Some days it feels like there’s just not enough time to do it all: practice, go to work, be with your family, maintain friendships…
And usually, self-care falls to the very bottom of the to-do list.
Over the years, I’ve learned over that, the better I feel, the better I show up in the world.
That’s why I asked our iCadenza team members to share their favorite self-care tips. As a remote team, we each have our own challenges when it comes to balancing the day-to-day grind with taking time for wellness, so it was fun to hear how everyone stays healthy (inside and out).
Here is a roundup of our team’s favorite self-care tips.
After a very indulgent fall, I’ve tried to be more intentional about what I eat. I tend to lose all my willpower when I travel (which I did quite a bit of this fall), and that puts me off balance.
Right now, I’m avoiding all sugar (except fruit), grains, and legumes. I feel a lot better when I eat this way. I admit that for the first few days, I had vivid dreams about many of my favorite foods (rice! baked goods!). But I feel so much better overall.
I’m also someone who needs a lot of sleep. I got a sleep mask a few years ago and now I can’t live without it.
In addition to blocking out light, I think it also triggers my desire to sleep (like Pavlov’s dog), and it feels like a comforting hug around my face. It also helps me fall asleep on planes (always a challenge) and when I am traveling. I don’t go anywhere without it.
Finally, I try to remember that when I am feeling stuck, burned out, or just blah, nothing feels better than going on a walk or having a little creative time. For me, that could mean playing the piano, writing music, or just writing. Even if it is just for 10 minutes, I find it relaxing, and it sends the message to myself that I matter and that I am worthy of a little fun time.
My favorite wellness practice is actually something that Jennifer introduced me to. It’s called Miracle Morning (by Hal Elrod).
Miracle Morning has five components: meditate, connect to your vision, do a little bit of writing, do a little bit of reading, and do a little bit of movement. You can give each of these five as little as 3-4 minutes each or much more time, if you like, but you have to do all five every morning.
When I have tapped into this and really allowed myself to create time for this, the results have been extraordinary.
It’s powerful to start your day by giving yourself a little time to listen inward and to provide several different outlets for your thoughts. During a busy week, where my days are packed with back to back meetings, sometimes this time is the only time where I feel totally free to explore whatever I want, and true insights emerge!
Another practice that I find extraordinarily powerful is working with gratitude. My natural inclination is to focus on what’s not working, is broken, is challenged, in my life. Taking just a little bit of time to focus on the things and people that I am grateful for shifts my perspective and allows for both positivity and new ideas to enter into my field of vision.
It takes a surprisingly immense amount of discipline to get myself to sit down and do any of these things, but when I do them, the rewards are tremendous.
Six mornings a week, at the crack of dawn, you can find me attending a class at Flywheel Sports. If you’re not familiar with Flywheel, it is a hyper-competitive, hyper-energized indoor cycling class in a very dark room with extremely loud music.
While it may sound a bit like torture, it’s the most centering part of my day.
Aside from the obvious benefits of regular exercise, making the commitment to put aside an hour for myself everyday has had a huge impact on my energy, efficiency, and general attitude. On the days I don’t go to Flywheel, I come home feeling stressed, exhausted, and cranky.
Additionally, as someone who thrives in a routine (but sometimes struggles with setting one), my daily spin sessions set a predictable pattern that actually makes it easier for me to implement other habits and lifestyle changes.
Even when I’m traveling, I stick to my mourning routine.
The first thing I do when I wake up is chug a bottle of water and then oil pull for 15 minutes.
While I’m oil pulling, I get things done around the house such as doing the dishes, packing my lunch, and organizing the things I need for my day. This gets my body moving and blood flowing to help me wake up.
Next is breakfast. I truly believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it kick starts your metabolism!
I am starving when I wake up, so I have to eat within an hour of waking. My normal breakfast is decaf-green tea with either two eggs over-easy with a piece of toast and fruit, oatmeal, or yogurt, granola, and fruit.
After I eat, I get ready and then practice. My favorite and most productive time of day to practice in the morning, so I make it a priority in my schedule.
The self-care practice I can’t live without is making time for daily meditation. After years (and years!) of meditating off and on, I finally committed to meditating every day a little over two years ago.
I started small. As soon as I woke up in the morning, I would sit up in bed and meditate for 5 minutes. Over time, I noticed a shift. I wanted a designated space to meditate, and I felt inclined to sit longer. (Now, 20 minutes is my minimum — which used to sound crazy to me!)
Meditation centers me, energizes me, and helps me see my own heart, as well as the hearts of those around me.
And while I’ll be the first one to tout the benefits of meditation, I also believe that everyone’s “meditation” can be different. For some people it’s running, for others it’s writing, or painting, or doing yoga, or playing music.
Whatever makes you feel like a better version of yourself, devoting time to it — even a few minutes a day — will amplify all those good vibes. And we could all use as much of those as we can get.
Share Your Self-Care Tips
How do you take care of yourself on a regular basis?
Are you able to make self-care a priority?
Share your favorite tips in the comments below.