We’re onto the third video in this third Module ‘Time’. In this lesson we’re going to touch on the topic of self care. Obviously this is not a course about self care which is such a broad topic. Therefore, this video isn’t going to be the longest lesson in this course.
But… I strongly feel that, in creating a daily routine for purposeful productivity, self care should have its place in that routine. When your day gets busy it’s easy to immediately put yourself and your own needs at the bottom of the list. But deprioritizing yourself is a oneway ticket to burnout. That’s why self-care, and specifically the topics of eating, moving, and resting, deserve time in your routine.
Eat, move, rest. I feel like I’m in a Elizabeth Gilbert book. A less romantic kind. Okay, enough. Back to work.
I know, I know, you’ve heard this one before. While it may be tempting to skip breakfast to save time, taking 5-10 minutes to nourish your body with whole foods will pay off with more focused attention throughout the morning. Don’t be tempted by sugary cereal, either, which will only lead to a blood sugar crash. Instead, go for options that provide brain boosting energy from protein and healthy fats.
Even though I know it’s tempting to work right through lunch in order to power through a workday, skipping meals can result in fatigue and brain fog later in the day. Schedule some time midday to eat a sustaining lunch.
Your brain and your body need water to function properly. Here’s an easy trick to help you stay hydrated throughout the day: use a large bottle or carafe. I’ve found that when it’s right there you drink it. When you set down a small cup or glass, then it’s likely that that’s the only thing you drink during that part of the day. But when you set down a glass plus a beautiful carafe filled with water, then you’ll find yourself pouring glass after glass. It’s an easy trick to make sure you drink enough water.
Going out or grabbing takeout can be a fun way to end the day, but cooking at home is a great way to signal the end of the workday. Put your computer and phone away, turn on some relaxing music, and spend 30 minutes preparing dinner. Schedule this time if you need to. Then try to sit down at an actual table and enjoy your meal.
It might seem like a good idea to roll out of bed and jump directly into emails and to-do lists, but taking a few minutes to move your body will get your blood flowing and alert your senses so you can better take on your day. Five minutes is all it takes: a short yoga flow, some squats and lunges, or put on some music and have a little dance party.
Also, make use of your breaks. I’ve always had trouble with those five-minute breaks throughout the day. I mean, what do you do during that break, right? Stare out the window? And so I usually skipped breaks altogether. But then I decided to use those breaks to get some movement in. I walk around the house, do some stretching or, when it’s been a frustrating day, my fantasy boxing self comes out and I throw some air punches. What’s also a great thing to do during your breaks is household chores. I water the plants, clean the stove, or whip out the vacuum. During my first break, I vacuum half of the living room. During my second break, the other half. Third break is for the kitchen. And so by the end of the day, my entire house has been vacuumed. I used to do these household chores on a Saturday morning and, by then, it would take me half a day. So I feel like I’ve reclaimed a big part of my weekend all by making use of those five-minute breaks.
Use your lunch break to go for a walk a few times a week or walk after dinner. After sitting all day it’s a great way to get in some of those 10,000 steps. Listening to podcasts has been a game changer for me when it comes to walking. It makes me feel connected, I learn something new, and it helps the walk to fly by.
Nap time. Some people do it habitually, some people never do it. If napping is your thing make sure to schedule it into your routine.
Hold yourself accountable to unplugging and getting away from screentime for at least an hour before bedtime. Use that time to read, take a shower, or catch up on a favorite show.
Setting a habit of going to bed at the same time each evening, is better for your body and your brain. Make sure to get enough sleep, so take that into account when determining the best time for you to go to bed.
Creating a bedtime ritual will help you wind down and get a better night sleep so you’ll wake up refreshed and ready to take on another day.
Okay superstar, in wrapping things up for lesson 3 I want to leave you with this. You might think: ‘What does self-care have to do with productivity? How can you call it productive time when you’re not doing, not working?’ First of, as we talked about in the first Module, productive doesn’t equal working or doing or being busy.
But more importantly, self care (eating, moving, resting) is its own form of productivity. In Module 2 we talked about CREATING physical and mental space for yourself, but what self care does is PRODUCE space. Space for your body to nourish and recharge, your mind to rest and your creativity to renew. These are all things that are very necessary.