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Most Sunday’s on my facebook page, Inspired Vitality of Minnesota, I ask, “What are you doing for yourself today?” because I believe that self care is an important part of being healthy. We have to-do lists, but we forget to put ourselves on that list, and suddenly the day or week is gone. By not taking care of ourselves, we end up running on empty, and less able to care for others.

Self care simply means caring for your physical and mental health. It is also caring for your soul, your essence. It encompasses nourishing food, sleeping well, being physically active, and quiet and peaceful activities for a calm mind. If you sleep 8 hours per night, in 16 waking hours you have 960 minutes per day. Can you devote 10 minutes out of 960 minutes for you? Or more…are you worth 10, 20, 30, or even 60 minutes out of 960 each day? I say YES, you are worth it! Not only are you worth it, but when you care for yourself on a regular basis, you will find yourself in a better mood, and more motivated and better able to handle all your tasks and challenges.

If you are running on empty, you may not know where to begin, so ponder these questions. What makes you happy? What fills you with peace? I suggest you make a list and circle the items that you haven’t done lately, or that really stand out to you. Once you have the list, it’s time to take action, but I’m a realist. I know the desire to do things and the reality doesn’t always coinside. So, you may have to adjust your action steps according to your situation. For example, if you love to dance, but you have young children, it may not be realistic to go out dancing every Saturday night. But, you can turn on music at home and have a dance party! (A party of one, or more!)

If you are still stuck for self care ideas, here are some of my favorites:

  • Listen to music
  • Dance
  • Reading/journaling
  • Exercise
  • Prayer/meditation
  • Spend time in nature
  • Stretch
  • Cuddle with a pet
  • Try a new recipe
  • Plan a vacation
  • Make a bucket list
  • Pamper yourself
  • Do a craft or build something
  • Ride a bike
  • Garden or visit a farmers market
  • Go for a walk
  • Watch funny videos
  • Deep breathing
  • Coloring or playing with kinetic sand
  • Spending one-to-one time with someone you love

Today, while writing this blog I was listening to my favorite smooth jazz music. As I paused to listen to the music, I noticed that I was breathing deeper, it provided me with inspiration, and it made me smile. All this, because it feeds my soul.

The next time you start writing a to-do list, don’t forget about you. Practicing self care does not make you selfish! It’s self love, and if you practice self love, you will feel stronger, happier, and ready to take on the world!

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