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Do you love you?
I mean, really love you?
I hope so. You’re lovable AF. And super important.
But I’m guessing you probably stopped taking care of yourself. If you ever even made it a priority to take care of yourself in the first place. Grief is holding you hostage and you can’t fathom any way to dig your way out of the grief abyss.
Self-care for widows?
But wait a minute…it’s totally possible to put yourself first. Not only possible but necessary.
Necessary for you and your:
- Ability to help others
It’s not hard, I promise. You can find a way to take care of yourself that isn’t difficult, doesn’t cost a lot of money and won’t take too much time.
I’m serious! Are you ready? You can do this!
These aren’t your typical, get a massage, read a book, take a walk self-care ideas for widows you see plastered all over the internet. You can find those ideas anywhere.
These are 10 unusual but significant self-care ideas for widows that you may not have thought of but scream, “I value and love myself!”
#1 – Make Your Bed
How the heck is self-care related to chores? I’m glad you asked. Making your bed every morning is just one way to start your day off on a positive note. It means you accomplished something even if that’s the only thing you accomplished all day. At least you have a well-made bed that help makes your bedroom look clean. This is the room where you unwind after a hard day.
Don’t let yourself walk into a messy room at the end of an already messy day. Can you do this one thing each morning? Just make your bed?
If you need more convincing of the reasons why making your bed is a good idea, check out this article Here are 5 Reasons to Make Your Bed Every Day.
A well-made bed is the centerpiece of a clean room. You deserve a clean room.
#2 – Sing Loudly
Play your favorite song, turn up the volume and sing your face off. Loudly.
Did you know that singing releases endorphins that make you feel better? I didn’t say you had to sing well, you just have to sing. I can’t tell you how much better I feel when I’m singing at the top of my lungs in my car. A little Bonnie Raitt. Maybe some Ozzie Osbourne.
How can you not feel better when you’re belting out Somebody to Love by Queen?
Sing it, sister!
Sing the hell out of it!
In the interest of protecting other people’s eardrums, I only sing like this when I’m alone. Usually in my car. I care too much about people to subject anyone else to my tone-deaf, off-key, ear-splitting voice. So I sing alone. But I sing LOUD.
#3 – Declutter
Get rid of some shit, pronto.
Have you ever head the adage, “clear your space, clear your mind?” It’s amazing how our cluttered spaces affect us mentally. Clutter drains you. It does.
When my office is cluttered with paperwork, kids’ crap, and everything that can’t find a home somewhere else, my brain won’t work to capacity. My cluttered space subconsciously clutters my brain. When my office is clean and everything is in its place, I’m off like a rocket. I get a ton more work done in a clean office.
The same thing applies to every area of your house. Decluttering is a great way to practice self-care because it means you value your space. Valuing your space means you value yourself. There is nothing more soul-sabotaging than a house full of things that don’t bring you joy.
Start small and just declutter one room or one part of a room at a time.
Use the Decluttr website to get paid to get rid of your tech items like phones or computers or sell used CD’s, DVD’s and even Legos! I’ve sold lots of stuff on Decluttr and it’s a super easy way to get rid of the stuff and get paid for the things I no longer use.
#4 – Do Nothing
The BEST self-care, in my opinion, is to do nothing. I live by my calendar and to-do list and sometimes it just gets too overwhelming. I shut down.
So, I do nothing. I mean, I’m kinda forced to do nothing because my brain isn’t working anyway. So I stop working on my to-do list. I let go of whatever it is I think I MUST get done. Sometimes it’s only for an hour. Other times it might be for a full day.
Either way, when I know I’ve reached my limit I start to do…absolutely…nothing.
#5 – Say No
It’s taken me a LONG time to understand that I have the right to say no. A special form of self-care for widows is learning about this NECESSARY requirement for your healing and your sanity.
You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. And you don’t have to justify your decisions. Or rationalize. Or explain anything. Sometimes you just don’t want to do something and it’s OK to say so.
It’s hard at first. I’ll admit it. But, it gets easier and I’m loving the rush I feel when I say no and realize that I get to do what’s best for me.
Don’t know how to say no? Try one of these examples:
Contrary to popular belief, people won’t hate you if you say no. Your workplace will continue to run efficiently if you don’t contribute to Maryanne’s baby shower or bake a cake for Jack’s birthday. Even your friends and family will appreciate someone who shows up because she wants to not because she has to.
