I think that everyone should get 90 minutes of self-care a day. For those already practicing self-care, that probably sounds daunting. For those that have no idea what I am talking about, let me explain. Self-care is caring for yourself, including your mind, your body, and your spirit. It’s taking time out to make sure that you are mentally prepared for the day ahead, that your body is physically up to the challenge, and that spiritually you are in a place of calm and peace, first with yourself and then with others.
It is not a luxury. It is vital and an absolute necessity. Self-care is not selfish. In fact, it is actually one of the most unselfish things that you can do for others. When you are caring for others, you need to show up 100% and you can only do that if you have taken the time to prepare yourself for the task at hand. So how do you take of yourself so you can be the best you that you can be, both for yourself and for others? How do you consistently develop a mindset where you make mental, physical, and spiritual care a priority?
I think that you make time for the things you want to make time for. I recommend 90 minutes of self-care each and every day. Not 90 minutes a month or even 90 minutes a week. Ninety minutes every, single day. I plan out activities that are going to give me an element of self-care each day. I try to balance between what’s going to benefit me in each element.
I start each day with some type of private, quiet time. This helps me mentally and spiritually. I typically quiet and redirect my mind to something of gratitude. Sometimes it’s a song, other times it’s a prayer. Then I usually read my Bible or a devotional for at least 15 minutes. Gathering my thoughts and getting in a place of calm and peace can be a relatively easy pattern to fall into if done deliberately and consistently.
After the kids have gotten off to school, I make sure that I am taking about 15 minutes of tea time if I am not working outside of the home. When I have tea, I take the time to carefully select the type of tea I’d like to enjoy. I purposefully try to activate all five of my senses. I listen to the kettle steam (or the microwave beep, if I have limited time). I watch the steam rise from the cup and I feel the warmth of the cup or the kettle. If I take my tea outside I listen to the birds chirping and the wind blowing. If I am inside, soothing music is my accompaniment. I smell the aroma of the tea I have selected and enjoy the taste – especially if it is Earl Grey!
If it’s a day to exercise at the gym, I automatically get minutes 45 minutes to an hour in a group exercise glass. On days that I don’t exercise with a group, I will go for a walk which will take anywhere from 15-30 minutes. If you’ve been counting with me on the day that I exercise we’re already up to the 90 minutes.
On days I don’t exercise at the gym, such as a patient care day, I infuse walks away from my desk throughout my day. Fifteen minutes here or there may not seem like a lot but it adds up (just like stress can when you are not intentional about making time for yourself). This means that by 10:30 am, I have gotten a minimum of 30 minutes of self-care in, and have hit my 90 minutes if it’s an exercise day. If I am on the lighter end of self-care by days end, taking 15 to 30 minutes right before bed to relax and stroll through the accomplishments of the day in my mind is so worth the effort. An end of the day devotional also helps.
So what’s your thing to relax in small increments? Maybe it’s a crossword puzzle, sitting in your favorite spot listening to music, or cuddling with a furry friend. Whatever it is you do, developing a mindset that is intentional about getting 90 minutes of self-care is a great first step.
Here are some questions for you to consider:
- Does 90 minutes of self-care a day sound doable? Why or why not?
- What are a few things you could do to relax for 15 minutes at a time?
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Bergina Isbell, MD is a Mayo Clinic trained and Board Certified Psychiatrist specializing in the clinical treatment of patients with history of Special Needs and Trauma. She is the mother of two children with special needs, including a son with a diagnosis of Autism. She serves as a consultant and coach for those who want to transform their lives by developing a growth-promoting mindset.
To get access to more teachings on self-care, click here https://bit.ly/5dayselfcare.