Practices for the Empowered Soul – The Complete Self Care Checklist +150

What is Self Care?

We have all heard the instructions from the airline stewardess each time we fly – put your oxygen mask on before you assist others with theirs.  This is a great metaphor to demonstrate how important your “oxygen” is.  Without providing yourself with the oxygen you need, it is hard to provide others with what you think they need from you.  

 

It’s hard to mimic the experience you may feel during an airplane emergency in your daily life – I surely have no idea what that may feel like, in reality – but,, just because we don’t have this intense experience, doesn’t mean that we can’t imagine what kind of experience we may have if we don’t take care of our oxygen supply first. Becoming sick, burned out, and unable to muster up the energy to care for those we love are clear signs that we need oxygen.  Why not care for ourselves, first, so we can then better care for others without giving away our wellbeing.

 

Self care is putting your care first, so that you can be there to give those you love – care – when they need it.

How to Create a Self Care Plan + Ritual?

If you are not used to taking care of yourself, please be gentle as you implement a plan.  The below list is extensive.  It has taken me 13 years to include most of these practices into my life, regularly.  

It is important to remember, self care does not have to be composed by huge time consuming acts. In fact, I have found it is in the small daily routines that I have been able to create a sustainable plan.  For example, taking 15-30 mins in the morning and 15-30 mins in the evening to enjoy your tea, journal, meditate, read a daily devotional book, further your education…  Most important is not to complete an act, it is to become present within an act for the time period you have.

Take a deep breathe, not only can you do this, but you deserve this time.

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emotional self care ideas

Emotional Self Care

Being able to connect, process, and reflect on what you’re feeling is powerful. When you take those feelings and  respond to them in a way that honors yourself… This is freedom.  

Do something that makes you feel happy. This is an eye opening realization when you find yourself unable to identify what “something” will make you truly happy.  Practice and exploration is necessary here.  If you find it hard to identify.

Develop a habit of gratitude. What does this really mean? You can start simple by saying one thing out    loud or in your head that you are grateful for when you sit down for your first meal of the day. FREE 80 page download.

Accept yourself. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Be responsible for your thoughts, words, feelings, and actions. You are exactly where you are because of the choices you have made.  Change your perspective and accept the responsibility of your life. Stop complaining, blaming, and telling yourself whatever story to justify where you are in your life.  You get to act in any direction you’d like to without the permission to do so.  You are free to change your life.

Practice being gentle with yourself when you make a mistake or misrepresent yourself.  You are human.

Tune into your self-talk and inner critic.  Know that none of that darkness is true.

Receive what others are trying to give to you. It’s ok to receive or “take” what others are willing to give you.  Try accepting their offers and see where it leads you.  Often, this is the greater good trying to allow you space to rest or grow.  Taking is not a weakness.  It’s balanced.

Create boundaries for yourself and for others. Make a plan for when these can be practiced.

Say NO more often. By doing this you will reclaim time and a lighter schedule.

Experience your emotions without judgement, guilt, or shame.  And by all means, stop giving your power away by explaining them.  You are allowed to feel everything.

practical self care

Practical Self Care

Fire fighting before a fire breaks out.  Make sure the core areas of your life are in order to prevent yourself from falling into a trap of emotions that may arise from a stressful situation.

Go to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning.  I really should listen to my own advice.   Beside being an important hygiene responsibility, your mouth holds your smile.  The more you smile, the more you are going to want to have beautiful teeth.  Make it happen once a year, minimum.

Use a menstrual tracking App:https://flo.health/  I and my daughter have tried several, this one we like best.  I can’t tell you why my 16 year old daughter uses this, but I can share with you why I do.  First, it reduces a huge amount of stress around the thought of myself getting pregnant.  Not a birth control solution, but an insight into when I should keep the door closed.  Second, it’s good to know when I should not wear a skirt or white shorts.  For myself, the app allows me a piece of mind.

Get a haircut, including a wash and blow dry. Who doesn’t love the feeling after having your hair cut and done up.  I am not too keen on being in a beauty salon for the time it takes to do this, but I love the feeling of – off with the old – and welcoming the feeling of a new fresh me.

Give yourself or go to a nail salon for a pedicure with or without polish. Similar to the hair salon.  The time spent drives me up the wall.  I guess there is a lesson in this as well.  Hmmm….  Nonetheless, having your nails done and looking at your pretty naked feet every time you are getting dressed or undressed is a good feeling.  If you have never done this, I invite you into a whole new world that is not only for “high maintenance”.

Floss your teeth.   We’ve all been told to do this, but do you really do it on a daily basis.  There is a specific satisfaction that comes from flossing one’s teeth.  Not only does it promote healthy gums, but it produces feel good hormones at the same time.

Browse pinterest and pick a recipe you can bake, then freeze for the week ahead.  What a world of inspiration this site is, it’s almost overwhelming how much creativity and time some people seem to have.  I am so thankful for their creations.  Some of the recipes I use regularly:  Cinnamon Rolls, Flour Tortillas, Pizza Dough, Condensed Milk Cake

Clean out a closet, pantry, or any other space in your house This is a great opportunity to blare your favorite sing along playlist.  Set a timer and stop when it finishes.  I often choose a few things every month that I am not using or no longer serve my life.  By the end of the year you will have become a minimalist.  

