I'm tired of putting myself last. I've been doing a lot of self-reflection and came up with this list of 10 Self-Care commandments, or guidelines, to keep on top of making self-care a priority.
Thou shalt not neglect your self-care.
If you are reading this post you've either already committed to self-care or realize that you need to. That is a good start.
Thou shalt take off from responsibilities when you need to, without guilt.
If you are sick, take off from work. If you are exhausted, have someone else cover your volunteer position, and don't feel bad about it. You can't take care of others if you aren't taking care of yourself.
Thou shalt make time to eat with no distraction at least once a day.
It would really be great if every meal could be 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to leisurely eat, but that is really hard if you are also feeding children, working full-time, commuting, etc. So make an effort to have just one meal a day where you really take time for yourself to focus on your nourishment.
Thou shalt not work past 9pm on something that doesn't have an immediate deadline.
Sometimes life requires late nights. Despite this, you have to give yourself time in the evenings to decompress. If I don't have an immediate deadline I try to stop working at 9pm because I go to bed at 10pm. If you go to bed at 11pm, stop working at 10pm. The goal is to give yourself a work-free hour at the end of your day.
Thou shalt ask for help when you need it.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. It really takes a village to do anything if you don't want to burn out. Your spouse, partner, co-workers, family, friends, babysitters, virtual assistants, etc, should all be resources to you when you are overwhelmed.
Thou shalt say no to taking on more than you can or want to handle, without guilt.
You only have one life and time is not an infinite resource. Say NO more often. When you don't want to or can't accommodate something in your schedule say no, and don't feel bad about it.
Thou shalt drink water every day.
Drinking water is the cornerstone to healthy eating. Drink more water than any other beverage you consume.
Thou shalt schedule time for yourself.
It's nice when you fall into free-time, but it is important to schedule time completely for yourself. I mean really schedule it. Put it in your planner or your Google Calendar. Set a reminder on your phone. Really make it a priority. Realistically you may only be able to do this two times a week, but it's important that you schedule it in ahead of time or it may never happen.
Thou shalt not compare yourself to others.
Comparison is a thief of joy. There is no way you can fully enjoy your life if you're consistently wishing you had someone else's. Be inspired by others, but do not compare.
Thou shalt remove yourself from situations that bring negative feelings.
This could mean not sticking around at gatherings with negative energy or logging off of Facebook when the political discussions become too much. Be aware of people, places, and things that bring you down and remove them from your life in whatever way you can.
If you want a daily reminder of the 10 Self-Care Commandments you can download a printable version below:
10 SELF-CARE COMMANDMENTS PRINTABLE