If you need a New Year resolution, I have a really good one for you:
Giving priority to your self-care regimen!
Real self-care is actually self-parenting.
Parenting children requires both love and discipline, and it’s the same when it comes to parenting ourselves: we need to give ourselves a lot of love… and a lot of discipline.
Engaging into real self-care involves shifting from coping to genuine self-love and from bowing to our inner critic's beatings to wise self-discipline.
How does a balance of self-love and self-discipline look like?
There is enough sleep – at least 8 hours every night and naps in the weekend to catch up on missed hours… even when it means saying NO to a fun activity on a weeknight.
There are at least three balanced and nutritious meals, carefully planned over the week to bring a variety of sources of protein, grains, healthy fats, fibers, vitamins and minerals… even when grabbing a quick bite out seems more effective.
There is enough water intake, movement and fresh air… even when the idea of working a few more minutes seems more important.
There is enough time to process feelings… even when drinking alcohol, using drugs or taking medications seem easier to distract ourselves from painful feelings.
And there is enough time spent each day doing things and thinking about things that make us feel joyful!
Why is it so difficult to do these things regularly?
Because we allow everything else to fill up our calendars until there is barely enough time for the most essential - which is building and nurturing our energy - so that we can continue to show up in our life and fulfill our meaningful commitments and nurture our precious relationships.
Now, how do we reclaim our personal power, stop being unconsciously dragged from exhaustion to coping and from coping to inner critic attacks, and create a life grounded in real self-care?
- The most effective way to turn an intention into action is to ground it into our value system. Do you truly value building and nurturing your energy? What is your energy dedicated to?
- If we want to make something happen in our day, we must put it in our schedule before our time gets claimed by other people and all their needs (including of our children). At what time are you going to go to bed this week? When are you going to plan your meals, get your groceries and cook healthy dishes? When are you going to exercise and do something fun?
- We must remember that we’re not alone and we’re not supposed to do it all alone. We can learn to create boundaries around our most essential needs and ask our loved ones to respect them. We can encourage them to respect their inner rhythm and self-care needs and accept their own limits, even when it inconveniences us. Who can support you in your self-care intention? Whom can you support in this way?
If you would like to have more support to turn an intention into action, look at this series I wrote a couple of years ago – I’m still using it with great success!
The “From Resolution to Action” series: