Last week, I presented for the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) as part of a 5-week series that I helped create for the organization. A couple of other presenters and I provided approximately ten hours of content on topics related to well-being, and I created the below PowerPoint slide for my wrap-up segment. I wanted to share it with you as well, and not only because the artwork is adorable. 😉 I think it is important to continue to dismantle the stereotypes around self-care. Specifically, the ones that make us feel like we don’t have time for self-care and that it takes hours every day to care for yourself and a lot of money. Both of those ideas are false.
After I present all the ways folks can practice really good, consistent, foundational self-care, I can sense the panic set in as attendees think to themselves, how am I supposed to do ALL of these things every day! Good news, friends, you are not going to be able to everything every single day, and that is OK. It is more than ok.
I encourage you to think about your self-care routine over the course of a week. Now with seven days to play with, you can begin to see how it all fits sustainably. Yes, every day (or most days), you should practice some aspects of self-care, but it is unnecessary to do each one every day unless, of course, you can fit it all in, but I permit you to try. Start small and experiment with the practices you enjoy and that make YOU feel good.
Here is how I like to think about my routine. And remember, small steps and tiny habits developed and practiced over time have a BIG impact!
I am very task-oriented, and I LOVE to-do lists and calendars. Fun fact, I used to carry a palm pilot (with Leopard print skin) in high school, and my binder game is on par with that of Leslie Knope.
Anyway, I realized that I need to have a visual reminder of my self-care activities to keep me on track. I am also guilty of letting my self-care routine slip when life gets in the way! This is why I created “Dr. MC Self-Care Success Board.” The board hangs in my office/self-care space, clearly visible where I spend most of my time.
Here is how you can make your own!
I let my creativity flow as I searched for items on Amazon to make my vision a reality. First, I determined where it would go and what size I needed. I have it hung on the side of an armoire. The whiteboard I purchased is 18×24 inches, which fits perfectly. Because it is on the side of a nice piece of furniture, I had to secure it in a way that would not be damaging. It is hooked on a fireplace/stocking type metal hanger. Yes, those can be used on the side of any furniture to hold items. They are not just for hanging Christmas stockings on the fireplace. I put furniture pads on the back corners to ensure it would not scratch the armoire for added protection.
In designing Dr. MC’s Self-Care Success Board, I wanted some structure to it, so I purchased day of the week magnets and some positive affirmation magnets to jazz it up. And of course, I needed some fun colored dry erase markers which I store in a recycled Polar seltzer can. The board came with 3 thicker markers that are useful for checking off items, and an eraser was provided.
Once the board was hung, the fun began as I started outlining my self-care practices for the week. I added the date to keep me on track and then in accordance with my other schedules, started scheduling my self-care tasks.
Every week I update it and plan what I want to get done for self-care. I know this will be successful for me. And no, I am not treating self-care like a chore. I LOVE to take of myself and know these practices help me be the best version of myself, but I require a little structure to be successful.
How do you stay on track with your self-care? Would a Dr. MC Self-Care Success Board help you with your routine?