Practicing Intentional Self Care in 2019
There’s a lot of good information available to practice self care. And, with the New Year, we often find ourselves needing to “reset” from old habits, procrastination, and unhealthy behavior.
I love new beginnings because of the opportunity it presents to reset, and one area we can tackle forcefully at the beginning of any New Year is practicing intentional self care.
To rid ourselves of bad habits, you have to be intentional. How many times did you eat at your desk during work hours this year, instead of getting outdoors or taking a walk? How many times did you go to bed knowing you needed to wash your face but decided not to? How many times did you say you were going to just take a quick walk and decided to binge a Netflix show instead?
I’m guilty of all of it which is why with any new beginning or while trying to develop a new habit, I have to be intentional about it. For me, that means carving out time specifically on my calendar to mediatate and pray, and also write and workout. It means organizing my day to make sure I get the things done that I said I wanted to do. You cannot be successful at something unless you’re intentional.
This year, I’m intentionally working on developing better self care. For me, that looks like not checking my phone first thing in the morning but choosing to mediate and pray. It means leaving work at work. It means making more time to cultivate friendships and spending uninterrupted time with my husband.
If you’re trying to develop a more intentional self care routine, here are some tips you can use:
Manage your time wisely - To be intentional, means to manage your time wisely. You can’t develop good habits without knowing how you spend your time. How much of your day do you spend on your phone? Watching TV? Figure out how you’re spending your time and allocate it to the things that matter most to you.
Plan your day - Routine, routine, routine. To develop good habits, you have to create a routine and remain disciplined. If you plan ahead, you’ll be better prepared when you need to be flexible with your time.
Make commitments only if you’re certain you can keep them - Saying no is perfectly okay. As a rule, you should say no to more things than you say yes. Only make commitments that you can keep. Don’t be the person that says yes to everything and can’t actually do those things.
Prepare the night before - This is something my mother taught me. Pack your lunch, iron your clothes, pack your bag—whatever it is—and do it the night before. You won’t feel rushed in the morning if you prepare the night before.
Make lists - I’m guilty of making lists for everything. It helps me manage my time, but also feel super successful when I check things off.
Plan downtime - This is essential. Since you’re being more intentional about how you manage your time, be intentional about your downtime.
And, if you struggle with self care, here are some suggestions on things you can do to develop general self care:
Eat away from your desk
Drink more water
Spend more time outdoors
Don’t wake up and immediately check your email
Eat food that makes you feel good
Invest in a therapist
Journal in the morning or evening
Develop a skincare routine
Take hot baths with scented oils
Walk for 30 minutes
Sit and listen to music or read
Watch the sunrise or sunset
Meditate or pray
Declutter your space
Intentionality in your self care will ultimately make you more productive. It will also help you get some wins and succeed in areas you want to develop.
How do you plan to practice intentionality or self care this year? Let us know in the comments below.