How do you feel about the holidaze season? Yes, I call it holidaze because I used to feel like I was in a daze from Nov to Jan. Between work, parties, dinners, and shopping for the perfect gift, I would wear myself out and wind up with a bladder infection and TMI, maybe. Did you know you can get a bladder infection from dehydration? After two years of ending up in ER over Christmas because I was so busy, I forgot basic wellness practice and skipped my water intake for like a month.
Not only did I do this once, I did it twice. Year three was when I started scheduling my holidaze self-care. I physically put it on my calendar. If I could show up to every other event on my calendar, the least I could do was show up for myself. I took what started out as trying to survive the holidays and made it something I did year-round.
There are four categories that self-soul-care falls into:
Daily routines– This is the one most people struggle with, but if you stack your habits for the day, your daily routines can become seamless. I am a morning person, so most of my self-soul-care is done before 7 am. The first thing I do when I get up is drink 16oz of water while making my coffee in a french press. That usually is time I would spend praying to the coffee gods to hurry up! I put my vitamins right in my morning smoothy, which I put beside the blender; I brush my teeth while my moisturizer absorbs and get 15min of meditation before I wake the kids up. There are 1000 ways to tweak your routine to make it flow and get the care you need.
Movement – notice I said movement, not exercise. When I use the word exercise, most people will automatically say I don’t have time, but when I rephrase it to movement, It takes the stress out of the word. 98% of the time, you can find 30 mins in a day to move, even if that means skipping Netflix and going for a walk and the thing is you will feel 100x better after a walk than a date with your couch. I try to get out for a walk/run at lunchtime, but that only works sometimes; other times, when my kids have hockey practice go for a walk because there is nothing more boring than watching practice. I try for three movement sessions that increase my heart rate; after that, they are all bonuses for which I give myself high fives! Schedule your gym times, classes, or walks. You can also reflect on your month to hold yourself accountable. You can see what weeks you rocked it and what ones need a little more commitment.
Professional – There are professionals for a reason! I make at least one appointment with a skilled practitioner a month. I am on the osteopath train right now; it has made a world of difference since I injured myself in the summer. So many wellness modalities fall into this category: RMTs, acupuncturists, chiropractors, Reiki masters, reflexologists, and of course, your ESTI-BESTIE (AKA ME!), any practitioner performing the service to you. Not only are you less likely to cancel an appointment with a pro, but the benefits will surpass what you can do yourself.
No Days – are precisely what they sound like, days you say no to everything. I put at least two of these in my calendar every month, usually on a Sunday. This day works best for me, but when you are planning, you’re no days; pick a day that you know not many things fall on. It is easier to stay on the plan if there are fewer roadblocks.
Now all of this sounds well and good but what made this translate into the real world was👇🏻
Colour coding your calendar means when you look at your calendar at a glance, you know right away when & what type of self-soul-care you have that day or coming. Now I don’t schedule my daily routines because they are second nature to me, but if they aren’t for you, scheduling, in the beginning, can help.
My no-days are red in my calendar; if someone asks me to do something and I look at my calendar and that day is red, it’s a hard and fast no because I have already promised that day to myself. When I see yellow, I know it will be a good day because that’s my see-a-pro day, which can be a bright spot in an otherwise shitty week. Planning the good stuff around challenging days can change the dynamic of your week.
Keeping appointments with yourself may seem silly until you make it part of your everyday life. While focusing on your progress, you will begin to honour yourself one day at a time. Plus, if you look at your calendar, you will already see that you have several positive habits that can help you with the new ones you want to start.