Self Care Day on the 6th: October 2012

Self Care Day October 6

Oooohhhh! It’s here! Can you feel it?

Well, yes, it’s SCDOT6, but it’s also Autumn!! That means that it’s time to pull out the sweaters, and pile on the (homemade) blankets, and crunch leaves, and carve pumpkins.

It’s also the beginning of the writing of my thesis. Eek.

So, how in the world am I going to fit self care in with homeschooling, thesis writing, pumpkin carving, housekeeping, bill paying and — oh yeah — work? The same way I’ve made sure it makes it into every day of the year. I’m going to plan for it.

Okay. Okay. Before you start groaning, “That’s easy for you to say. You’ve been harping on this self care stuff for over a year!!” How do I actually do it?

I write it down.

I put it on my to do list.

It’s on my agenda every single day.

Like this:

Get To Do List See that little cloud that says, “Essential”?? That’s where it goes. The self care. And I fill it in first — before the work stuff and the household stuff and the “nice to do” stuff and the other people stuff.

My essential daily agenda includes:

  • Candles — I light them before I turn on my computer or make a phone call or chase down a kid.
  • Crochet — It’s my favorite form of meditation and I will knot some yarn every day.
  • Coffee — I’m addicted. It’s true. Many days Ned Andrew delivers coffee to me before I open my eyes. When he doesn’t — mainly because he often leaves the house about 4 hours before I wake up — one of the kids will bring some up when we start our homeschooling routine.
  • Food — Some of y’all may laugh, but I often forget to eat. I rarely have an appetite, but when I go without food I’m hateful. So, here’s my cue. I keep cereal bars within reach just in case I really do forget to eat.
  • Time Outdoors — I live on some of the most gorgeous land in one of the most lovely — weather and otherwise — parts of the world. It’s a sad day when I don’t manage to at least walk outside and take a look around.
  • Writing a Love Note to my Husband — He leaves me one every morning and I return the favor before he comes home that evening. It’s a sweet routine that keeps us focused on all of the connections we share that make this marriage not only work, but flourish.

You may have noticed that I’ve written “Get to Do on or about September 28, 2012” at the top of the page. That’s another key element in my self care. I give myself permission to get what I can get done and then to do some more later. If September 28th turns out to be a really good day to go apple picking, some of those other tasks might get done on September 29 or 30 or even sometime in October.

Another little essential element to my agenda is color. I pick pens that make me happy. I doodle on the page. I make creating my Get to Do list a fun little project. Sometimes I use the same page for a week. Sometimes it gets really cluttered with Accomplishments and I need a fresh sheet in the middle of the day. I allow myself to use it in a way that works for me.

This agenda page is a huge leap from what my calendar looked like 5 years ago. In October 2007, I’d just moved to Nashville and was working as a State Department Director. It sounds way more impressive than “Doodling Facilitator” but I — quite literally — was issued a calendar with 15 minute time increments and told not to write on it without checking with my boss first.

Not. Kidding.

So, to have the freedom and flexibility to write whatever I want on my calendar, to leave the times (and sometimes the days!) off of the tasks completely, and to design my entire day around candles, coffee, and crochet seems a little outrageous even to me.


I suppose I’ll eventually get used to it.

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About Gina Lynette

I have been called a, "PollyAnna, sugar-coated idealist." I like to think of myself as more optimistic than that.


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  3. I love this blog, and this picture too! I particularly like the balance of accountability and letting-yourself-off-the-hook-ness. Great stuff!

    • It’s that balance thing again, huh?

      But, yes, it’s about freedom/flexibility *and* getting stuff done.

      The really cool thing I’ve learned is that I get way more done this way than when I would strap myself to my Blackberry and computer for 11 hours straight and tell myself that I couldn’t move from that spot until The To Do List was The All Done List.

  4. Coffee is full of antioxidants and has been linked to reduced onset of Alzheimer’s. Drink in the stuff of life that makes it all work for you. I know I have to have it or my brain doesn’t work at all!

    Love you!

    • We must be related!

      Thanks for the encouragement, Aunty C. There’s no doubt that deprivation just makes me cranky. Might as well daaaaance!

      I sure do love you!!
      Gina ;~}


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