It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of self-care. It’s the foundation of living a life of well-rounded well-being. As the colloquial proverb goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” meaning you’ve got to focus some of your energy on you before you can help others. In a society where hustle is everything, and constant productivity is the norm, it can be challenging to rationalize taking a few steps back to prioritize you– before burning out.
Self-care is my (whole grain)bread-and-(vegan)butter as a Health and Wellness Coach. But sometimes self-care is mistaken for a last-resort measure used when stress reaches the top of the metaphorical barometer instead of a preventive and ongoing set of tools and strategies. If you know the feeling of being totally strung out and reaching for your meditation app you haven’t used in two weeks (no judgment!) it’s time to talk about
Future You Care.
As I’ve posted time and time again, I love my Shine Text app dearly (and no, this is not sponsored!). Every morning I check in on the app, do the daily meditation exercise which always increases my motivation for the day and gives me the boost I need to get going. Sometimes these meditations include visualization exercises to transport my mind elsewhere, or journal prompts that challenge me to dig deep about my needs and desires. A few weeks ago, one of their meditations mentioned “Future You Care,” and it’s changed my concept of self-care.
Future You Care is thinking ahead, whether it be a week before or an hour before, considering what might help your future-self experience more calm and less stress. Implementing this type of self-care allows you to build a more trusting, compassionate relationship with yourself. You won’t be listening to your inner critic calling you names because you forgot to buy toilet paper, and now you’re all out, but thanking your past self for thinking ahead and avoiding unnecessary stress.
If you’re intrigued, check out how you can get started on Future You Care.
Schedule your self-care
Prioritizing self-care is the only way to maintain a sustainable and effective practice. Thinking ahead and building it into your day, like an appointment or workout class, is the best method to stay consistent. Will you plan to meditate each morning, take three deep breaths before lunch, or journal before bed? Whatever your daily dose of self-care, decide the day or night before what you will do when it will happen, and what to do if distractions get in your way.
Choose a weekly “splurge”
For some, its buying fresh-cut flowers weekly, for me, it’s eucalyptus to hang in my shower. When I’m at the store, I make a point to pick up the $4 bundle of eucalyptus, knowing the joy and calm it will bring me the next time I shower. Bathing itself is an incredibly effective self-care strategy, cleansing any unwanted energy from the day. When paired with another elevating feature, like the subtle scent of fresh eucalyptus, it can quickly become a ritual to breathe deep and let worries rush down the drain.
Take inventory of your needs
Do you know you have an upcoming week that jam-packed with meetings and deadlines? While you can’t avoid them, you can plan to decrease the stress around them. That could mean scheduling a mid-week yoga class well in advance so you stick to it, or ordering groceries online so you don’t have to make the trek to the store yourself when you’re pressed for time.
Feed your future self
We all know hanger. The place we go to when we are hungry, and our bodies simply cannot function as kind human beings any longer. It happens to the best of us–but it doesn’t have to. When you’re spending hours in the kitchen making dinner for Monday night, consider what else you can pop in the oven to prepare for tomorrow’s lunch. Whether that’s making extra pasta or throwing in a tray of veggies to roast, consider what your needs will be tomorrow and put in the work when you can.
Are you practicing Future You Care? Let me know in the comments below, or on Instagram @NicoleCFoster