Make yourself your favorite beverage, I do this every Sunday as part of my Sunday Ritual when I prepare to sit and fill out your weekly agenda diary.  The two I often make are: Ginger Honey Lemonade and Coconut Milk Coffee (iced or hot depending on my mood).

Order your groceries online.  Many of the women I work with give this task to their partners to do.  Make a list and pass it on.  You do not have to do these things if you don;t like them.  I, personally, love going to the grocery store and make it part of my selfcare routine.  If you don’t, share the task and let your other half take responsibility for part of this vital care that your family requires.

Light candles, play soothing music, make yourself a hot beverage – sit and read, pay, take a shower, or just enjoy the magic of candle light.  There is nothing more soothing than the light and energy of a candle.  Give it a try.

physical self care ideas

Physical Self Care

Secret is out… if you want to feel well, you will want to consider most of these as habitual habits.  These activities should empower you and hopefully not feel daunting to include in your daily rituals. The hormones, chemicals, and feel good vibes that you receive from movement, eating well, and caring for your physical self are vital to your lifelong wellness.  

Develop a sustainable sleep routine that includes 7+ hours of shut eye. The importance of sleep is so under-rated.  One of the first steps I take with a client is evaluating their sleep patterns.  Everyone needs sleep.  If you say you don’t you are lying to yourself.  Treat yourself to the feeling a bit more sleep will give you.  

Drink plain water. What is life.  Without it, your body struggles to keep your systems clean and running.  Try keeping a large bottle on your desk and a pitch on the counter or table, every time you see it, fill up your cup and drink a glass.

Add two handfuls of vegetables to each of your daily meals. The micro nutrients and vitamins you get from vegetables (and fruits) are part of the chemical reactions your body requires to operate at a high performance level.  Don’t skip your veggies.  

Attend a free fitness class: yoga, CrossFit, martial art, dance, running, hiking, bike riding. Whatever your fancy is, almost every fitness option on the planet offers a free class.  If they do not advertise it, send them a message or call them asking for a free class.  Movement is vital to your longevity and the operation of your internal bodies systems.  Just because you can’t see it, does not mean it is not important.  

Go to sleep earlier than you normally would. Too often we convince ourselves it is too early to go to bed even though we feel tired.  We end up dragging ourselves through another series on Netflix or doing more work in the form of cleaning, organizing, or laundry.  Do yourself a favor.  That one night that rolls around seldomly when you feel tired earlier than normal, just go to bed and enjoy the extra sleep.  Your body is asking you for it.

Read: Love Warrior by Glenn Doyle.  There is so much to say about this book.  I believe as any woman reads it, she is able to hear herself in many of the stories throughout the book.  What an eye opener and exhale I received when I read Glenn’s story.

Treat yourself to a message.  Why do we think this is a luxury?  There are so many positive benefits to have your body touched and rubbed – both in a sensual and non sensual way.  The stress that finds hiding in your muscular system and nervous system is no good for your overall well being.  Message is a great method to release this stored energy and allow you to get it out of your body.  I try to get one message a month.

Use your personal or sick leave days.  I thought it was more commendable to save my sick / personal days, further demonstrating my commitment to my job and employer – rather than taking them.  The truth is, at the end of the day they don’t care if you take or don’t take because it makes no difference to them.  You are given those days because you deserve them.  Use them.

Commit to a morning movement ritual.  Part of my morning ritual includes five minutes of mobility stretching.  I do three sets of 10 Toe Touches, 10 Bootstrappers, 10 Inch Worms, 10 Lunges with a twist. 

Create a weekly meal plan ritual.  This can be a rough outline or a full blown meal plan.  Every Sunday, I write a rough daily lunch and dinner plan for our family, including protein, vegetables, and  a carb for each meal. I am medium creative with this.  I spend 30 minutes in the kitchen for each meal cooking.  This allows me space in my brain to not think daily about the food we will eat.

mental self care during covid

Mental Self Care

Creating curiosity and allowing yourself to declutter your mind through outlets that are not related to your family or work life open you up to lower stress levels and an overall feeling of happiness. This area of care looks very different for each person; the important factor is that it allows you to rest your brain and enjoy whatever you are engaging in.

Remove all toxic people from your life.  Including social media feeds.  So, often the women I work with talk about people who are close to them and how they make them feel because of their behaviors.  Love and care are not bound by whether or not you support someone’s behaviors.  If a person does not make you feel good or serve the attitude you would like to have in your life, let them go or put a boundary in place.  Just because they are the wife of your husband’s best friend, a colleague, or a family member does not mean you owe them your space in your life.  Let’s talk about this more if this is hard for you. 

Put your pj’s on and take a mid day nap.  Science backs this as a necessary habit to add into our days, I hear you… impossible. If your body is asking for a Saturday or Sunday midafternoon nap… do it.  If you have little ones, ask for help from your partner or a friend.  You might be surprised that this is totally a doable thing from time to time.

Take a course about something that interests you: SkillShare has so many cool courses.  I have taken at least 50 about a range of topics.  From art journaling to social media success

Do something spontaneous. The last spontaneous thing I did was WAY too long ago.  I am going to thank myself for putting this on the list.  Do something different right now.  Give yourself 10 mins to get ready and go.  I challenge you.

