Nancy Gordon

 

Life can be simple. But often it’s not. It seems to me that every year, I hear more and more women mention how busy they are and the constant struggle with multi-tasking. The bottom line...just keeping up with L-I- F-E can be a daunting process and we often forget about self-care. 


I am often asked, “What does simplifying my life have to do with self-care? And, what really is self-care anyway?” Self-care can be defined simply as “caring for oneself.” Caring for oneself means putting oneself first, which is often a challenge for women. Self-care practices involve owning the responsibility of doing those things that protect and enhance your mind, body, emotions, and spirit. These are practices that make you feel good.


When you simplify your life, your focus becomes clear on what your most important needs and desires are and the things that will support you in fully being who you are. You become empowered to live life with ease and joy. 


Self-care is most easily achieved when we simplify our lives. And, similarly, simplifying our lives is most clearly and easily achieved when we take care of ourselves. Interesting two-sided coin, isn’t it? It is hard to practice self-care when your life is chaotic and complicated, perhaps even unmanageable. And, at the same time, it is hard to have the clarity of how to simplify your life when you aren’t taking care of yourself. In that state, you most likely are not really in touch with yourself enough to have the awareness you need to make the most effective choices.


Simplifying our lives on a daily basis occurs when our lives are in balance between work and play, laughter and quiet, activity and rest, eating and exercising, social time and alone time, and so on. It’s a matter of clarifying your priorities and boundaries.


So how can we best incorporate self-care on a daily basis? (As opposed to waiting until we become so depleted that self-care only happens when we come down with an acute illness like the flu that forces us to stay in bed and rest.)


Here is a simple list of 7 tips to get you started:


7 Daily Ingredients for Simplifying Life Through Self-Care


  1. Starting in the morning, follow a simple daily routine.
  2. Enjoy at least one hour each day, no matter what. (Must include laughter and smiling ☺)
  3. Do at least one of these daily: Spend time with friends and family, watch an uplifting movie or listen to uplifting or calming music, be in nature, meditate, using guided imagery to take yourself outside of your body and life circumstances, help someone else.
  4. Take a vacation from stress and anxiety by practicing gratitude when you wake up and before you go to sleep.
  5. Exercise your mind and body.
  6. Identify three simple daily goals that take care of YOU and DO them.
  7. Do what dogs do. Take time out from “DO-ing”. OMG, you can even take a nap!