At this point in your life, you’ve likely been a caregiver to multiple generations. Whether directly through your own family or as a mentor and caregiver to extended family and friends, you’ve dedicated countless hours to caring for others. But there does come a point where you should put your own care first. Doing things to make sure you’re in the right mental, spiritual and physical health is important as a mature adult.
With that in mind, we’ve curated a list of simple actions you can take to make sure you’re taking care of yourself first.
1. Get back to your favourite hobbies
Finding joy is such an important part of self-care. Immersing yourself in activities you love is vital to keep that joy in your life. Your hobbies can be as simple as reading new books — or pole-walking. What’s important is that you set aside time each week to get to these hobbies. This might be tough with kids and grandkids asking for favours, but sometimes you need to put yourself first. Looking for some motivation? Sign up for a Boomerang workshop to learn new skills or meet new people.
2. Keep a gratitude journal
You have a world of experience, good, bad and somewhere in between. Too much to possibly record in a common journal. But a gratitude journal reminds you of all the positive stuff. Take some time each morning to write down two or three things in your life that you’re grateful for. Your sister, for her friendship, your grandson, for helping you clean up the kitchen. Gratitude journals are meant to be a real-time recording of what is making you happy on a daily basis.
3. Schedule weekly phone calls with loved ones
Are you starting to see a theme here? The joy that comes from a human connection is so pure. Scheduling a weekly phone call with someone you love helps add to that joy. It can be anyone, or it can be multiple people. The goal is regular contact and real conversation – it doesn’t always matter what about.
4. Eat well
This sounds simple in theory, but we all know how difficult this can be to actually do. We all forget to make nutrition a priority. Focus on not skipping any meals, then speak with your doctor about what a healthy diet looks like specifically for you. You don’t need to go to extremes (like becoming a vegan or intermittent fasting), but there’s a way for you to use your diet to positively impact your health.
5. Take walks
Just walk. Walk when it’s warm (carry a hat and wear light clothing), walk when it’s cold (tuques and layers are a must), just do it. Fitness is important for self-care and walking is one of the more convenient ways to get exercise. You’ll feel more energized and walking has even been known to help improve your memory.
6. Sleep is your friend
We know you like to get your day started early. We also understand that some of your prescriptions may be causing sleep issues. Speak to your doctor if this is the case and get clear on why you’re not sleeping as much as you should be. Proper rest helps reduce your risk of falling, improves cognition and gives you the energy to get through your day. Read here for 5 tips to help you fall asleep faster.