Read a Pablo Coelho book.  The Alchemist is a great place to start this new reading journey into truly magical stories that light up your heart and your wondrous spirit.  They are short, easy to read, and cover many meaningful topics. 

Write a review for a restaurant, cafe, shop, place, or person that was a positive experience for you. Collective gratitude and appreciation for all the love people put into the different experiences that we all get to stumble upon is powerful.  Far too often we take for granted the experiences we have.  Say thank you.  Lift people up instead of pulling them down.

☐  Go to a bookstore and browse through the different areas that awaken your wonder.  Not only a great creative process, but also a fun way to remember what you are interested in.  Life, career, family, relationships, kids, yada yada… they unwelcomely help us forget what we are truly interested in.  Spark an old connection and enjoy the leisure of reconnecting with yourself.

Take a day off from electronics – phone, computer, tablet.  The best reason to see why this is important is simply to ask yourself, “What could I do if I did not have these things today?”  If you have trouble answering this question, I invite you to do this.  It is a real eye opener to the addiction and distraction that we have allowed these things in our lives. 

Write a postcard to someone and send it from the post office.  Send good vibes around the world.  I do this in two forms:  One through postcrossing and the other through pen pal’ing with seniors. For the seniors, there are a ton online.  I just pick one and write.  This is a monthly activity I do as a service to empower those who need it.

Eat a nutritious and balanced real food diet. Did you know that by consuming high-quality real food you  nourish your brain with essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that protect you from oxidative stress.  What is oxidative stress, you ask? It is the waste produced when the body uses oxygen, which can then damage your brain cells. If you would like to chat about learning how to reclaim a healthy relationship with the food you eat, let’s talk.

Social self care

Social Self Care

Who doesn’t love sharing experiences with the people we love.  If you are a workaholic, this area is especially important for you to begin to nurture.  Additionally, as we have witnessed, time together is not guaranteed.  Now is the time to enjoy connection with those that we love because you never know when that opportunity will no longer be available to you.

Ask for help.  Everyone needs help.  Hang up your super hero cape and ask someone for help with something that you have been putting off for a while. This is a skill that requires practice.  Not easy if you’re a superhero, but a skill that will allow you to become more efficient when it comes to all the “things” you are saving the world from.

Call someone you care about.  With whatsapp, facebook, and instagram the real connection between people has changed drastically.  I am not saying it is not nice to reachout digitally and let someone know you care… please continue to practice this often.  It is a whole other experience when you see someone’s name pop up on your phone or when you set up an actual time to share a real live conversation.Whether you have 5 minutes or an hour to talk, reach out and let someone know you are thinking about them.  People crave connection.

☐  Go out in public and be around people.  Engaging is optional.  This whole pandemic thing has not only created a fear about socializing, but has also forced humanity to isolate themselves.  However you feel most comfortable, spend some time in a place where other people are.  People watch, observe their stories, create your own, and enjoy being within a shared energy space.

Schedule a date night with someone you love.  The lost importance of planning a meaningful date night.  Spend time planning an awesome time to connect with someone important to you.  Put in the extra work and do a bit of research on how you can make this happen.  I remember a time when dates with partners or friends were genuine.  Reconnect with that. This is a conversation my husband and I have often.  I am so thankful that this remains important to both of us. 

Invite a girlfriend over to bake cookies or do a craft with.  We did it when we were teenagers.  We did it when we had sleepovers.  Why don’t we still do this?  Call a friend, pop a bottle of bubbly (or not) and get creative in the kitchen or with a craft.

spiritual self care ideas

Spiritual Self Care

A lot of magic happens in this place. By actively seeking practices that allow you to connect with your unveiled self to feel safe and secure, coupled with the guidance of a higher power you will not only develop more inner peace, but -ultimately- heal your soul.

Practice being grateful.  This is the first step towards being able to control your focus, intentionally.  Learn more and get practicing – Grow your Gratitude Journal – FREE

Light a candle in a dark room and sit in silence for :30+ minutes.

Make time to do a guided meditation in your day.

Have your birth chart read and explained to you. Joyti has been in my life for the past 15 years.  When I was going through a divorce and felt like I had lost myself, a friend recommended her.  She has done my chart for me twice now, both during times of huge change.  Very insightful and calming.

Learn more about spiritual self care: The Four Agreements, The Complete Conversation with God, The Last Lecture, The Art of Happiness, Letting Go: The Pathway to Surrender …. To name a few.

Make an appointment with a psychic.  Whether you are a believer or not, this is such a fun experience.  If you are not a believer, it’s cheap entertainment that might just introduce you to something bigger than your beliefs.  If you are, Katy is spot on and such a love.  She was recommended to be by a dear friend.  

Work with a spiritual coach:Gemma is the wanderous spirit we all want to live vicariously through.  She walks her talk and has a bundle of guidance to share. She has guided me towards discovering the world of angels, while always offering her gentle approach towards unbelievable topics.

Make a playlist of devotional music: https://www.jaijagdeesh.com/ / https://www.snatamkaur.com/music Music heals the soul.  These two have continued to heal mine for 15+ years.

Soften the expectations you have for yourself and others. This is a whole world in itself.  It goes along with taking responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and actions. You and the people in your life – always – get to choose what serves you and their lives best.  We do not have any control over others actions.  Control is often fueled by fears of….  Ask yourself why you get so fired up when yourself or those you have expectations on.  Dig deep and do that work because the feelings are only yours to be felt.  Let’s talk about this more if this is hard for you.  

