1. Upon stepping out of bed each morning, make it.
2. Before lights out each evening, note five good things about the day.
The gratitude journal was a long practice. The bed-making was … intermittent. Both were to-do list items softened into ritual by habit. Whatever does or doesn’t get done today, at least I began it accomplishing something that tidied my space and drew a line against chaos. Whatever happens today, I trust that by its end, there will be at least five things I can look back on and be grateful for, call good, marvel at, be glad they happened or that I was there to witness them or that I learned them.
I don’t think of these habits as self-care, but of course they are. The nightly list was prescribed for me during a time when I wasn’t able to care for much of anything, a sturdy rope thrown to help me climb out of a hole. Now, it just makes me happy. In fact, a made bed and a list of goodnesses are things I love.
What do you love? Have you ever made a list of that? Is it time to make a list again, or for the first time? When we’re ragged, that can be a first step in a self-care plan, as L.L. Barkat wrote here. (Go take a look. Come back. We’ll wait.)
Here are the chapter titles that intrigue us from Valorie Burton’s book How Did I Get So Busy? The 28-Day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule, and Reconnect with What Matters Most.
1. Assess your situation
2. Hurrying up is slowing you down
3. Make a heart-to-heart connection daily
4. Work to live, don’t live to work
5. Have fun at least once a week
6. Eat good food, preferably sitting down
7. Get good exercise, preferably standing up
8. Address your adrenaline addiction
9. Create deliberate daily rituals
10. Allow space for what you want
11. Stop striving, start trusting
My bed-making and list-making (and, recently, reading when I come home from work) are deliberate daily rituals. They might look like things I’ve added, but somehow, they create space, breathing room, a relaxed pace for all the other things that get sandwiched into my days. Ultimately, I’m better able to attend to other people because I do these things for myself.
We at Makes You Mom would love to hear what you love. One of the things we love is encouraging moms, women, writers, makers, humans. Consider this our encouragement to you (yes, you, individual you, whoever you are) to, first, take care of yourself, and then, to write about it.
In fact, let’s make a habit of it. I’m going to blog about all 11 of these. We’d love to have you join in each week, and drop the link to your post in the comment box. And then we can say, look what we did on our summer vacation. We’ll start on May 22, with “Assess Your Situation.”
When posts are a good fit for us, we’ll reprint them at Makes You Mom. Deal? Who’s in? Take your time to think about it. Watch for weekly prompts. (Subscribe and get the newsletter.) And …
Laura Lynn Brown
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