How Do You Kick-start Your Self-Care For The Week Ahead?
There are so many ways to implement self-care into your routine, however, what you choose must have meaning or purpose for you otherwise it is likely to drop off the schedule. It won’t be viewed as important and if anything needs to give, I’d bet money that self-care slot would be removed.
I wanted to share mine with you for no other reason than to demonstrate how important it is and how it can set you up for the day and week ahead.
My self-care Monday begins with a run. Now, I love fitness, I love being outdoors and I enjoy the feeling of freedom running gives me, so it is a great fit for me.
It’s never running for running’s sake or because I ‘must’ (not that there is anything wrong with that if you stay motivated to do it). I use it to engage with my faith, my mindset, my body and my connection to the world around me.
How, I hear you ask!
Part of it is to do with my playlist. I created a list that really lifts me and inspires me. Here are the songs I listen to and how they connect me to my faith, mindset, body & the world around me:
Joyful, Joyful: Lauryn Hill (from Sister Act 2) – this song is, as it states, all about being joyful. It gives me time to thank God (praying on the go works for me!), and as part of that express gratitude for my family, partner & friends. It reminds me that even when things are not going according to plan, I have so much more to be thankful for, so many amazing people in my life. I am blessed.
Queen of The Night: Whitney Houston – this is a remixed version with a solid beat that pumps out tons of energy! The song reminds me to embrace my inner ‘queen’, to be & remain empowered by my potential and to remember I am always enough. This plays out 6 times in 2 versions and focuses me in on what I have achieved (over what I haven’t) and how much is possible for me.
Happy Face: Destiny’s Child – this song is all about appreciation. It’s about noticing the little things and being able to smile with the knowledge of their existence. One verse in particular jumps out at me, ‘Woke up and realised this world’s not so bad after all, looked at it through a child’s eyes and I saw this beautiful, things that you never think about, like the ocean, moonlight, stars & clouds, it’s amazing how we don’t appreciate our blessings’. Wow, such a simple sentiment yet so powerful. And in that moment, I am reminded to count my blessings at every opportunity. It doesn’t take away the hard times, but it certainly makes it easier to recover from them.
Hate On Me: Jill Scott – truly empowering song. It speaks of how some people will always find a reason to hate you no matter who you are, what you do, how much you give, how much you help… so let them! It’s a great reminder that I have not been put here to please everyone, to do everything for everyone, to be what everyone else wants or expects me to be. And that brings freedom.
One Woman Army; Ciara / Free Your Mind; En Vogue / Like A Boy; Ciara / Girls Like; Tinie Tempah / Trouble; Iggy Azalea & Jennifer Hudson – well, these are all about the power! I get to do some of my best running right here. Fired up, eye on the goal, I tune into my body, its physicality, its potential and I push it.
And then the final combination brings me back to the present moment:
Liberian Girl; Michael Jackson / Feeling Good; Jennifer Hudson / Feeling Good; Nina Simone / Never Let Her Slip Away; Andrew Gold – this is where I slow down and breathe in my surroundings. I take notice of the shapes of the trees, the sounds coming from them, the people passing by with their dogs, the other runners & walkers. I mindfully come back to where I am and once again appreciate the experience I am having.
And finally, I stop to stretch, to allow my body to return to a relaxed state and just be for a few minutes…
It is so much more than a run, it’s 60-70 minutes of preparation for the week ahead. In that time, I have brain dumped, gained insights & clarity, allowed my body to function, expressed gratitude, tuned in to nature and got my mojo reset. And more importantly, I have placed myself firmly at the top of my to-do list because my relationship with me matters.
How do you kick-start your self-care for the week ahead? I’d love to know,