%PM, %31 %966 %2017 %22:%Mar By Gena Gillespe

Simple Self-Care Guide

In today's climate more than ever, it's essential to make time to take care of yourself. The world is stressful, and even without politics and world events, life is hectic. Between balancing our jobs, families, friends, relationships, health, and personal projects, it can be challenging to make time to rest. Studies show that the average American adult takes only one vacation every three years, only eats two meals a day, and sleeps 30% less a night that is recommended. It's clear that self-care has fallen by the wayside and it's important to me to advocate for it to my people--including you! When I hear the words "self-care," it seems time intensive. Spa days, vacations, all kinds of time commitments--but what if I told you self-care could be as easy as one activity for five to ten minutes a day? I've spent the past month collecting tips, tricks, and products designed to help us take better care of ourselves, and have found them all to be infinitely useful and surprisingly easy to incorporate into my everyday life! While time away is crucial, it's so much easier than you'd think to find time on even the busiest days to care for your body, brain, and spirit. Check out some of my favorite ways to cope with day-to-day life and make sure I'm not losing sight of what's important: looking after myself! 1. bloom daily planners Bound To-Do List Book Nothing helps me step away from my commitments like organizing my time. But until I tried a bloom planner, I found the task of time management to be boring...which meant I often skipped it. Each page is perforated, so you can tear it out when you're done which is incredibly satisfying for the completists among us! It's not date-stamped, so you fill out your own date/day for each entry, meaning you can start using it any old time you want. The pages are broken down into Must Dos, Other To Dos, Exercise, Meals, Important Times, Shopping Reminders, and Gratitude Reminders. Not only is it a perfect balance of the most important things, but it's a great reminder to take time to care for each part of yourself. The binder is attractive, affordable, and compact enough to tuck into your bag or leave open on your desk. 2. Smoothies Everyone is obsessed with juicing, but part of my self-care routine is making a smoothie every single morning. Not only is it nourishing and delicious, but it's a great ritual to start my day. It gives me time to do something just for my body--which is the best way to start my day. I buy bags of frozen staples, like strawberries, pineapple, and mango, but purchase fresh supplemental produce each week, depending on what's currently in season. I love knowing I always have a meal on hand and it takes less than five minutes to prepare. I add orange juice, Greek yogurt, Benefiber, and protein powder to ensure I'm getting enough nutrients. My current favorite recipe is a fresh banana, peanut butter, chocolate chips, almond milk, protein powder, and cinnamon--delicious, healthy, and so satisfying! 3. Meditation Cushion If like me, you work from home it can be easy to forget your breaks. But just because you work from home doesn't mean you don't need time away from the laptop--so why not take breaks centered on, well, centering yourself? I purchased an affordable meditation cushion from Amazon and set two daily reminders to go outside and use it. I spend ten minutes in the mid-morning and late afternoon using my meditation app. I love the break to grab fresh air, stretch, and give my brain a much-needed break from the scuttlebutt of a workday. Don't worry if you aren't an expert meditator, simply taking 20 minutes a day to unplug, recharge, and connect with the world around you is positively rejuvenating. Leave your phone inside, grab a glass of water, and let yourself relax. It's worth it. 4. Meal Planning "What do you want for dinner?" "I don't know...what sounds good to you?" "I don't care. Whatever." How familiar is that exchange? I swear, my partner and I used to have it every day, and inevitably we'd either skip dinner or forage for something unsatisfying--until I got a meal planning calender. Now we spend Sunday morning breakfast planning out dinner for the week, and it's saved us so much time and stress. We generally do one Crock Pot meal that lasts two days, one dinner out, one breakfast for dinner, and a few other new recipes. We alternate cooking nights and do the shopping together, so it's actually created more couple time and removed the annoying anxiety of figuring out meals each night. It's essential to feed yourself, and it should be a relaxing and enjoyable process!