Commit to a daily devotion book: There are a gazillion books out there that offer you a daily devotion practice.  They cover many topics.  This is the one I have been reading for two years, everyday.

how to improve digital self

Digital Self Care

This is such an underestimated area of non supporting sources and information that may not align with who, how, and what you are living your life for.  Becoming aware of how much power we give away to electronics is a very shocking observation.  Additionally, the unestimated exposure to negativity and small living is hard to psychologically manage.

Become aware of your screen time on your phone.  If you have an iPhone this is quite easy as it has been included in the phones system (settings > screen time).  If you have an android there are several apps that can be used to document your usage.  This is an eye opening realization and quite helpful towards seeing how much free time you actually have to invest in more meaningful habits and self care.

Turn off your push notifications.  This is probably the best thing you could do for yourself.  It drastically reduces distractions and the anxiety that surrounds them every time your phone notifies you either by sound, vibration, or banner.  Why not create time slots where you go through and check all your accounts?  This not only practices the intention of you controlling your time, but also keeps you from giving away your time to something that may hold less value.

Protect your eyes from blue light.  It’s no secret, the older we get the more care our eyes need.  All phones have an option to adjust these levels.  If you can’t be bothered, be mindful of giving your eyes a rest.

Organize your Apps.  I was given this advice a year and a bit ago.  What a fantastic idea.  So, my more distracting apps are on a second page that I have to actually swipe to see.  I get to choose what I am exposed to every time I log onto my phone.  I, then, get to intentionally choose to see the other apps when I choose to swipe.

Adjust your paparazzi needs.  Some moments don’t need to be documented.  Enjoy them in the present moment.  If you feel like you are taking pictures to constantly have something to post on social media, ask yourself: Why do I need to share this moment with other people?  What kind of attention am I looking for?

Set boundaries.  If you have people or information that does not support your self care goals, unfollow, delete, and clear them from your life.  In the past, I received a lot of unsolicited messages, change your privacy settings.  Use your voice and communicate your boundaries with loved ones if they include you in tags or posts that don’t sit well with you.

Start a tech basket habit. Lead by example and do this for yourself.  When you walk into the house, drop your phone in the basket.  Being present for those that you love is a gift for yourself and them.  Hopefully, with time, your family members will follow.  

Take a day off from electronics.   This is so much harder than it sounds.  If you are not a dive in kind of gal, start with half a day, with the intention to work up to a full day.  I do this twice a month.  It took me several months to not feel anxiety about not being able to check my phone.  This is the truth about this new age addiction.  

Professional Self Care strategies

Professional Self Care

Protecting yourself from workplace drama is also a thing.  Giving away too much of yourself is an easy thing to do at work.  Mindfully, set up your professional space for allowing you to give your full potential.

Become aware of your internal state.  When you have one million things running through your head or another million things to do, being able to name your emotions that are linked to the anxiety you may feel is a tool you can use towards your overall state. 

Find your tribe at work.  Which people are you able to trust and rely on if you need guidance or support? These people will serve as your social support group.  You can use this system to better your communication, increase your emotional intelligence, create strong team work output, and share the emotional load of the work environment.  This is not a gossip circle; that is counter productive.

Make time for cognitive and emotional recovery.  Your to do list and responsibilities will always be there.  Try implementing short breaks and rituals to decrease the likelihood of burnout or exhaustion.  Leave your phone behind: Take a coffee break outside in the fresh air, try a movement routine of either stretching or working out, join a friend for lunch that you can laugh with, or go for a short walk.

Creating an outlet for advocacy.  It is no secret that there are or will be changes within your work environment that may not sit well with you from time to time.  How, with whom, and where can you create a safe platform for your voice and your opinions. 

Practice keeping boundaries to maintain quality productivity.  You are allowed to say no.  You are, also, allowed to communicate what you are willing and able to do to get a job done.  You are allowed to protect your personal space to meet the needs that you require to be the best version of yourself for your job.  It is only when those boundaries become blurred or erased that they are hard to reclaim and put back into place.

Cultivate a supporting energy in your “house”.  Your house refers to your mind and body. Your foundation is resilience, walls are self-compassion, and doors are optimism. The actions you perform in your house are framed by these resources and allow you the power to control how you act and react within your work setting.

Use positive self talk to empower your work output.  You were hired by somebody who believed you to be the perfect fit for the job.  Believe in that faith and adopt it as your mindset.  You are capable.  You are enough.  You are willing.  You are intelligent.  You are resourceful.  You are the woman for the job.

Organize your personal space to  be screen ZEN.  You will be spending a lot of hours in your work space. Whether you prefer a new chair for better support, would like to add a warmer light on your desk, or want supplies to help you organize your desk… Don’t be shy to request all the things you need to stay healthy and happy at work. 

Schedule a check-in with your boss.  Instead of guessing, schedule time on your boss’s calendar to check in and to talk about your day to day performance, what your boss thinks of your work, where you can improve, and allow yourself the opportunity to receive candid feedback to assess, adjust, and grow in your job.

