We are officially a week into 2018 which means some of us have already given up on our New Year’s Resolutions. One thing that you should never give up on is making self care a priority. I know its something that gets talked about a lot but there is a reason. When you make a conscious effort to take carer of yourself, it is reflected in the way you work. Unfortunately in our double scheduled, over stimulated lives, self care takes a back seat to everything else.
The good news is that your self care routine doesn’t have to be complicated, all you have to do is take 5. Let me explain the math. There are 1440 minutes in every day, 168 hours in a week and an average of 720 hours or 30 days in every month. Following this plan equates to you spending roughly 10% of that time on yourself by the end of the month. That still leaves 90% for everyone and everything else. In the grand scheme of things that’s not a lot of time but it can make a huge difference in how you look and feel.
Take 5 Every Day
The first step in your simplified self care plan is to take five minutes per day to meditate. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve concentration and slow aging (hello younger looking skin). It also gives you a mental break from this chaotic world we live in, allowing you to organize your thoughts an regroup. Just think about how productive you will be when your mind isn’t cluttered.
The next step would be to take five minutes per day to journal. The content of your journal entry is not as important as the act itself. The point of this activity, just as with the meditation, is to help clear the clutter in your mind. Mind clutter leads to stress and an abundance of can lead to a myriad of health issues not to mention the toll it can take on your hair skin and nails.
These two simple activities can set the stage for a more mindful way of living, helping you to look and feel your best.
Total time spent: 5 hours per month (0.7%)
Take 5 Weekly
In addition to meditation and journal writing aim to take at least 5 hours per week to do something for yourself. The hours don’t have to be consecutive, you can break it down into 30 minute increments. Your hourly activity can include reading, going for a run, attending your favorite workout class, getting a massage; basically anything that you enjoy doing and does not involve serving anyone else. These should be 5 hours of stress free pleasure for you.
As you begin to implement this time into your routine you may find that you have to start with shorter stints and work your way up. For instance your may take a twenty minute reading break and then a go for a thirty minute jog later in the same day. However, you can get these activities to fit into your schedule do it.
Total time spent: 22 hours per month (3%)
Take 5 A Month
The final step to your simplified self care plan will probably the most difficult to implement, but once you do you won’t regret it. Try to take five whole days per month for yourself. When I say a whole day think the average eight hour work day, a full twenty-four hours would be nice however the point of this plan is to be practical. What your eight hours of me time looks like it totally up to you. You may choose to spend a portion of that with friends you rarely see (yes to girls night out) or you can spend them lounging around the house.
The goal here is to spend at least eight continuous hours free of stress and obligation. These days can be scattered throughout the month or if you’re lucky you could take a five day vacation (and no family vacations don’t count).
Total time spent: 40 hours per month (5.6%)
The first month may be hard and you may not master incorporating every task into your life. Remember that progress is a slow process and as long as you do better each day then you are headed in the the right direction. Just like your skin care routine, your self care routine should be simple, yet effective. If either one of those elements is missing then you need to re-evaluate what you are doing. You deserve to take five for yourself, this plan gives you a road map on how to make it happen.