This post should be short, a quick look at what I try to do in a week as self care to keep myself sane, to “fill my cup” and be able to give more to the ones I care about. I don’t accomplish these every week, I am still working on keeping a schedule and taking care of myself on a regular basis, I am working on adding to this schedule as I find more and more things that help me, be me.
I work four to five eight hour shifts a week, so almost full time, but even for the year I was straight full time I have tried to keep to this schedule and find it makes me feel so much better! This isn’t to say it’ll work for you, but it might guide you in the direction of what would work, and show you that it is not selfish to take care of yourself!
My week starts on a Friday morning as I work weekend nights. So to ward off the “Sunday Scaries” I end my morning/get ready for bed with a long hot bath. I shut off the lights, light a bunch of candles or turn on my small string of battery powered fairy lights pour a hot a** bath and soak with Epsom salts and a bath bomb. I take my time getting out and ready for bed, sometimes I’ll do a candle meditation if there is time, then crawl immediately into bed. This helps me to fall asleep to the point I question my insomnia other nights! It’s one of the things I wish I could do every morning before bed but unfortunately there just isn’t time.
Friday nights when I get up for work I shower and get ready for the night. I make a smoothie every night to take to work with me that always has at least two veggies and one low sugar fruit and kefir yogurt. This way I know I am still getting something healthy, even if the night goes unplanned and I do not eat as healthy as I would like. Every night at work I have a meal planned lunch with veggies and a healthy protein.
Saturday mornings when I get home from work is get sh*t done day. I do my best to get a bunch of chores out of the way, from cleaning animal cages/litters, sweeping, garbage and recycling, whatever needs done that wasn’t done on the weekend. I do my best if it is a light chore day to get in an exercise, even if it is only ten minutes of stretching before dinner, a walk with Bear and bed.
Sunday mornings I get home to walk Bear then leave him with K while I go to my favourite coffee shop down the street. I spend anywhere from half an hour to two hours there, never giving myself a time limit, I stay as long as I feel comfortable and need it. I do this early morning right after work so that the store is empty and I don’t feel like I am hogging a seat. While there I read, I’ll work on blog posts or the novel idea I am working on or sometimes just sit and enjoy a coffee and sandwich. It gives me time to unwind and spend some quality alone time. When I get home I feel 100% better and even get chores done or make K something to eat. This one is a big one, because even if I miss everything else in a week, having this one day to unwind and feel like myself again makes a huge difference and reminds me why its necessary.
Monday morning after work is usually quiet, K and I will be lazy and after walking Bear sit in front of Netflix with dinner, play video games or scroll through social media. The necessary daily chores get done; dishes and animal area cleaning, other then that the rest of the chores are for the weekend.
Tuesday mornings are the start of my weekend and the get stuff done day! I do the grocery shopping, making sure that I have everything I need for meal prep – this is a large part of self care. I didn’t think so before but making sure that I have healthy grab and go meals and snacks has made a big difference in taking care of myself and feeling better. Self care is not all facials and massages but making sure you give yourself what you need. Healthy food! After putting groceries away I try to get the bigger chores out of the way, similar to Saturday morning. This way once I sit down and the weekend starts, if I don’t have the energy to get back up I don’t also have the guilt that follows not getting enough done. This way I can spend Wednesday just enjoying the weekend, doing running around with K, spending time at home with the animals.
Thursday night is meal prep night, I make sure to prep smoothie bags for every night before work. I prep “healthy” pizza (recipe to come in another post) to beat those pizza cravings during the week, sometimes I’ll prep lasagna, soup or other meals as well. The big one is work lunch meal prep for K and I, I prep a healthy chicken and veggie bowls for me and burrito bowls for K.
Most mornings when I get home from work I try to fit in exercise, whether it is ten minutes of stretching before dinner or half an hour of jump rope/exercise while at the park with Bear. I am also working on getting up earlier to fit in some early morning stretching or meditation before getting ready for work (although this is a work in progress, one day a week most weeks at the moment if we’re being honest).
This might not all seem like self care, it really seems more like an account of my week, but this is just the bare minimum I do in a week, and these are the important things I do to feel better. I plan ahead for lazy days, I make sure everyday has something healthy, even if I know I’m having a pizza movie night that night I still had some veggies in every meal. I make time for myself and for K and the animals. I do something to calm the stress that comes with Mondays. There are weeks that I’ll miss the bath or the coffee shop and it really shows what a difference it makes.
On top of this I am still working on a way to fit more exercise in, to find ways to meditate more and find time to focus on me, the care I need. Doing the things that I enjoy or that are relaxing make it so much easier to face the things that aren’t.