How Do You Care for Yourself?

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Two nights ago, I set my kitchen timer for five minutes, sat in a lawn chair on my deck, and stared at the stars.

This was my feeble attempt at self-care, something I'm trying to incorporate into my life. Nearly two weeks ago, someone challenged me to engage in some intentional self-care, in a way that made me feel slightly uncomfortable. I'm surprised at how difficult it was for me to find a way - and make the time - to do this.

When I finally forced myself to sit outside without occupying my hands or my mind, I had to set the timer, or I knew I wouldn't be able to relax. I would have laid there and thought about everything I needed to do, wondering how long I had been sitting there. I would have been too worried that I was "wasting time" sitting there for too long.

So why did I have to be so intentional about relaxing for five minutes? And why was this so difficult for me? The reasons are varied, and I'm probably not even aware of all of them. But I do know that I need to learn to care for myself without feeling guilty. So I took a baby step. And I hope that first five minutes might lead to a healthy habit down the road.

Since I'm writing to an audience of thousands of women leaders, I suspect I'm not alone in struggling with my efforts to care for my own heart and soul. As I'm thinking about how to incorporate this into my life, I'd like to hear your ideas. How do you care for yourself? How have you incorporated self-care as a habit?

Maybe we can learn from one another.

June24, 2008 at 8:30 AM

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