Indulge in your secret stash.  Who does not love a treat or a little pick me up when they get peckish.  Stock up on some healthy and indulgent treats for those moments when you want to dive into the secret stash.  You can also include a box of these cards for a little cheer up session.  Or, what about hand cream.  Always a winner.

Create a morning ritual.  Each morning stop by a colleague’s desk and check in with them, on a personal level.  This does not have to be fake, nor should you feel like you are wasting your time on superficial relationships.  Connect with those who allow you to be authentic and genuine.

Celebrate because you want to.  Often I hear this from clients – I feel like if I don’t eat the cake or take part in the staff party, I will be seen as __________.  There are two things here:  First, if you don’t want to stay late or include yourself in the party, kindly communicate with the person of honor that you have other plans but you’d like to wish them a ________________ celebration.  Second, if you want to celebrate but feel like you are obligated to take part in the food that is being served, you get to choose to eat it or not.  If it does not support your mental health or body composition goals, kindly decline and bring your own snack / beverage.

Enjoy your career.  You chose this job, find the joy in doing it – whatever you do.  If you are unhappy, change your situation to one that will bring you more joy. 

Take breaks, lunch, vacations days, and personal days.  They are all there for you to use and recovery.  You are no less committed if you choose to take these days.  Please, schedule them and commit to taking this time that is set for you to use.

Environmental Self Care ideas

Environmental Self Care

Acknowledge how the environment supports your growth, what it gives you, and what is meaningful about it to you are all an eye opening journey.  Mother Earth is magical for the soul.  Spending time connecting with her or it is an important part of our overall wellness.

Breathe in fresh air.  Every breath we take has a purpose for your overall health.  Not only do your lungs expand with each inhale, but each exhale pushes toxins out of your body.  If you live in the city, get out and take in a handful of huge deep breathes.  If you live in a rural setting, equally get out and don’t forget to inhale deep and exhale long and slow.  It always amazes me that when I take an intentional deep breathe I realize how seldom I actually fill up my lungs and breathe. 

Take a hike. Everything in nature is alive.  Think about it.  Why not immerse yourself with the most authentic source of life.  Place your hands on a tree, hold a rock, or lay down down on the earth’s floor … you can only gain from the purest energy available to us.  Long or short, enjoy a stroll through nature’s gift of life.

Plunge into a body of water.  Whether you are a hot water kind of gal or a plunger like me, the benefits of immersing yourself in water are huge.  Stress reduction, toxin cleanse, a hug from a magical energetic source, calming, chronic disease reduction, better sleep,… the list can go on for quite a while.

Go horseback riding.  Obvious for it’s physical benefits, but it’s the therapeutic benefits that steal the win for this activity.  Horses are highly patience and compassionate animals offering their rhythmic movement patterns that are not only soothing for the soul, but promote the release of a major stress hormone.  If you are afraid of horses, try taking a gentle lesson to break free from the fear of these gentle creatures.

Star gaze.  This is so much fun.  It requires a mindful intention to do it, but the night sky offers a unique peek into something bigger than earth.  My husband and I do this often in the summer months trying to identify the different constellations.  Maybe you will even be blessed with a shooting star or the sighting of the Milky Way.

Spend time touching and talking to your pet.  If you are a pet person this is so obvious to you.  Did you know this was a thing?  If you do not have a pet, visit a shelter and volunteer to dog walk or give cat pets to those in need.  Animals have an amazing awareness and interest in human connection.

Plant a window herb garden or a veggie patch. I truly did not know the benefit of this until this past summer.  There are so many emotions and gratitude wrapped up in having grown something yourself, them making something with it.  It tastes better, I am sure of it.  Not to mention the daily care you put into its journey towards your plate.

☐  Meditate while in contact with nature. There is a lot of importance around meditation with this, that, and in said setting – facing said direction.  Yes, ok, true.  However, this summer my husband and I began to mediate with different rocks from different parts of the forest… this is powerful.  I really did not understand the extent of “life” that nature has.  Grab yourself a couple rocks from your garden.  Hold them in your palms and lie flat on your back with your hand facing upward.  Play some Hrtz music from youtube for 20 minutes.  Replace the rocks where you found them and thank them for sharing their energy.  I know, it sounds crazy… just try it.  It is hard to describe the effect it has.

Pick up seasonal products from your local farmers market.  Much like growing your own herbs or veggies, farmers put a lot of intentional time and care into the food they grow.  All this adds up to a high quality food product loaded with the love of the farmers and the energy of the earth over 90-145 days when it was growing.

Organize your personal space.  Clutter promotes more chaos.  Keep your areas simple and minimalistic for a stress free experience each time you sit to enjoy it.  I’m calling out those women who try to tell me that there is structure to their chaos.  No there isn’t. 

financial self awareness

Financial Self Care

Developing habits that support the lifestyle you desire can help you achieve more precise financial success than you expect.  Money habits are not a one size fits all solution, but what is important is the consistency you commit to these habits.  Create habits that support your short and long term goals.  Remember to access often and adjust if you see that your current goals are having a negative effect on other areas of self care.  It’s ok to change your plans whichever way you are changing them for.

Reflect on your relationship with money.  Money is a complicated topic.  People will invest hours throughout their lives investigating how to make more of it.  An important discovery is to explore why more money will serve your life fulfillment.  Start with the health of past inner wounds, your mindset regarding, your beliefs about the financial goals you’d like to achieve,  and your fears around what it truly means for you if you were to live out your worst scenario situation.

