Summer is coming to an end, but your calendar is still filled to the max with backyard parties, al fresco dinners and get-togethers with friends and family. You love being busy and spending time with people. However, with your hectic schedule, you’re starting to slack on commitments that you’ve made to yourself. You were on a roll with going to yoga classes and eating lots of fruit and veggies. Making time to go to BBQ’s and eating out has made that quite difficult. You occasionally allow yourself dessert, but now with the temptations on a regular basis, you’re having dessert (and not just a bite) more than once a week. So, you then tell yourself that you’ll work out really hard to get rid of those extra calories. Oh, but then you don’t have the time for an additional workout because you’ve told friends that you’re joining in on a get-together. Maybe you could just say no to the get-together? That’s not so easy. Your friends are texting you and cajoling you to rethink your decision. Boundaries – they can be so difficult to set!
Sticking to commitments to yourself is tough for women since you just want to make everyone happy. The result is that you’re neglecting yourself. This causes a cycle of self-sabotage by consciously or unconsciously breaking your commitment to yourself and then moving into self-criticism because you broke that commitment. You then quickly end up on a slippery slope of giving up all together on your good intentions or trying to feed your needs with things, such as shopping sprees, mani-pedis, tons of self-help books and double café mochas, instead of healthfully practicing self-care. So, how do you break the cycle and get back to your self-commitment without shelling out all your cash? Here are 3 ways to practice self-care without spending a dime:
- Give yourself daily 15 minutes of quiet time. This is a ‘no matter what’ commitment. Make it a habit like brushing your teeth. Get up 15 minutes early if you need to or put a “do not disturb” sign on your bedroom door. Use this time to pray, journal, stretch, focus on your breathing, sit with your eyes closed or stare into nature. This practice will help you reduce stress and lower your cortisol levels to move into a calm and serene state. Plus, you’ll find that you’ll have a lot more energy again, which might have a similar result as the one you get from eating all your fruits and veggies!
- Schedule a vent session with a close friend. Ask a friend to just listen to you get everything off your chest that’s bothering you and robbing you of your energy, like beating yourself up for not sticking to your self-commitment. But do set a time limit for yourself. Also, make it clear to the friend that you’re not looking for advice. The purpose of the vent session is to clear stuff out and not continue to dwell on it. Acknowledging your feelings and not trying to sugarcoat them or suppressing them is one of the best ways to take care of yourself. Women often think that they have to be Ms. Smiley and always upbeat. But you’re only hurting yourself by holding it all in.
- Cook up a storm with good for you foods. This is my all time favorite when I know that I need to send some loving my way. Once you start chopping the veggies and preparing the items, you go into this slight meditative place. Make yourself a nice cup of tea or drink a glass of water with lemon while you’re at it. Then once the various dishes start cooking away on your stove or in the oven, make sure to taste them and inhale the aromas. Instant aromatherapy without spending money on essential oils! The time you spend cooking and then enjoying the dishes afterward really nourish you and provide you with full self-care bliss.
You’ll find that if you give these 3 ways to practice self-care a try, you’ll have more energy and confidence again to stick to your commitments around health, relationships and other areas in your life. When you come from a space of real good self care, you make your commitments a priority and you pencil YOU in on your calendar instead of that BBQ. Plus, self care reminds you to say no to that extra dessert or to relationships that don’t make you feel good. The best part? It doesn’t require you to spend a dime.
If you know some gorgeous women who need a little nudge to make time for self-care, but have money excuses…I’d love for you to share this post with them.
Here’s to your creating the most beautiful life and stepping into your own power.