One of the most common questions I get from women is, “What can I do to get out of this rut that I find myself in?” It’s a question and feeling that women have felt for decades and one that isn’t going away anytime soon. For most of us, life is constantly presenting challenges and throwing curve balls. And with modern technology and the ease of looking at what everyone else is doing 24/7, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in a world wind of lack, stress and discontentment.
The good news is there are ways to not only overcome those feelings and get out of your so-called “rut”, but to also love and feel great about the life you have now.
When women ask me how to get out of their “ruts” – the first question I ask them is – how are you taking care of yourself? What are you doing on a daily basis to put your needs first, to make yourself feel beautiful and keep your mind fresh and vibrant? In other words, what does your self-care routine look like?
For most, the answer is either “I have never thought about that” or “I try to work-out from time to time when I can.” And this is where the problem lies when it comes to “ruts”. In order to stay focused, positive and love the life your currently living – you must start focusing on you and your needs above all else.
And this goes for every woman out there. Whether you are a business owner, a corporate lady in a 8-5 job or a nurturing stay-at-home mother, self-care should be your number one priority this year. How you treat your body and your mind is extremely important.
I know whenever I don’t take care of myself or put myself first it leads me to feel less confident. It leads me to look at myself in disgustful manner, have a wondering eye for what everyone else is accomplishing, and have a poor me attitude. And it is this thinking that makes us feel like we are in a “rut”. If you can relate, I have put together my favorite 10 self-care go-to’s. Try one of these today. Don’t wait to get started – after all, 2017 is your year!
1. SPEND ONE NIGHT A WEEK PAMPERING YOURSELF.
Light a wonderful smelling candle in your bathroom, dim the lights if possible, draw a hot bath with your favorite essential oil (mine are eucalyptus and lavender), put a face mask on your face, get it and just relax. Breathe deeply. Let all of your worries go and focus on your breathing. Shave your legs, paint your toes, blow dry your hair and spend time mentally going over all that you love about yourself. Do not point out your flaws. Instead look at yourself the way your creator, mother, and/or child looks at you – with nothing but love and admiration.
2. BOOK A MASSAGE.
Book a massage for yourself at your favorite spa. Try to find one that has a quiet place to relax and a sauna or steam-room so you can go enjoy 30 minutes to yourself before your massage. Breathe deeply and allow for time to slow down while you are alone.
3. COOK A HEALTHY MEAL AND SIT DOWN AT THE DINNER TABLE WITH YOUR FAMILY AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK.
I know for many, it is extremely hard to find the time to cook and for everyone to eat together. But, this is so important. Find at least one night a week to enjoy cooking and eating with your family. Turn your favorite music on really loud, light a candle, pop a bottle of wine open, cook your favorite meal and spend time breathing in all of the wonderful smells. Make it fun. Then sit down with the ones you love most. If you aren’t married or don’t have a family, invite your best friend(s) over. Put away all technology and spend time laughing with the people who matter most.
I cannot start my day without spending 10 minutes alone journaling. Here is what I like to do. Start by finding a place you can be alone with your thoughts. Get your favorite cup of coffee, chai-latte, tea or hot lemon water. Open your journal and take three deep breaths, letting go of all the stress and fear you old inside. Then write down 5 “celebrations”. These are things you are thankful for, successes you celebrating, events that took place the day before and whatever else makes you happy. Then write down 5 small ways you want to change for the better in the given day ahead. This can be a mindset you want to adopt, an act you want to perform or a goal you want to reach. Anything that allows you to grow as a person. Then take three more deep breaths and hold yourself to those five things.
5. READ SOMETHING INSPIRING BEFORE BED.
20 minutes before bed put your phone away, dab some essential oil on your pillow and find a book, a poem, an inspiring article you’ve been holding on to and read it. I highly recommend finding a paper version to read. It is important to stay away from any screens before bedtime. Not only is it best for your mind, but it will keep you from getting distracted and ending up scrolling through Facebook.
6. BUY YOURSELF SOMETHING LOVELY.
On days that I fall into my version of a rut, I buy myself flowers. I love flowers. Something about fresh blooms in my house lights up my world. So make a point to treat yourself and buy yourself something you love. I’m not saying go on a shopping spree. I’m saying buy something that lights you up. Some ideas include: a new journal, a new candle, a new coffee cup, fresh flowers, a colorful workout outfit, a new set of soft pajama’s, a new shower curtain or anything that makes your heart happy.
7. TAKE A WALK OR RUN IN NATURE WITHOUT YOUR PHONE.
There is nothing better than getting outside and breathing in the crisp air. Take a walk or run through your favorite park. Leave your phone in your car or at your house. Spend time breathing deeply and marveling at how amazing this great earth is that we get to live on. Find beauty in the nature and in the architecture that surrounds you.
8. MAKE A VISION BOARD.
Over my desk are three push boards. Together they create what I call my vision board. On the first, I keep all of the invitations, thank you letters, baby announcements, etc. from my friends and clients for the year. On the second, I have pictures of everything I desire to have out of this life – the car I want to drive, the house I want to live in, the body I want to have, the family I envision, etc. On the third, I keep inspiring quotes and compliments that light my soul up. Make your own vision board(s). Keep it visible. Not only will it help you stay focused on your end goals, but it will keep you motivated all year long.
9. TAKE YOURSELF ON A DATE.
Take yourself to lunch. Take yourself to dinner and a movie. It is so important to enjoy alone time with your thoughts. Bring a pad of paper to lunch or dinner and write a letter to yourself, a friend or even your husband and/or children. No matter who you write it to – let them know how thankful you are for everything they do for you.
10. CONNECT WITH WOMEN WHO ARE DOING WHAT YOU WANT TO BE DOING.
I love connecting with inspiring women when I need a pick me up. So find a group of women that do what you do or what you want to be doing that you can connect with. Reach out to them first. Don’t be bashful – some of the best relationships I have today – started with me simply saying hi. If you don’t have a group of ladies yet, join my newly launched private Chic & Successful Facebook Group. Introduce yourself. This is a safe place where you can be yourself and have me and other fabulous women – just like you – motivate you everyday.
I truly hope that you will find some of these suggestions helpful. If not, feel free to create your own self-care list. But most importantly, just remember that you hold the key to your own happiness in your mind. So be kind and love yourself, fill your mind with positive thoughts and always walk with your head held high.
Get after it girl!