Check your bank accounts regularly.  This is one of the areas that I like to debate about and depends heavily on the health of your relationship with money.  First, ok, yes checking it for the right reasons that serve your mental health is very important.  However, if this is a trigger for more anxiety, it is no longer a practice for care. 

Write down “due dates” for your bills in your agenda.  One of the skills of living a calm life in general is allowing your brain the space to cultivate creative energy.  In saying this, if you are able to let go of the thoughts and organize them in a system that allows you to let them go on a daily basis your mental health will improve.  Once a month, during your Sunday Ritual, or whenever you choose – write these dates down so you don’t have to try and remember them.  This causes more stress than necessary.

Create a financial goal plan.  Not only does creating a plan give you a road map for where you’d like to go, but it also helps in visualizing what you would like to bring into your life.  Keep in a plan is dynamic, if you see that something is not working out as planned – reevaluate, adjust, and continue moving forward.  Maybe, there are initial steps you were not able to see when you first drafted out your plan and now you are able to see.  This is normal.  Be gentle with this process.

Commit to a budget.  Everyone tells us this, but few do it.  There is so much evidence towards supporting this habit.  It requires consistency and an understanding that you are intentionally choosing to work towards certain goals that will serve your overall life better.

Educate yourself about best practices related to money.  Educate yourself enough to meet your needs.  My first husband took his relationship with money to a whole other level and it sadly limits him.  Use what you learn as a tool, not a controlling practice.

Get to know your spending habits – essential & nonessential.  Do you really know where your money is spent?  About 50% of our spending habits are very easy to pinpoint.  There is another 30% that, literally, just flies out of our hands.  Until you take a closer look at everything you spend your money on, it is very difficult to intentionally move in a direction that supports your goals.

Identify really what your income is worth – sans credit cards.  There is such a false idea of what people believe they have and what they actually have.  Be honest with the real income that is yours and the credit income you believe that is yours.  Know the difference.

Allow yourself a weekly or monthly allowance.  Think back to when you were a child and this was something you gave your best effort towards to care for and multiply.  I remember saving up for a pair of Ugg boots like they were gold plated.  If we are able to connect to that same level of appreciation and gratitude our money would be spent more lovingly. 

Minimize debt. If you don’t have it, don’t spend it.  If you already fell in this trap, work to set yourself free from this prison.  Debt limits one’s life massively reducing the potential options you could have to live better

relationship self-care plan

Relationship Self Care

Taking care of yourself, then finding the balance of caring with the people who are important in your life.  This area requires all of the relationships you share in your life – not just the romantic ones. The health of a relationship doesn’t just exist.  Both people must serve the evolution and care of the said relationship.

Activity work on bettering your relationship(s). 

Keep your identity.  Maintain an “I” position and don’t give all your power to a “we” position.  Each person comes to the relationship as an individual.  When we merge this, you lose your one of a kind uniqueness and the development you have already achieved for yourself.  These combined make up who you are. The relationship you have with yourself is separate from the relationship that you share with someone else.  They are two different identities. 

Maintain a group of your own friends.  You heard this many times.  Nurture your tribe and sisterhood.  They all contribute to your story and road map.

Set boundaries.  Boundaries come in many forms.  Communicating, following through with what you say,  taking responsibility for your actions and emotions, and not assuming anything related to the other person you share a relationship are the basic areas of boundary setting.  A true tell all is, if it doesn’t feel good a boundary needs to be set.  The same goes for when you reach a point in a relationship that closure is the self serving option… Boundaries challenge us to grow and evolve.  Giving away yourself, slowly or for extended periods of time, limits who you are able to become.

Practice communicating your emotions and feelings often.  This one got me for many years.  Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in the relationships we share gives us the opportunity to create intimacy.  The more raw we are, the more true we are to ourselves.  This is a process that needs a lot of care and a safe place to practice. 

Be honest with what you like, are willing to do, what you don’t like, and are not willing to do.

Discard any type of tally system you mentally have. We all do it.  Each person in the relationship has the same right as our self.  They are allowed to grow, learn, and have mistakes.  Just as we hope they don’t carry all our lessons for us to see or worse, as admonition… we should not do this as well.  It isn’t fair and also promotes us to act from ego rather than love.  Let go of the double standard and treat the other person in the relationship with the same care you’d like to receive.

Make time to still date each other. Oh, so much easier said than done.  Please tell me why we are so much more likely to plan a date with a girlfriend to get coffee and not our romantic relationship?  Two years ago, this was rekindled in my marriage.  It takes effort, but is so worth it.  If you are consistent and create boundaries, like no work or kids talk, it can be really fun.  Equally deepening your connection.

Share your vulnerabilities with your partner.  The people in our lives are there for us to grow from.  Practice sharing vulnerabilities with your girlfriends first.  Learn from those conversations.  Then, try it with your partner.

Set goals together.  Life is for dreaming.  Dream together and imagine a life full of all the bigness you deserve.

Sexual self care

Sexual Self Care

Knowing, accepting, and loving your sexual self is essential to your well-being and deserves your care too. This is not a dirty or shameful area in your life. Healthy sexual (aka: sensual) self-care habits can release the body’s “love hormone” oxytocin, which is great for reducing stress and supports your sexual, psychological, and feminine health.  Often, sexual care has a lot of limiting core beliefs, stories, and experiences attached to it.  Be gentle with yourself, but know that you deserve to live sexually free.

