Anyone else cringe when you hear the term self-care?  I love the self care.  But it feels like self care has become one more more thing on the I SHOULD do list for women.

  • I should lean in at work,
  • I should be present with my kids,
  • I should keep dating my husband,
  • I should get my bikini body ready

And now I’m failing because I don’t relax right?  FFS!!!

So if the idea of self care feels exhausting and impossible – I hope this will help.

First – let’s re-define self care.  We tend to think of self care as spa days, acupuncture, yoga, bubble baths.

But self care is anything that makes you feel better.

  • Binge-watching your favorite guilty pleasure?
  • Getting that pile of laundry done?
  • Rocking out to your favorite song in the car?
  • Saying yes or no to a girl’s night?

Self-care doesn’t have to be fancy, “healthy” or high brow.  Sometimes for me, self care is going to pilates, sitting on the beach, meditating, or getting a massage.  Sometimes, it’s looking at my social media (GASP), watching trashy tv (THE HORROR), getting things done that have been eating at me, or sitting in silence – ALONE.

Here’s a secret –

If you make your mind up that something is self-care and restorative – it IS.  Researchers told one group of hotel cleaners that their job burned the caloric equivalent of going to the gym and didn’t tell the control group.  Six weeks later, that first group LOST weight and the control didn’t.  Our intentions are powerful.  If we intentionally schedule time to watch tv, finish our to- do list, stare at the wall LOL, as self care time, then it is.

So YES – Have the spa day.  Go to yoga.  Mediate!  But if your heart is begging for housewives, or friends re-runs, or you cannot look at that unfinished project ONE MORE SECOND, honor that, too!

Chances are, you’re already doing it – all those things you label as procrastination or guilty pleasures or time wasters.  Maybe they are actually good for you – what your inner self knows you need.  Give yourself some grace.  That’s the best self care of all.

And continue here if you want creative ideas of how to integrate one second to 3 minute self-care into your life.

Who has time for self care, right?  I get it.  I’m a mom trying to balance it all too.  If you think self care is just spa days and yoga, read my previous blog.  If you want to do self care in three minutes or as little as one second, read on!

  1. Listen to Music (3 Minutes or less) – Doesn’t matter if it’s ACDC, Luke Bryan, or Drake. If it makes you want to dance, cry, laugh or warms your heart – instant mood shift.
  2. BREATHE – Don’t have more than a second? Take one deep breath from your belly (hyperlink to breathing blog).  Have ten seconds?  Breathe in for 3, hold for 3, exhale for 3. Got 30 seconds?  Repeat it 2 more times
  3. Say an Affirmation, Prayer or Mantra. Maybe you have one that comes to mind.  If not, google.  Find one that resonates with you and make it yours.  Any time your mind races, repeat your affirmation in your head (one second)
  4. While we’re talking about affirmations, print yours out, put it on your mirror where you brush your teeth. That way first and last thing every day you see it.  Go ahead and change your password, too, so all day long, you are interrupting your usual racing thoughts with something new, positive and productive. (one second)
  5. Surround yourself with photos, inspirational art, colors and words that inspire you.
  6. Listen to a guided imagery, mediation, music or podcast in the background when driving (don’t choose a sleep meditation!!), working, watching the kids, laundry etc.
  7. Keep your favorite YouTube videos, shows, or movies in your cue and watch when you need a boost.
  8. Try your favorite yoga (hyperlink to yoga blog) pose – Child’s Pose, Legs Up the Wall, Sun Salutations are shown to reduce stress.
  9. WATER – Wash your hands, face, spray your face with an aromatherapy spray, drink water
  10. Aromatherapy – Keep an oil or candle that scents the whole room, roll-on essential oils (link).

How do you squeeze in self care?

Dr. Janet Fienemann is a Coach and Psychotherapist helping women (in-person & online) master their thoughts and emotions; kick destructive relationship patterns, anxiety and self-doubt to the curb; and finally create the life they truly desire.   To contact Dr. Janet or to work with her one-on-one or through her signature program, Rock Your Life, please contact her at  https://drjanetfienemann.com.  She would love to hear from you.