Guest Post by Traci Pichette
Temperatures have dipped, signaling that autumn has arrived! The new season is filled with changes, from colorful foliage to shorter days. As you transition your schedule from the leisurely days of summer and vacations into the busyness of fall and holiday prep, this is the perfect time to re-prioritize your daily self-care routine, too.
As women, we all lead busy lives—work, family, keeping the house in order—and often forget to make time for ourselves. A self-care routine is an intentional mini-break that helps you focus on you, wherever you are. Over time, this routine can help you create habits to improve your health, happiness and general outlook on life.
Creating a self-care routine is easy. Subtle changes will help you feel happier and more peaceful.
Start with these ideas:
Keep it simple.
- Start small and begin with just 5-10 minutes each day. Don’t try a whole new routine all at once. Focus on just one new habit at a time to give yourself the best chance for success.
- Schedule it. Just saying you’re going to take care of yourself isn’t enough. Decide when you’d like to start and put it in your planner. Then schedule the activity on a consistent basis until it becomes second nature. It may help to tell your loved ones, to rally their support and help you stay accountable.
- Unplug. For a self-care routine to be effective, you need to be deliberate and mindful of the act, so no multi-tasking. Set aside time when there will be no TV, no phones, no computers, no interruptions.
- Stay positive. You know the conversations in your head? Start listening. Negative thoughts can derail your goals. Replace thoughts such as “relaxation is unproductive and wasted time” with positive ones like, “I’m relaxing so I can free my mind to be more creative and feel happier, for myself and for my family.”
- Be flexible. Choose something you enjoy, something that makes you feel relaxed, and establish your routine. If the activity starts to feel like a burden, give yourself permission to try something else.
Unsure where to start? Spend a few minutes on the phone with a friend and brainstorm together. Here are a few ideas to give you a boost.
- Create your own seasonal scent therapy. Simply boil a pan of water, turn it down to simmer and throw in a few cinnamon sticks. Close your eyes and practice deep breathing for a few minutes, while you embrace the aromas.
- Take a trip to the farmer’s market, or roadside stand, to buy pumpkins, corn stalks or local produce. Breathe in the air, get moving and enjoy the healthfulness of being outside. If you’re too busy to do that, try having your next one-on-one meeting outside with a co-worker by walking around the building. See how many steps you can log in a workday.
- Pick up a bouquet of fresh, colorful flowers and arrange them when you get home. Doing something tactile with your hands can bring awareness to your physical being. Certain colors can have a positive impact on your mood, too. Purples and blues, for example, offer a sense of peace and calm.
- Set aside an evening for “Friend Night Therapy.” In the age of hyper-connectivity, it’s so important to connect in person. Have everyone bring a bite to eat or meet up at a restaurant and reap the benefits of laughter. Laughter not only reduces stress hormone levels, it helps you burn calories, too!
- Dance: Turn on your favorite music and dance in the living room, maybe even play air guitar or drums. The music can transport you to another time and place, bringing back memories that make you happy.
Self-care is an important part of living a healthy, happy life. It can help you be more productive and avoid burnout. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for those who rely on you, such as your family, coworkers or even your pets.
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
JOHN C MAXWELL
Traci Pichette is founder of Pumeli, a wellness subscription box filled with teas and textures to help you slow down and unplug. Having spent more than 17 years in the fast-paced, high-stress fields of technology and product development, she knows how hard it can be to break out of the busy cycle and take ‘me’ time. She happily shares her experience and tips to practicing simple mindful techniques so even the busiest person can experience moments of calm, peace and joy every day. Mantra: Give yourself permission to relax!
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