Here we are at the start of Lent. This is a time when many of us give something up for the 40 days and nights leading to Easter. Traditionally Christians have fasted and many chose to abstain from certain foods, habits or other vices. In previous years I have given up sugar, chocolate, wine and many other variations on that theme. This year I have decided to put a more positive spin on this period of time and to do something that will have a lasting effect. As Oprah Winfrey says ‘I believe that one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself is time. Time to be more fully present in your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us.’ Instead of focusing on abstaining I am going to take time to reflect and to take care of myself. I want to see what difference that makes to my outlook, energy and relationships. You could turn it the other way round and say that I am giving up running around after everyone else!

Busy days!

I am sure that I am not alone in spending most of my time looking after others in the midst of work, household chores and feeding everyone. My head is full of who needs to be where, what needs doing and the day to day details of family life. Finding time for me lately seems to have become the time during the week that I allocate to writing my next book. Clearly that is actually still work! Although I do really enjoy writing, it comes with deadlines, time pressures and is completely absorbing. I need to make some changes. 

40 days of Self-Care

For the next 40 days I am going to take the time to do one thing each day that is purely about taking care of me. It could be a bath with candles, coffee in a café, reading a fiction book, a yoga sequence or a walk along the beach. If all goes according to plan I will have created a list of 40 things I have done to nurture and recharge myself. I am hoping that by the time Easter arrives it will have become a habit and be one that continues.

New habits don’t happen by chance!

Anyone who works with me will know how important it is to work on establishing routines. It is all very well to say that you will do something each day but if you don’t find the time in advance it is unlikely to happen. You will find yourself at the end of the week and not have added anything to your self care list. A great way to start is to get out your diary and to plan ahead. Whatever you plan to do needs to fit into your schedule. I know that I can usually find 30 minutes for myself before the girls get up or after 9pm when they are either sleeping or doing their own thing. Think about when works for you. Add it to your calendar or write it in your diary or set a reminder on your phone. New habits don’t happen by chance. You could use this opportunity to add in a workout, a meditation or a walk. If you can do it for 40 days the chances are that you will continue beyond that point. Think about how great that would feel!

What will you do?

Who is going to join me?

How does 40 days of Self Care sound to you?

A goal worth trying?

What are you going to commit to for 40 days? This really is a great opportunity to do things differently and to build a new habit too. We are what we repeatedly do so let’s get this started. Add your comments to tell me what you have planned. By sharing your intention you will inspire others to do the same and give your support to each other. Remember that this is about your self care and it can be anything that works for you. Be as creative as you like! 

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