Learn more about what is sexual self care.  I did not know this was a thing until I started on a path to discover more about the act of sex with my partner.  This is a whole world beyond sex.  I invite you to embark on this powerful truth.

Explore your relationship with sex. My Sex Journal: emprwlove 

Lather your face and body with unrefined cocoa butter.  Such a no brainer.  Luxurious face and body creams cost a fortune.  I was given a bag of this unrefined cocoa butter, held onto it for two years, stumbled on it in the corner of a drawer and decided to find out what I could do with it.  It has been two years and I lather my body with this lush product.  It is amazing.  I love it.  It is better than most of the products I have used throughout my life.

Change your sheets for satin or whichever fabric feels sensual.  Who doesn’t love the sheet in a fancy hotel room.  I mean really. I say it every-time.  I love fresh sheets.  Change your sheets to something that feels like you are staying in a lux hotel room.

Shower in the dark with only a candle and sexy music.  Have you ever done this?  Try it.

Turn on the music and get your body moving or sign up for a Latin dance class.  I hear you… who does this on their own, freely.  I am not one to do this, but I have shared with my husband that I love when he does this with me.  I cannot share with you how to get this going in your life, but I can say that it is a sexy feeling to be able to move in a sensual way.

Deepen your intimacy with your partner. Couples Journal:  A Sex Journal This is a real thing and seemingly an important step towards intimacy beyond just getting naked.  I will be writing more about this, as this is a new journal journey that I am embarking on.

Find your groove with a vibrator:  Womanizer and Dame, both offer a few compact options for the shy soul. Have you seen this TEDx?  If not, it is a great place to start this very intimate journey into something that is not a dirty little secret.

Strengthen your kegels.  This is not only a problem for women after childbirth, it’s something a lot of women live with.  Like any small muscle, this one has to be strengthened.  Pee leaks from coughing, jumping, and sneezing is a common thing that women experience.  This is the product I used after the birth of our second son.

Give yourself, ask your partner, or visit a spa for a hot oil massage. You’ve probably seen these in the spa brochures at hotels.  Do a little research and find the one that dumps liters of hot oil over your forehead.  Wow, what an experience.

Share your intimate feelings to someone you love. Whether it is a girlfriend, your sister, or your partner this is intimacy.  Intimacy has the potential to go way deeper than most are comfortable with.  A great way to practice connecting with your own vulnerability and ultimately strengthening your levels of intimacy is to be honest and share your real feelings. 

maternal self-confidence

Maternal Self Care

Building a baby in your body, delivering said baby, and caring for your baby immediately after it leaves your vagina (or belly) is no joke.  You deserve a huge amount of care to recover from these super human abilities that you have just engaged in.

Rest when you can. Whether you are breast or bottle feeding, it is energy and time consuming.  I remember calculating during the first months that my daughter was latched for 16 hours a day to my boob.  It takes a lot of energy to produce milk and a lot of energy to endure all these hours feeding your newborn.  Keep the lights off in the middle of the night, close your eyes when you are feeding, and try to cat nap your way through the day.

Ask for help.  You do not have to prove your super mom capabilities.  You already are all those things.  People are so willing to help new moms.  Reach out to your partner and tribe for their support in helping where they can.

Eat healthy real food.  Not only for your body’s recovery, but for the nutrients and vitamins that your little human needs to develop a strong GI and brain, choose real food.  Ask your friends to help you out.  Agree with your partner on a few go to food delivery options.  Ask your partner to pre wash, pre chop, or prepare whatever you need to cook a quick nutritious meal.

Write important dates in your agenda.  If you haven’t heard it, you will for sure experiencing it:  Baby eats your brain.  It is totally normal to forget everything.  Set yourself up for success and write things down and soon and you think of them in your agenda.

Take a shower and brush your teeth.  I was the first to say, this is not me.  Ok, really, why is it so hard to fit these two things into our new life with a newborn?  Make a plan, make it happen.  Don’t rush either, give yourself the time to do this calmly.  It supports your emotional recovery.

Let your partner bath the baby (always).  Relinquish control to allow your husband to care for the baby as well.  It is not solely your job.  He/she is 100% capable to get the job done.  Don’t hover over them either.  Let them work out how to best care for and get the job done safely.  Giving this responsibility offers them a place in being a parent too.

Accept that your current situation is temporary.  In the whole picture, this time is a snap.  I hear you, it doesn’t feel that way.  You will wish for some of these moments when they are gone.  Enjoy the time and find the gift in sharing these moments with this new human.

Make an appointment to get pampered.  Whatever pampered means to you, find time where you can do this a few times a week.  Grab a quick coffee with a girlfriend.  Get a pedicure or manicure.  Have a message.  Whatever it is, it supports you mental and physical health.  You are working hard and deserve this time.

Communicate with your partner how they can help you.  If you don’t include them that will not know what you need.  Most partners feel completely disconnected, lost, and even lonely when a new baby arrives.  Talk to them.  They are there to do this whole new experience with you.

