Friday, September 4, 2015

September: Time For A Fresh Start

September, 2015 - WOW, it got here fast didn't it?!

The time after Labor Day always feels like a fresh start to me. Summer is basically over, schedules get busier with school starting, fall sports are in full swing, kids have homework, and we're developing new routines to incorporate all of these things. The weather is changing, we're thinking about getting fall and winter wardrobes out, and it's almost time to gear up for the holidays!  (I saw on Facebook this morning that there are 111 days to Christmas - What?? not ready yet!!)

So, what happens when things get busy and we add lots of new things to our routines?  Typically, this is when it's so easy to forget the importance of taking care of ourselves.  We fall to the bottom of the list, right?

What better time to start focusing on self care! It's even more important now to make sure you're taking time for you, and taking care of yourself, otherwise you'll burn out or just be totally exhausted, and then who will help Johnny with homework, or take Susie to soccer practice?  AND, if you get this practice in place now, you'll be even better equipped to handle the crazy time of the holidays.

I'm am proclaiming September as SELF-Tember!    

You all with me?? (I know, I'm a dork, but still...)  We talked about mindset as self care, and how we choose to think about our days can really impact how we feel and even impact the energy we have.   However, mindset only scratches the surface for how we can take better care of ourselves. 

The thing about self care is that it needs to be a continuous practice.  It doesn't have to be some big, time consuming effort, like a massage every week (although that would be nice!).  Little things each day add up.  Get to know what things work for you and your schedule, even add something specific each day to your calendar.  Trust me, if you do that, if it's something you'll look forward to, you'll make sure to get it in! 

Here are some easy ideas:
  • Instead of checking email or Facebook "one last time" before bed, spend that time reading a book that you've been wanting to get to but haven't found the time
  • Drink an extra glass of water each day
  • Go for a 10 minute walk and focus on your breath and your surroundings instead of your phone
  • Make a special meal and be sure to mindfully enjoy the process of cooking and eating it
  • Take 3 deep breaths, and for each breath think of something you're grateful for in your life
  • Connect with a friend and catch up on each other's lives, even just a quick phone call
  • Take a nap!  10-30 minutes is enough to refresh you without impacting your nighttime sleep
  • PLAY!  blow bubbles, skip around the neighborhood, be silly, get in touch with your inner child
  • Take 5 minutes to stretch - this feels so good! (example)
  • Say "No" to something if it's not a priority to you
  • Listen to music and sing or dance along
  • Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal
Have fun with it and do something for YOU each day!  You're important and your needs are a priority too!

How are you going to celebrate SELF-Tember?  Share in the comments something that you're going to do this month just for you!

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