*8 Things: Self Care Essentials

8things from Magpie Girl

Wouldn’t you know it?  I’m gearing up to write a series of posts for the new Do Less Campaign, and my to-do list is suddenly stressing me out.

Universe, meet Sense of Humor.

Do Less kicks off tomorrow with Why I Keep A Have-Done List. But since it’s *8 Things Thursday, let’s do a little warm-up exercise.  It’s time to think about what you need to stay healthy and sane on a day-to-day basis. Here’s my basic set:

1. Sleep: I need 8 hours a night, and if my migraines are flaring I grab a nap at 3pm as well.

2. Exercise: A walk or swim and at least 10 minutes of yoga a day is helpful in keeping the migraines and bay.

3. Quiet: My brain hyper-processes all sensory intake, so background noise stresses me out. I work without music or talk radio in the office.

4. Meditative Activities: If I’m feeling stressed, a few rows of knitting or some time on the guitar always helps.

5. Work/Rest Rhythm: This book helped me figure out a good work/rest pattern.  If my migraines are bad I have to work one hour, rest one hour. One good days I can work 2-3, rest 1. It makes me feel lame, but I’m learning that it is what’s functional for me right now.

6. Morning Cuddle: this 15 minute check-in time with my girls is a must. (more here)

7. Grown Ups: I work alone and live in a culture where I don’t speak the language. At least one coffee or lunch with a friend each week is required to keep me sane.

8.  Meaningful Conversations:  “Only Connect” is a big theme for me. Talks with my Soulsisters and my teenage-darlings must regularly for my spirit to feel strong.

What *8 Things are your self-care essentials? Grab a button and play along, or leave your link for this week’s list is the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Grow your gratitude. Live Satisfied. Join us on Facebook for our weekly *8things roundup.

Jo May 14, 2009 at 8:25 am

As a fellow migraineur I found myself thinking your 8 Things are pretty much my 8 Things too, especially #3. So I shall rest and thank you for writing my list for me!

Tess May 14, 2009 at 9:32 am

Many of your eight things are mine also, although I often sabotage myself by not attending to them.

On sleep: it’s taking me a long time to get to my optimum amount. It’s easy for me (at the moment because of being fancy-free) to sleep more than eight hours, and then I feel sluggish, but I often still feel tired after eight. Seven or eight seems about right if I can get into a rhythm.

What really made me chuckle was you mentioning a few rows of knitting as relaxing. This came hot on the heels of me actually throwing my knitting across the room yesterday having yet again screwed up the pattern in a relatively simple cardigan. I think it probably is not my forte!

Kel May 14, 2009 at 10:44 am

this post is rather amusing really – asking women to name 8 things they do for self care – huh!?!
women are so good at caring about and for everyone else
except ourselves
8 things
whooeeee

what do i need to stay sane on a daily basis?

hydrotherapy = hot shower
caffeine therapy = espresso with dash of milk

after that I’m more likely to have a sane day

Maggie Ann May 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm

What a timely post this was. I am in the midst of finals week and in order to stay healthy and sane self care IS essential. Thank you for giving me a reason to reflect on what is important to my well being! Here’s a link to my *8 Things:
http://www.maggie-ann.com/journal/2009/5/14/eight-things-self-care-essentials.html

Emily May 14, 2009 at 6:33 pm

What a GREAT list! All of those are oh-so-important! Thanks for the reminder. :) Love the blog!

Tori May 14, 2009 at 8:38 pm

This was a good reminder! With what will probably be my most stressful month coming up I need to remember to do the things that keep me healthy and sane. Every time I read your blog I am glad I found it.

Janet May 14, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Great idea! I am going to take the time to think about this and write something too.

Marie May 15, 2009 at 5:34 am

Here’s my list! :)

1. Hydration. Water, juice or herbal tea. Water is my favorite.
2. Moving and using my body. Stretch! Yoga. Taking a walk or working in the yard.
3. Sleeeeep.
4. Grooming. Bath! Combing my hair, brushing and flossing my teeth, neatening cuticles and nails. At the end of day, massaging my feet.
5. Checking in with the natural world. Seeing the sky, noticing the weather and the way the light and air shifts with the seasons and time of day.
6. Reminders. My calendar. Lists to remind me of goals and projects and even more importantly, sub tasks of projects. Things to focus me and then to cross off when completed. I give myself a number of boxes for 15 minutes of work, and check them off when I’ve spend some amount of time on a task.
7. “Down time” inside my own head. Write a little, read a little, think a little.
8. “Up time” out of my head. Snuggles and conversation with my sweetie.

Dee Wilcox May 15, 2009 at 7:40 pm

I happened to catch your post yesterday morning – maybe through a fellow Twitterer? – and I can’t tell you how it encouraged me… well, and discouraged me initially. I was feeling particularly unsuccessful and overwhelmed, and your list struck me as a good idea, but not important enough to tackle. I just don’t have time to do one more thing.

Today, tho, I find myself still thinking about this list. I realized gardening needs to be on that list for me – maybe as a meditative/creative activity. And since I realized that, I realized there is value in creating my own list. Times are tight, and there is never enough time or energy in a day. But there is value in simply having an *8 Things list and trying to live like I care for myself as much as I do my loved ones. Thanks for making me think and for motivating me to make a change.

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