your neighbor’s cousin’s boyfriend’s baseball coach needs their no wax floor waxed, and you are the ONLY ONE who can help? Maybe… or maybe not. Make sure your help is both needed and properly appreciated.
Need help remembering how to say, “No”? Slip into something a little more emotionally comfortable here:
The idea that you need a lot of money in order to have some luxury in life is ridiculous. After all, time can be a luxury. Try going to a park with a western view of water – a river, a lake or an ocean, and watch the sunset. If you have had a harried life recently, that one free evening can be more luxurious than fine chocolate.
There are many little luxuries we can find in everyday life, if only we slow down enough to enjoy them. A cup of our favorite tea is nice when we are having a hectic day at work, but enjoying it in our pajamas at home while reading a book is an entirely different experience. Think of things you love, and enjoy them in a setting that offers you the ability to appreciate them fully.
Need some ideas that don’t break the bank? Try these:
Learn something new
Have you ever wondered how far out the latest space probe is from Earth? Want to know how fireflies do what they do – and by the way, what IS it that fireflies do, other than light up a meadow on a warm summer’s night?
Tired of being the only one on your block that can’t tell a rose from a tulip, or a white wine from a red? Take a class, learn on line, or read a book, but branch out and give yourself a more well-rounded education. Not only will it satisfy your curiosity, but you’ll have better things to talk about with friends and neighbors instead of talking about other friends and other neighbors!
Already, you’re becoming a better conversationalist just talking about what you want to learn!
A few ideas to get you started:
Who says you have to be a kid to finger paint? There are many fun places who will teach you to paint a picture, but if you take an online course (think YouTube), you can use your own supplies in your living room, and pause the teacher while you paint and repaint your mountains until they look like mountains.
Try using a shower curtain liner or a vinyl tablecloth under your workstation to catch spills.
Don’t know where to start? These kits will let you explore without investing serious cash:
Get out into the great outdoors
Not to take away from an office job that pays the bills, but a change of scenery in favor of the greenness of life is a great way to shed some stress. Whether canoeing, hiking, roller-skiing through a city park or geocaching, you are likely to find yourself more refreshed at the end of the day. You don’t need a whole day of these wonderous activities to enjoy them; a good half hour of any one of them can make a weekday evening feel like a mini vacation.
(Make sure, of course, to follow all applicable laws and be safe!)
Get your gear here:
Walk it off
Sometimes just wearing off the adrenaline is all we need. A good pair of headphones with music we love can add to the relaxation. Make sure that you stop to enjoy the beautiful things you see along the way. Even if you are not swimsuit ready, it’s never too early to get fit for the next season coming around.
A good pair of headphones found here.
I have lost them twice, as I use them for work and home and well…. let’s just say I don’t spend big money on sunglasses, either… ahem…. but enough about me.
They sound good, they’re wireless, they don’t have to be shoved in your ears, and unless you have the music really cranked, you can still hear outside noises (for example that car you almost walked out in front of!).
Want to keep your routine during bad weather? Try walking along with this video. It’s not all that strenuous, but it gets a person moving:
Thanks so much for reading! Come along with me as we journey through the little things that make adulting just a little easier. How? Subscribe below:
Do you have other ways to find and use “Me Time”? Please comment below.