I think of wellbeing as an internal thing, independent of our circumstances. If we wait for our circumstances to be pleasing and balanced to have a sense of wellbeing, we will soon be frustrated and bent out of shape. To be well, and share wellbeing with others, we must care for ourselves.
Here are 5 ways to implement some self-care and fill your cup.
- Turn off your screens: I’m talking to myself here as well. It’s all too easy to go from the computer work screen to the phone screen for texts, games, and many of the same files, emails, and projects we call work. Then we go home, to a restaurant or an appointment and find ourselves in front of TV screens! Turn them off. It’s impossible for our brains and bodies to settle into rest and peace when our eyes and our minds are bombarded with constant stimuli. Create no screen zones in your home. Whether it’s certain places or times of day. Have conversations during mealtimes. Don’t jump to it every time the phone rings, dings or otherwise alerts for your attention.
- Beware of your belly button: introspection and reflection are good practices. Take care not to get overfocused on yourself, your work, your flaws, and failures or your to do list. Lift up your eyes each day and take notice of the world around you. The sky, the birds, the feeling of air on your skin … Also, the people around you, you may or may not know. Say “hello”, look people in the eyes: when you talk to them. Offer to open the door for someone or carry that 3rd bag of groceries they are struggling to balance.
- Mix it up a bit: I have a closet full of clothes and tend to wear the same five things! Mixing up your usual choices can be refreshing. Choose a different top or an outrageous pair of socks only you will know about. Have breakfast for dinner. Take a different route to work. Rearrange your desk, add something new to your workspace that makes you smile.
- Appreciation: Express appreciation today. Those kind thoughts, of relief and gratitude that cross your mind when a coworker has an answer you need or supports you through a spot you’ve been stuck in for days … say them out loud. Write them on a post-it note and leave it on their screen. Take a few minutes to write a note card. Handwritten notes can become treasures on hard days.
- Music & Movement: Music touches us in ways that nothing else can. Somehow, music moves right through any walls we have inside or self-protective habits we use to keep others of a distance. Music can be calming or invigorating. Many people can find themselves in the lyrics of one song, feel understood, and less alone. Music and movement together, dance, bring healing and freedom. Listen for music that speaks to you today. Listen with your ears, allow the beat and the sound to enter in and fill you up. Dance like nobody’s watching, whether you are in a chair on wheels or your own two feet, let the music move you.