Let me ask you a question. Are you the kind of person that never sits down? Is there always something more on the to do list? Does your mind wander a million miles a minute? Do you feel exhausted on a daily basis? Do you think you need to workout 7 days a week? Do you sit on the couch to relax but you really are checking emails, responding to posts and secretly working?
If I can be completely transparent with you, the person I am describing above WAS ME! I am naturally a do-er and I get that from both my mom. As a child and even now, I very rarely see her just relax. My mom was always volunteering and busy with our after school activities on top of work. My whole life we were always involved in activities and busy all the time. I am the same way now. I have a very hard time sitting still and even before I started my own business I found myself cleaning the house on Sunday’s for 5 hours, organizing closets, meeting friends, and very rarely did I just sit still and practice quiet. But, recently (in the last 6-8 months) I have found that my body is subtly and sometimes not so subtly telling me to take a freaking chill pill. I started practicing self care Sunday quite a few years ago but it hasn’t been until about the last couple of months that I was actually doing it the right way. Basically I was just passing out on the couch for 3-4 hours every Sunday afternoon from pure exhaustion. In the last few months I really have become more in tune with my body and it was telling me that it needed a little more TLC. I was getting chronic headaches, aches and pains, fatigue, sore muscles and irritability. I knew that I wasn’t getting enough sleep and I was not giving my body a break to recover before the next week started.
I instituted a self care Sunday routine that for the most part I guard with my life. I make it pretty well known to my husband and kids that Sunday is our CHILL day and we relax. Now let me be honest, there are some weeks we cannot avoid family get togethers and parties. Which is A-OK. I just make sure to schedule a little me time somewhere else that weekend or before or after the events.
So what does my self care Sunday routine look like?
Honestly, it does vary each week based on what I have going on in life and what I need at the moment.
Some weeks I allow myself to sleep in if I feel like I have been cutting it a little short on the rest. Then some mornings, like today I actually have been going to bed early and getting up at regular times so the 6:00 am wake up call doesn’t bother me because I’m already rested up.
So determine if you need to allow yourself a little extra rest if you need it.
Self care for my body looks like this: It is important to take a rest day from your workouts. When I say rest day, I don’t mean go for a run, jog, or take a yoga class. I mean literally rest day! You can do some light stretching and foam rolling with guided breathing but absolutely NO WORKOUTS. WHY?? Because your body needs to recover and if you don’t give it ample time to rest then you are more prone to injury. Trust me on this one, I used to workout 7 days a week and it catches up to quite quickly. Today, allow yourself to rest, DEAL!
Follow My Nutrition Plan. Self Care Sunday doesn’t mean that I take a rest from my nutrition plan and eat whatever I want. I stay on point with my nutrition (eating every 2 1/2 to 3 hours) eating clean foods and drinking lots of water. I drink some herbal tea (Green Tea) with lemon & peppermint and I make sure that I am honoring my body.
Take a bath. The one thing that I absolutely look forward to each week is my bath. I love bath soaks, salts, bubbles and face masks. There is nothing like lighting a candle, putting some lavender in the tub and relaxing with a good book for 20-30 minutes. It is like a reset for my body.
Here are some of my favorite products. Bath & Body Works has this amazing aromatherapy line called stress relief which has eucalyptus and spearmint in it. I use their bath salts, body wash, and lotions. I also add in the Dr. Teals Pink Himalayan foaming bath with Epsom Salt and lastly the Lava Love salts. These products not only restore calm but pull out the toxins from your body. It helps decrease muscle soreness and relaxes your muscles. If you are doing INTENSE workouts and you are sore this is going to be a saving grace for you.
Put on a candle, throw on some relaxing tunes, grab a great book and rest. Oh and PS… refrain from answering emails while in the tub! THAT IS NOT RELAXING!!!!
Read a book. On Sunday’s I also spend extra time in my devotional and also in reading. I find that snuggling up on the couch with a great book and spending time thoughtful time in prayer and reflection is good for my mind. I journal how I felt my week went and set my intentions for the week ahead.
I ask myself questions like:
-What were your blessings last week?
-What are you thankful for?
-What did you accomplish last week?
-What is your top 3 priorities this week in business and personal life?
-What is your focus for your mind and body this week?
I spend time making sure that I point out the positive first. It is easy to think of all the things that you did not do or that you fell short on. Instead, turn that around and focus on the things that you are proud of and you accomplished.
Prepare and Plan. Sunday and part of my self care is controlling the controllable. Are you someone who always has to know what the game plan is?? That is me! I need a schedule, I need a list and I need to know what is coming next. I do not “wing” life very well at all. So to keep my own peace and sanity I create a weekly calendar of our family and business activities and task and I plan out what the most important things to be done that week will be. I block out time on the calendar for my business, my workouts, my family, ect…. I make a to do list and schedule my time so that I feel in control and organized.
The second thing that I do is create our meal plan for the week. I take the time to sit down and make a meal plan plus a list of things to pick up at the grocery stores. I create a written meal plan that goes up next to our fridge and we know what meals and snacks are in the plan for the week. This hands down makes me feel so much more organized in my life.
Spend Unplugged Quality Time With My Family. So the one thing that I am so bad at is just being fully present. I can be in the same room but a million miles away because my brain is wandering. So I have been practicing intentionality with my time. That means that I intentionally am present in the moment. If it is out to dinner with the family, I’m not thinking about work. I don’t pick up my phone, it is on silent and in the other room. I do not scroll, I am present watching the movie, having a conversation and playing a game. If you spend 2 hours of un interrupted quality time with your family that is better than 6 hours of scattered time where you are 1/2 present and 1/2 in your own work. Practice this- as a mom the MOM GUILT totally goes away because you know you are giving your family what is the BEST of you instead of WHAT IS LEFT OF YOU!!!!!
Go to bed at the RIGHT TIME. Whatever time you need to go to bed so that you wake up rested its time to do it. Start off your week right by getting the right amount of rest. Your body will thank you! TIP: I set an alarm for 30 minutes before I want to be in bed so that I can start my wrap up and wind down process. It totally works like a charm for me.
So in closing, self care is meant to be restorative and mindful. It is meant to be a practice that is not another check on the to do list but a day where you actively rest, you are intentional and you practice patience and peace.
Try it today! See how your self care Sunday routine goes! Best of luck to you and enjoy the journey! Life is to short to sweat the small stuff.