Set 15-30 mins a day a side to just sit, drink tea, and do whatever you want during that time.  Allowing time to just sit or do something you enjoy gives you the space to maintain a connection with yourself and your identity.  It is very common to lose this when you become a mother.

inner child self love

Inner Child Self Care

Each of us hold a place in our unconscious mind where our childhood spirit lives.  In this place we carry stored emotions that have  suppressed + repressed, innocence, enthusiasm and our creativity.

Do something that you enjoyed as a child.  Too often we let go of these experiences and store them as only memories.  Bring them back to life by sharing them with a friend, your partner, or children if you have any.

Get in touch with old friends.  Facebook and Instagram have made this possible.  Reach out to an old childhood friend for a good ol’ catch up.

Go to an amusement or water park.  Seriously, this is a blast.  Ok, the crowds are not – but what a fun day. The idea is not to include your kids here… this is for you.  My husband and I went to a hotel located on an Indian reserve while visiting California.  They had water slides and a lazy river.  This was seriously so much fun. 

Buy yourself coloring pens, crayons, and pencils.  Not only a great solution to calm the busy mind, but a solid enjoyable activity.  When I started my first book, I could only sit for 10 minutes maximum.  Now, I set a timer at 30 minutes.  This activity can really take you away if you find a book you enjoy.  I started with these free downloads, then bought this mandala book 

Build something with Lego.  I am not going to lie, this is not for everyone.  However, if you do it with your partner and set a time goal or objective it can be a creative getaway. 

Visit a discovery museum that allows you to explore through play.

Visit an ice cream or frozen yogurt shop with  a good friend.  Add toppings.  Enough said.

Swing on a swing set. Think back to when was the last time you really did this.  Make a plan to go do this today or tomorrow.  The feelings that arise are insightful.

Build a fort in your living room.. Have you ever made popcorn the old fashion way is a pot with butter? Do it, then watch a childhood favorite.  Have you seen Goonies?

self care routines 2020

My Self Care Rituals

Creating rituals is a great way to guarantee yourself a plan for practicing the self care our body, mind, and souls need to live empowered.  The three rituals below are my – set in stone – rituals.  I sprinkle in several practices from above throughout the month, but do not plan them specifically every week.  I, intentionally, practice being spontaneous to support the resistance I feel to play.

Beauty Rituals:

  1. Once a month, plan a day and write it in your journal to have some kind of beauty treatment done.  I have clients who get skin treatments, friends who have laser treatments, acquaintances who have messages, and I personally get a pedicure + eyebrows done.  Minimum, once a month plan it.
  2. Create a two minute daily ritual of whatever allows you to feel feminine.  For some it involves a makeup ritual.  For others a hair ritual.  For myself, it’s a face and body cream ritual. 

Agenda Ritual:

  1. Make yourself a tea, sit down, and fill in all that you can think of for the upcoming week.  If you are able to add any additional planning to shave time during the week, do it here.  This ritual clears your brain of trying to keep a list going in your head all the time.  This takes me about 45 mins to 1.5 hours.  I include coaching hours, programming, conversation points, questions I may have, accounting updates, basic lunch and dinner plans, grocery shopping, pre-scheduled phone calls, and any appointments where I actually go somewhere.  Usually, I already have information filled in from previous weeks when I learned of a new date or meeting or ritual time (beauty ritual).  If something important is happening for a friend or family member, I add it here.  

Daily Morning / Evening Ritual:

  1.  Morning:  There are many things you can add here.  I am able to share mine with you to give an idea of what this might look like.  I, first, make myself a turmeric and lemon warm water and drink it (2 mins).  I, then, meditate with my husband (20 mins). I sit with my husband and talk (30 mins).  I pour myself a second coffee and read from the devotional books I am currently reading (10 mins). This practice can be as short as one hour and up to two depending on the day.  It is the most sacred ritual I have, protect, and is non negotiable.  My family knows that I am unavailable until this is complete.
  2. Evening:  Af 21:00 my husband and I move into bed.  I make myself a tea and we watch a series or two together. The kids are 100% taken care of before this hour.

Movement Ritual:

  1. Depending on the time and financial freedom you have, you can commit to home or studio/gym options. Yoga or pilates is a great option for someone with no underlying aches and pains.  It can be practice in a studio or at home.  If you prefer to focus on stretching,  increasing your mobility, or ironing out those aches and pains, ROMWOD is outstanding.  I, personally, follow the Shift / Program A plans with Street Parking 3-4 days a week (30 mins).  Planning walks, jogs, or runs are also popular options.  Whatever you plan and in whichever location, follow a plan.  You can even agree with a friend to be an accountability partner or include your partner and have some fun together.

If you are interested in learning more about self care or would like to talk it through with me, I am happy to do that with you.  You do not have to do this on your own.  It is a big task that often requires change to make happen. Set up a session here.

Spring is almost here

Let the Sunshine in.

Seriously, STOP for one moment; how is Spring already almost here? It feels like yesterday that I was having a conversation about the incoming winter season. Just like that, daffodils are preparing to burst into their yellow glory, apple trees are covered in flower buds, and best of all – longer days are slowly sneaking in. Let’s face it, as we move into April, our

representatives and self indentity

Meeting your Representatives

A “representative” is a version of you that is sent out into the world in your place. It’s a blander, less authentic person who stands in for you when it doesn’t feel safe to expose the real you.

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