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Are You Feeling Better?

Posted February 25, 2013 by Monica O'Connell in Life After Five

There seemed to be few less sick people around this week so it seems you took last week’s post seriously. While we’re on the subject of taking care of self, especially when we’re sick, I wanted to spend more time discussing ways to make self-care a priority.

When people are tackling the idea of self-care, it seems daunting. I hear people often say, “I don’t have time for this.” One person was recently saying that in order to feel like her self-care needs were met, she’d have to take the whole day off of work, her internship and obligations in order to get adequate rest, feel rejuvenated and ready to go again. Based on all of the career goal balls she has in the air, that would be a major undertaking and in discussing ways to have it happen, her anxiety and stress increased because it became aware that the amount of time she believed she needed didn’t work. While I’m not arguing that taking a day off would be lovely, it really would and it doesn’t happen for most women in the blink of an eye. I’m suggesting you create space for those in your lives and acknowledging that will not meet your immediate needs.

How do you do self-care in the present? You make it simple. Start by making a list of the things you need in your life in order to keep your head afloat. I have about 6 things I do on a daily basis to take care of myself. For me, one of those is getting unplugged for at least 10 minutes before bedtime. Ideally, I’d spend an hour unplugged before bed. That’s ideal. It rarely happens and I don’t make time for it. But I can totally do 10 minutes. I sleep better when it happens. I actually notice a difference.

Some other examples include:

  • Moving your body every day (for 5 minutes, for 10 minutes, for 30 minutes)
  • Taking vitamin d (especially if you live in the midwest in the winter)
  • Eating a fruit/vegetable daily no matter what
  • Getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night
  • Drinking water every day
  • Meditating for 5 minutes a day
  • Snuggling with your pup every day
  • Spending time outside

This gets to be your ideal list and they’re all super simple things that can be accomplished in a short amount of time. It’s easy for me to put on a yoga youtube video in my office between clients and get 7 minutes of movement in. I’m far more refreshed doing that than I am not.

Mara Glatzel has a great piece on this through her “Body Loving e-course” if this strikes a chord for you and you’d like to explore why it’s been such a challenge for you to take care of yourself.

You deserve to do these simple tasks daily. It makes you a better human, a better wife, a better friend, a better mom. Let me know how it goes!

About the Author

Monica O'Connell

Monica O’Connell is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her practice, she spends her career cheering on “Career Girls” as they learn how to get the most out of life. Monica works with arguably some of the most successful, intelligent, inspiring women in the Twin Cities who tackle self-discovery, career success, and what’s getting in the way of their true desires. She shares her favorite moments as those “best described not by words but by the stomach aching, face soreness that comes from spending an entire day laughing with loved ones.”