The concept of “self-care” always seemed over my head and too lofty of a goal to attain, so or the first four years of motherhood I was a raging hot mess. What kept my schedule overwhelmed and soul under-nourished was my ridiculous need to “sabbath well”.

As a (recovering) perfectionist, I struggle so much that when I was first introduced to the idea of carving out time to “take care of myself” I thought, ‘there’s no way on God’s green earth I have time to take care of myself– I simply don’t have enough time, energy, or creativity in the day to do it meaningfully.’  The more I repeated this perfectionist narrative, the less motivated or inspired I became to do the things that give me life, joy, and a little bit of peace on a daily basis.  Then I heard a woman I respect talk about going out for a burger once a week as part of her self-care regimen and I was amazed!  For her, going out for a burger was self care!  Not doing an hour of yoga or meditative prayer on a passage of the Bible?!? But eating good food in peace for one afternoon a week.  It made me think about how I view self-care. It made me want to examine what makes me happy and what would help me et back in touch with my deepest joys that sometimes get buried under the proper feeding and caring of a family.    So tonight’s “open when” is a list of  my top ten fun and simple soul-charging activities for self-care.  These work for me because I created three sort of “guidelines” for my self-care after hearing my friend talk about her sabbath burger :

1: Is it fun?

2: Does it give me space to think.

3:  Is it sustainable?  Could I do any of these with limited time and money.

If it met all three, it ended up on my list.

So here we go:

My Top Ten Self–Care Practices

1: Take a long shower with your favorite body wash 

Not a rushed, with babies fussing outside the door while you plan your day, morning shower, but a long, steamy, uninterrupted shower with enough time to condition your hair and shave your legs.

2:  Read something “fluffy”

Maybe an article in Lucky, a book on home decor, People magazine, whatever.  Find something that feels a little bit shallow, then ignore those condemning voices and read it.  Read something that’s fun for the sake of fun.

3:  Watch “Gilmore Girls”

Y’all– all seven seasons are on Netflix.  You’re welcome!

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4: Bake chocolate chip cookies

I like to buy the grab and bake kind and just make a couple as a special treat.

5:  Take a nap

The kids’ won’t eat bugs and the house won’t burn down if you sleep for twenty minutes.  Now hit snooze and accidentally sleep for twenty five minutes and you’re pushing your luck :).

6: Plan a dream vacation

Money’s no object and you’ve got all the time you need.  Where would you go, what would you see, who would you take?

7: Go for a walk while listening to your favorite music

It’s autumn here in Cambridge which means the trees are just showing off with her bursts of red, gold, and orange.  I like to listen to the Spotify playlist called “Jazz for Autumn” while taking a walk around the neighborhood.

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8:  Call a friend

Yesterday I spoke to my best friend from college for an hour.  It was so good for my soul to hear voice and her newborn, Sienna  cooing in the background.

9:  Write in your journal

Looking for a journal suggestion?  Noonday has this cutie made with love in India. I’m buying one for myself as soon as I’m finished with my current one.


10:  Unplug for a few hours 

Sometimes, I like leaving my phone at home while I go run errands.  I love the few hours of creativity and quiet not having a smartphone attached to my hand provides.

Why don’t you try one of these this weekend?

Shalom-ing out my Self–Care Regimen,