Be true to you and only say yes to things you can do, want to do, are committed to doing.
Everything else is a hard no.
#6 – Drink Hot Water with Lemon First Thing in the AM
I’ve had some digestive issues over the years and a holistic health coach friend suggested I drink hot water with lemon as soon as I got up in the morning. But I’m a coffee drinker! Who drinks hot water in the morning?
I was skeptical at first because I didn’t know that drinking hot water literally wakes up your digestive system after a period of rest. Right after you wake up is the optimal time to get your digestive juices flowing. Hot waters signals the digestive tract to start working and breaking down foods. Cold water doesn’t do that. Coffee, although a diuretic, doesn’t signal your digestive tract the way hot water does.
An awesome form of self-care is to start this ritual first thing in the morning and have your coffee after you’ve given your digestive system some love. If you want some more deets on the benefits of drinking hot lemon water, click here.
I’m telling you from experience, this small morning ritual has helped me so much.
#7 – Make a Doctor Appointment You’ve Been Putting Off
I’m sure the very last thing you want to do these days is got and get poked and prodded by a doctor. But for all things good and holy, please schedule the doctor appointments that you’ve been ignoring.
You put gas in your car, right? And get the oil changed? You do this because you know your car will literally stop running if you don’t. You can’t go too far with a car that’s not working. The same applies to you.
If you can manage to take care of your car, you can most definitely take care of you. Fill your own self-care tank and schedule your physical, flu shot, teeth-cleaning, pelvic/pap, mammogram or whatever other appointments you’ve been putting off.
You’re worth it.
Get ‘er done.
#8 – Buy Organic Fruits and Vegetables As Much As Possible
I know how expensive groceries can be. My gosh, it’s like a car payment every time I got to Costco.
But I’ve been paying very close attention to what I’m eating, where it comes from and how it affects me. I especially pay attention to fruits and vegetables that are pesticide-heavy and try to stay away from non-organic versions.
For example, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a very specific list of the clean fifteen fruits and vegetables you can buy. These do not have to be organic. They have very little pesticide residue. On the other hand, you should always buy organic fruits and vegetables listed on the dirty dozen because the pesticide residue is off the charts.
I won’t go into detail about other foods. Maybe I’ll save that post for another day. We can go pretty far down the rabbit hole on the topic of gut health and food.
For now, I’m just suggesting that you at least pay attention to fruits and veggies and try to eat clean and organic as much as possible.
#9 – Set a Reminder on Your Phone
You’re pretty great. I know it. But you may need some reminding.
I get down on myself, too. Like, I’m not doing enough. I’m a parenting failure. I’ve procrastinated too long. Blah, blah, blah.
It’s too much! Give yourself a break.
I’m trying to give myself a break, too. I set up a reminder on my phone to let me know everything will be OK.
I use the Life Reminder app and my reminder message is literally, “You Are Going to Be OK.” I used to set it to pop up on my phone every day at 10:15 am. Now, I just set it to pop up occasionally because I really do know that I’m going to be OK.
There are tons of reminder apps available and most are free. You can figure out which one works with your phone whether you have an iPhone or Android by just searching for “reminder apps for Android” or “reminder apps for iPhone.”
#10 – Do Something Imperfectly
Are you a perfectionist? I am. It’s a curse.
A beautiful self-care idea is to do something imperfectly and be OK with it.
I know…my heart is pounding, too. I start to hyperventilate when I think about being OK with imperfection.
But, perfection is a myth anyway. Nothing and no one is perfect. So, what, exactly are we perfectionists striving for?
Will you join me in doing something imperfectly? I’ve already done something imperfect in this section. Im going to hit publish anyway and not fix my mistake. It’s hard! But I’m going to do it!
It’s not (and I’m not) perfect and it’s A-OK.
Widow Wrap Up
It’s time to start taking care of yourself. You. Yes, you.
It’s important, necessary and completely doable to fill your self-care tank and make sure you are operating at maximum capacity. We spend lots of time take care of others and so little time taking care of ourselves.
That has to stop. Now.
These self-care ideas aren’t hard. Don’t cost lots of money. Aren’t too time-consuming.
But, they work.
Please take some time out to take care of you.
What other self-care ideas work the best for you? Please share in the comments!