Life is busy. There are always tasks to do at home, work requires attention and can be stressful, children need time and energy, and your calendar is jammed. In an effort to keep your schedule under control, sometimes you skip meals, miss your class at the gym, or cancel plans with friends. When life gets busy, self-care is often the first thing we sacrifice. Many of us think that taking time for ourselves in the middle of busy times seems indulgent, but looking after our well-being will help us to be productive and care for others.
As an Ayurvedic practitioner, the gap I see repeatedly between self-care and self-depletion is commitment and consistency. A commitment to self-care is an essential practice to living a wholehearted life. We are all faced with unique challenges and no two people have the same self-care needs.
The following five commitments to self-care can make a world of difference in supporting a healthier, more balanced life.
One of the keys to staying motivated is being able to check in with yourself consistently. The practice of self-assessment invites us to come to our center and note what is truly alive in the feeling zone, in the moment. Be honest when evaluating your current state. Here are a few ways to get in touch.
- Complete the Ayurvedic Profile™ quiz to determine your constitution and imbalances.
- Take a 5 minute sensory break. Turn the phone on airplane mode. Shut the computer down. Update your to-do list at another time. Allow the senses to simply rest.
- Pause for 5 slow and steady belly breaths.
- Practice a 1 minute empty bowl meditation.
Clarify Your Values
One of the ways that can help you stay committed to your self-care is by identifying your values clearly. After you’ve clarified your values, it will be easier to stay committed because you know and understand why you are doing what you are doing, making everything fall into place in the process. Review the following and note your answers.
- How do I want to feel?
- Why is this feeling important to me?
- What resources do I currently have that can help me feel the way I desire to feel?
Establishing a routine in your daily life is a great way to find balance and bring your self care to a whole new level. Finding the right routine for your unique constitution and maintaining it can be a gateway to accomplishing your goals for the future. The Daily Routine Bundle is a terrific resource for finding which Ayurvedic products are the right fit for your routine as you journey forward.
Identify Your Obstacles
Obstacles are real but they need to be overcome. It’s vitally important for you to be able to identify your obstacles, including those things that may be slowing you down, and try to find ways to get around them. Obstacles can sometimes act as limitations, and limitations are often disastrous to your self-care objectives. The key to overcoming obstacles is to first and foremost identify them and write them down. After doing so, you can craft custom strategies that are specifically meant for dealing with such obstacles. Consider these questions and write down the things that get in your way.
- What’s working?
- What isn’t working?
Start taking steps toward incorporating new strategies and tools that will benefit your health and well-being. Work on reducing, and then eliminating, negative coping strategies. If you find yourself using negative strategies, then begin by choosing one action you feel is most harmful and identify a positive strategy to replace it. Keep the helpful tools, and ditch the stuff that doesn’t help you.
Accountability and Support
Sometimes the thin line between success and failure in the achievement of your self-care objectives can be the kind of support system you have. We’ve all heard “it takes a village!” A support system that goes all out in helping motivate you can make it much easier for you to achieve your own goals and keep all things in check. It’s also important to know that it’s okay for you to communicate with your loved ones and share the main reasons why you value self-care so much. You can even ask them to engage in your self-care rituals and routines with you!
Using a checklist, like the Daily Routine Check In, goes a long way in maintaining accountability and organizing your practice. Print and use weekly to stay on top of your self-care!
Allow Room for Adaptability
Self-care is adapting. What works for you today may not work three months from now. Get curious and creative with what your needs are. Your situation will not always be the same and sometimes you will be required to adapt and adjust. For example, if you try a certain technique and figure out that it’s either not ideal or just not working for you, it’s perfectly okay to try something else until you find the things that are effective. Flexibility is key if you are to stay committed.
These words ring true for me as I look forward to 2018: “You are responsible for your life.” Self-care is not selfish. Self-care helps to prevent burnout. By incorporating self-care activities into your regular routine, like going for a walk or socializing with friends, you give your body and mind time to rest, reset, and rejuvenate, so you can avoid or reduce the symptoms of burnout and depletion. Self-care increases productivity, boosts your energy, and leads to body, mind, and heart connection. What could be better?!