As a part of my new self-care regimen, I started getting up early to journal a little; make a daily to-do list; then pray about the day, my family, and my housemates. Doing this has helped my sanity and mood immensely. It isn’t just about the to-do lists though. It’s about tracking progress, celebrating accomplishments, and being OK with what doesn’t get done.

See, I keep all my to-do lists in the same book so that I can look back on yesterday and days before. My short journaling session is a time to reflect on the past 24 hours and consider the next 24 hours. I letter a fancy “List for Today” title, then write a reasonable, manageable to-do list. Resisting the urge to scribble off things that didn’t get done helps me come to terms with the fact that NOT crossing something off is NOT a mortal sin. It’s really OK to NOT get everything done. There is always tomorrow.

To Do List

Therefore, my goals lately have been more of a daily thing. Whether the morning starts off a little rocky or everything is going perfectly, I make time to get the coffee made and sit down by the window with my journal to write.

This self-care thing is 100% under-rated. I had no idea what I was missing! All these years, I’ve been in survival mode, just trying to make it to the next evening respite or next afternoon oasis—even if that meant waiting weeks. No more. I’m taking care of myself each morning, and it’s helping me to better take care of others and more effectively accomplish what is necessary each day. I wish I’d started this years ago, but I’m thankful that it wasn’t too late to start now.

I would urge anyone who finds themselves in survival mode more often than not to establish a self-care regimen for themselves. Make a list of the things that energize you, bring you joy, and help you find meaning in life. For me, a few of those things were writing, lettering, and improving my living environment. These are three things that I could incorporate into my daily self-care. (In fact, starting this blog is an additional attempt to get more writing into my life.)

Pick a few things from your list that are realistically achievable on a daily basis. You may need to get up earlier or stay up later or lock yourself in a room and tell kids and everyone else to leave you alone. Whatever you have to do, do it. You can’t afford to NOT take care of yourself.

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