Today I’m going for a walk. Yep. It’s happening.

Sounds like no big deal, I know, but it actually is. Why? Because walking in nature is something I love to do, yet rarely make time for.

Here’s how it usually goes: It’s a beautiful day. I’m going to go for a walk this morning. Then, after lunch, Whoa … the day’s flying. I’ll have to remember to get out for a walk. I’ll just [insert one of a gazillion priorities] first.

Then … you guessed it. The walk doesn’t happen.

Sound familiar?

It’s a symptom of a bigger issue: I haven’t been making myself – and my self-care – enough of a priority. And really, it’s simple for me to take 10 minutes during the day to get some air and clear my head – so why don’t I? Other things have to get done, sure, but they’ll get done more effectively – and calmly – when I feel balanced and focused.

What about you? What are you itching to do for yourself, yet never seem to fit into your schedule? Are you further down on your priority list than you’d like?

If your heart answered with a resounding Yes!, read on …

Take a few deep breaths. As you breathe deeply, set the intention: I commit to making myself a priority. I commit to making myself a priority.

Now, before you allow resistance to creep in, I just want to remind you that taking care of yourself is not selfish in the least. In fact, it’s one of the best things you can do for the people in your life. Once you’ve met your own needs (gotten rest, done something that makes you feel great, found some calm in your day), you’ll be better able to love and support those around you.

On the other hand, if your energy is depleted, you’ll end up feeling exhausted and possibly even resentful when you support others.

So, here are some ideas for taking care of YOU and bringing more ease, joy and flow into your life.

5 Ways to Say Yes to YOU:

  1. Set a positive tone for the day. Write out an affirmation and post it somewhere prominent where you’ll see it when you wake up: your bedside table, your bathroom mirror, or somewhere else. My morning affirmation lately has been, “Today is beautiful and fresh and filled with amazing possibilities.”
  2. Carve time out for yourself – and make it non-negotiable. Fifteen minutes a day, or even an hour a week (or more, if you feel ambitious) can work magic in your life. Schedule it in your calendar and honour your “appointment” with yourself, as you honour your appointments with others. Use that time to do something that lights you up, something special to breathe new life into your day. Maybe you’d like to go dancing, learn how to paint or get out in nature.
  3. Play! Make room for fun and silliness in your life.
  4. BREATHE. We all get caught up in day-to-day chaos. When you’re feeling a bit frantic, find a quiet space (even the bathroom if you’re around people and need to get away). Close your eyes, drop your shoulders and breathe deeply for a few minutes.
  5. Practice Gratitude. Before bed, write down five things you’re grateful for. Big stuff (maybe the special people in your life) or small stuff (like someone giving you an unexpected hug), it doesn’t matter. The key is to connect to the feeling of gratitude. And if you write your five things in a journal, you’ll be able to look back on them in future. It’s a great way to be reminded that there really is a lot to be thankful for. Plus, it’s a beautiful way to fall asleep.

It’s time to make yourself a priority. (I’m speaking to myself too.) So go for that walk. Take a bath. Go for brunch. Take pottery classes. Whatever makes your heart sing, do it! You’ll feel happier … and the world around you will benefit as a result.

Originally posted on The Wellness Universe.


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