You can lose money and then earn more. You can fall out of love but find endless sources of love elsewhere. But when time is gone, it’s gone forever. This can be cause for despair. It can also be the inspiration for living deliberately.
What does living deliberately mean?
Of course, it can mean many different things to each of us. In general, though, to live deliberately is to:
- Be present and conscious
- Go about your day with greater awareness
- Be open to learning from others
- Be open to increasing your self-awareness
- Feel a sense of purpose
- Make the most of most moments
- Thoughtfully make decisions that are self-loving
What does self-care have to do with living deliberately?
Re-read the last item listed above--thoughtfully make decisions that are self-loving. To live each day in the best way possible means you need to begin to regularly practice kind, self-care. So, let’s begin with some self-care basics:
1. Regular sleep patterns
This is a self-care foundation. Without enough hours of quality sleep, everything else slowly crumbles. Prioritize your sleep patterns.
2. Healthy eating habits
Find out what works for you. If you’re not sure where or how to start, go with portion control. Other options include:
- Eat slower
- Don’t multi-task during meals
- Cook for yourself as often as possible
- Be open to new tastes and flavors
3. Exercise and movement
Again, discover ways that feel best for you. Commit to daily movement and don’t shy away from pushing yourself to keep it going on a regular basis.
4. Stress management
Relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, yoga, and Tai Chi are common choices. What have you tried in the past to help you de-stress?
Once you’ve committed to living deliberately and have integrated the basics of self-care, it’s time to ramp things up to the next level.
7 Ways to Take Your Self-Care Up a Notch
1. Guard your focus
Wherever you allow your focus to go, most of your energy will follow. Monitor yourself to avoid surrendering valuable time to negative thoughts or social media scrolling (or both).
2. Don’t base your career choice on money alone
Obviously, your personal financial situation is a factor here. But, all things being equal, do not choose a job solely on salary. Take time to consider the environment in which you’ll spend eight or more hours per day.
3. Understand and maximize downtime
On busy days, downtime might be best enjoyed with a big dose of nothing. However, there may be times are so many when downtime arrives uninvited. Prepare in advance for several ways to enjoy these moments to your best advantage.
4. Reduce or eliminate debt
Of course, not everyone can do this right away. But, as you know, owing money is a form of stress. It can take away some of your ability to live in the moment. Learn how to make and keep a budget. Put savings in your budget to prepare for your future. Talk to a financial planner, if necessary.
5. Face-to-face conversations
Technology has opened many new doors, but it may be depriving you of personal interactions. Is there an in-person conversation you would enjoy? How about initiating a conversation with someone while enjoying tea or coffee?
6. Treat yourself
What does this concept mean to you? A massage, concert, hot bath, taking yourself to dinner, curling up with a good book? The possibilities are endless.
7. Make Someone’s Day
Self-care can include the good feelings you get when you help others. Whether you’re volunteering at a soup kitchen or doing little things to help someone have a better day--random acts of kindness--giving to others can increase your well-being.
There are times when it really helps to have some support. Working one-on-one with a counselor can help you identify and prioritize your needs. From there, you and your therapist will create a plan to meet those needs!