I’m thinking, as usual, about health. And my seeming lack of healthy habits recently. I’m thinking about where I want to go with my diet, with taking care of myself, with great first steps I want to accomplish in the new year.
I’m thinking about self-care. And my lack of any impressive habits in that category. That’s definitely on my list of first steps, too.
But on days like today, when I ended up feeling mopey or hormonal, a little out of sorts or a little down on myself, I realized there are some things I do that make me feel a little better or a little calmer or a little more like myself. There are things that remind me that bad days are just bad days, nothing worse, and I’m fine. That it’s cool to focus on getting back to enjoying myself.
So, falling under the category of no way at all new on the internet, here are some of the things I found myself doing tonight to take care.
1. Red wine. That’s right, it’s first on my list (in chronological order). If you don’t have a problem with alcohol, there’s definitely a place for it on a self care list. Red wine tastes delicious, and it has a tendency to help me remember that things aren’t always as intense as I think they are.
2. Clean up. I’ve let my dishes accumulate over the last few days. I was actually choosing the most important self care task for myself: sleep. Sleep always seems to take a back seat to everything else, and over the last few days, I was trying to crawl into bed earlier. I even took a book and turned off the TV for a few minutes. That was an awesome one that I’ll try to keep on the list tonight.
But because of those extra minutes of sleep every night, I called it quits on cleaning up. So I took ten minutes to collect, clean, and load the dishwasher. I even wiped down the countertops before I left with my glass of wine. I’ve heard this idea of accomplishing the easiest thing on your to-do list first, so it gives you some encouragement and a quick feeling of accomplishment. Totally worked.
3. Smell something good. This probably applies all over the place. Bake something awesome: that smells good. “Stop and smell the roses.” Light a great candle. Tonight, I went with essential oil. I love lavender for bedtime, a relaxation blend for when I take a bath, and tonight, I went with my favorite blend, called harmony. I don’t know many details about essential oil, but if I love a smell, and it makes me feel better, I think that’s benefit enough.
4. Plan for something. Right now, I’m looking forward to Christmas. (Eight days!) I am not wishing away the time. It’s the whole Christmas season that I love, anyway, not just the anticipation of the one day.
Also, I’m crazy excited for 2015. I know nothing really changes at midnight at the end of December 31. But I love the fresh start. I adore it. I make plans for it, I think big, I make resolutions that are all about giving myself a break but doing the things I think I will love.
Along with that, I’m prepping some new calendars. I made a planner that I hope to share here soon, and I bought a massive wall calendar that I can’t wait to fill up with Post-It notes.
5. Write. When I came home totally wiped, but not wanting to have a lousy night, I decided that I would journal for a few minutes. Journaling was for sure the best self-care practice I had when I was younger. It helps me clear things up and get to whatever is really going on. Sometimes it feels weird that I have all of these notebooks full of drama and events that I never read, but it’s the act of simply sitting down and writing it out. No one will ever see my words, so it’s all about whining and venting — and showing myself some compassion.
But tonight, after I poured myself that glass of wine, I ended up sitting down at my computer to write this blog post instead. Blog writing is absolutely different from journal writing. But it can still be calming for me, because I love to write.
6. Snuggle up. Getting a hug is pretty great, but just sprawling out on the couch under my best blanket with some goofy shows is probably the best thing to do after a big cry.
7. Excerpted from #2. Get some sleep. So many things can keep me awake. Either I’m thinking about too many things, or I want a few extra minutes after a stressful day, or I’m sucked into a show or a movie or a blog. But waking up feeling rested vs. how I have been waking up (like a sleepy zombie) probably makes all the difference in my morning.