Self Care: Take Up the Challenge

by Dr. Robyn Land, ND

I remember being on a plane as a teenager watching the safety demonstration. When they talked about the oxygen masks dropping from the ceiling and how a person should put on their own mask before putting on their kids, I turned to my mom exclaiming “you should put on kid’s mask before putting on your own!” She explained if the parent passed out first, then no one would be there to help the child.

This was my first lesson in self-care.

The majority of us are running through life at a marathon pace, putting the proverbial oxygen mask on everyone else, so that at the end of the day, we collapse, depleted, in front of Netflix to have a little “me” time. The thought of scheduling self-care time is just another task to add to our day, so its cast aside.

But what would it feel like to spend some time truly taking care of yourself? How would it feel to dedicate time to do something to nourish your soul? What is your passion?

These past three weeks, I have dedicated the first 30-45 minutes of my day to my own self-care. Yes, that does mean waking up a bit earlier. And yes, it does mean me being disciplined about not picking up my phone the moment my eyes open. But wow, what a difference it has made.

I take 15-30 minutes to flow through a yoga practice from an online yoga platform. Then I take 10 minutes to listen and practice a HeadSpace guided meditation. It’s not a ton of time, but I have noticed that:

  • I have more energy
  • I don’t get anxious anymore
  • I feel happier in my relationship
  • My body doesn’t hurt as much

So I am going to offer you a challenge:

  1. Pick an activity (or activities) that nourishes your soul and is time you set aside truly for yourself. This can be anything: yoga, mediation, sitting in nature, reading a book, going for a swim.
  2. Set how often you are going to do this. I encourage you to pick a shorter amount of time, but repeating every day rather than a longer period of time once a week. Set a routine!
  3. Print off this goal tracker sheet, put it up on your wall/fridge/on your counter
  4. Give yourself a check-mark every time you do it your self-care activity
  5. Celebrate your victories and kindly restart again if you “fall off the wagon”

You are worthy of paying attention to yourself, to nourishing yourself and to taking care of yourself. So get to it!