The other day, I was thinking about how hard it is to do anything consistently unless I pencil it into my agenda. If I’m not following a general schedule, then I sort of get lost. I get distracted too easily, or let myself linger too long on whatever it is that consumed my attention at the time.
Have you ever heard the saying “energy flows where your attention goes”? If your attention is not on something intentional, then you may be squandering your energy (or even creating a blockage). But by shifting your focus to something you deem important, you can create a positive change in your life or someone else’s.
The first step is to embody how you want to feel when this change has been implemented. Take deliberate action. Be intentional.
For me, self-care is something that I want to prioritize in my life.
If you’re a little like me, you know how important self-care is to maintaining mental wellness and balance in your life… And if you’re a lot like me, then you probably don’t do it enough.
So, here’s what I propose…
Every day at 7:00 p.m., we do something good and healthy for ourselves. I chose this specific time because, for me, it’s enough time to get work and dinner out of the way, and just before when we take the kids up to bed. Also, I love a good alliteration. If this time will never ever work for you, then please choose one that does—preferably one that you can stick with on a daily basis.
what counts as self-care?
The beauty of “self-care” is that it has a fairly relative meaning. Anything that YOU feel is a way of nurturing yourself can fit the bill (e.g., eating breakfast, taking a shower, journaling, stretching, painting a picture, being alone by yourself in the bathroom away from your family for 15 minutes, etc.). It doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to warrant time off of work (although, it totally could, if that’s what your soul needs).
Some days, treating yourself to the basic necessities of life is enough. Because let’s face it, so many of us are always on the go that we forget to eat, or don’t have the opportunity to sit down for five minutes. It’s that glorification of busy-ness.
My journey with minimalism has taught me that you can have more with less—not just stuff-wise, but plate-wise. When you start taking things off your proverbial plate, you make room for more of what you love (whether that’s people, activities, or just rest).
By participating in Self-Care 7 O’Clock, you’re scheduling in an hour (or even less) of time every day for you to nourish yourself. Use the block of time for whatever your body (your soul) needs.
As an example, I currently have a terrible bedtime routine because I’m always so exhausted by the time the kids actually fall asleep. So, I am using my self-care hour to wash my face (maybe even use a mask!), put fancy nighttime creams on it, and take better care of my teeth. I usually only muster a brushing before crawling into bed; with this plan, I may actually have the energy to floss and use mouthwash!
And truthfully, making time to care of yourself has a ripple effect. It doesn’t only make a positive impact on your life, but it inspires others to do more for themselves. In fact, you don’t even have to do this alone. You can invite your kids, your partner, your friends, or your whoever to join you!
In one segment of The Minimalists’ documentary, Joshua Becker says something along the lines of “your kids are watching what you do,” and I think about this often. In other words, be the example. By intentionally prioritizing a self-care practice, you’re showing your kids (or whoever relies on you as a role model) that it is important to take care of yourself—that YOU are important.
Self-care is not selfish; it’s survival.