Carving Out Time for Self Care (Our Gift to You This Xmas)

Merry Christmas IntoYouse! and our gift to you is permission to carve out time for self care – you’re very welcome!!

Women, here is the answer you’ve been looking for from the universe! Clare Hozack, someone who pushes hard, does it all, and pushes you to, too – is telling you to carve out time for looking after yourself. Without guilt, stress, or shame – this is OUR LIFE TOO, and I am going to help you live it as we approach one of the most stressful times of year for women!

We have all heard of self care. We know we “should” do it. However, for most busy mums self care is just another thing to do alongside all the other things we have to do. Christmas in particular is a time of exceptional “busyness” – where we manage the calendars of the entire family, manage the food for every single catch up, function, and family event, while also secretly buying presents – not just for our families, but out friends, our kids’s friends and teachers, and our in-laws families too…

It’s enough to send you cross eyed, and our self care is the first thing to get dumped when time pressures are tight.

So this month we are going to discuss some ways of carving our time for your own needs, of ritualising and habitualising your self care (because then it’s easier to do), and hopefully enjoying life better as a result.

I’ll say it again – THIS IS YOUR LIFE TOO.


First Tip: Delegate

By delegate, I don’t mean that you keep the entire family’s calendar in your head and ask your spouse to take the kids to netball this Thursday. Nor do I mean you budget and pick out the in-law’s Christmas presents and ask your eldest daughter to pick them up from the Click and Collect after school.

What I mean is give the whole job to someone. If your spouse is taking the kids to Netball on Thursday, make it every Thursday, and he can also take over the team chat and keep up to date with where the games are held, who’s carpooling with who, and which weeks are byes…

By delegating the in-laws Christmas presents, the whole job of budgeting, choosing, buying, and picking up goes to the person in charge.

And so on… all the thinking, planning, and execution of the task goes to the delegated person, not just bits of it.

There’s a few sticky parts to delegation that many of my mama client’s get caught up in:

  1. Consequences – If your daughter was delegated to do the Christmas presents and she doesn’t do it, are you comfortable letting the consequence play out?
  2. Control – If you spouse does the “netball” wrong, are you comfortable with him doing it his way?

Part of delegating is allowing the consequences to naturally occur – resisting the urge to come to the rescue, and also relinquishing control, letting the job be done wrong, badly, not at all, and being ok with that! Chris doing the laundry story.

My Second Tip For Carving Time for Self Care: You Do You

Make sure, when you do have a moment to yourself, that you engage in an activity that fills YOUR cup. This may sound obvious, but how many of us have gone and done something we don’t enjoy because someone else told us it would be good for us?

ME! I’ve hand a pedicure. I don’t like people fiddling with my feet for one. For two, I don’t particularly care for the decorations. And Three, the smell gives me a headache.

Meditation and Yoga are two “self care cliche’s” too. Yes these things are brilliant, for your brain, hormonal profile, and your body. Yes they take practise, so if you decide to start, give it some time to work. But no, they’re not for everyone. If meditation makes you feel like an ice addict, and you’re jittery 10min in, then perhaps a gentle walk, a massage, drawing, art, breathwork, mindfulness, etc would suit you better? Likewise, there are different forms of Yoga, try all of them if it’s something you really want to do, but there are many other moving meditation modalities like tai chi, chi gong, walking in nature, and more!

So please, don’t get a massage if you hate being touched by a stranger.

It’s not self care if someone else is telling you to do it.

Do the stuff that genuinely feels good for you. Not only will this be easier to achieve, you’ll be more motivated to engage in it! However, when you’re doing you, make sure you NOTICE – this is also a form of mindfulness, which is also a form of meditation (without actually meditating) – notice you’ve taken time. Revel in that. Notice how the activity (or not) makes you feel. Let yourself feel pleasure, pride, and refreshment from the time you’ve taken to be you and do you. How does it feel?

Tell me, have any of you delegated anything since last week? And if you did, what have you filled that time with? Obviously self care, right? But what kind?

Third Tip for Carving Our Time for Self Care: Say No!

I know that this is hard, especially because we all want to give our kids the world. So I have a couple of strategies for you! There’s a skill we use in our business practise that we call “no, but”. What this is, is a way of saying no, but offering a consolation or compromise that works for you, or in our case in the gym, the business.

Here’s a few examples:

  • Someone wanted to cancel their personal training session within the 24hr cancellation period, but they also wanted to stop their payment, even though they didn’t provide the notice stipulated by our training terms and conditions. We would say “no, but you can reschedule today’s session to Friday?”, or “no, but you can gift the session to a friend?” – both of those scenarios mean she is still paying for the session, because she hasn’t given notice, BUT there’s also a compromise that gives her the value (at a day/time convenient to YOU) OR works as a lead driver, which is another win for you.
  • My kids sail for sport on Sundays, and they’re always flat out for volunteers to help with safety. Generally, I volunteer at one end of the day, and go for a sail at the other end. On this particular day, one of the mums asked me to help out on the start boat when I had already done my volunteering. I felt a lot of guilt saying no, because they were flat chat. I held my ground, though, and I went windsurfing, and i did then offer to take over an admin job that stresses her out; alleviating her load in a way that i can manage without missing my windsurfing.

What helps in this scenario is remember that every time you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to something else – if I said yes to help on the start boat, I am saying NO to my self care – in this instance, windsurfing!

This works both ways, when you say no to one thing, you’re saying yes to something else too!

Starting today…

Here’s something you can do today to make sure you have time for you each week is to block out time in your diary/schedule, then ritualise it…

This is something I do routinely. My “to-do” list is blocked out in 30min blocks per task in my diary each day. If I don’t feel like doing something, then I have to reschedule the whole task. The same process applies for self care. If I block the time in my diary, people can’t book in online, and I can’t schedule a task at that time. Blocking out whole hours, days, or even weeks for yourself is hugely empowering and a sure-way of ensuring you make time to be you in this life!!

Once you’ve blocked out the time, then you ritualise it. You achieve a ritual of self care once you create a trigger from something you do every night or day. For example, wake up and meditate, read a book before sleep, go for a walk after lunch, head to the gym (or a massage) after school drop off, and so on.

If it’s in your diary, you’ve blocked out time, and tacked it on to another habit you’re sure to do it (if it’s something that makes you happy – see week 2!).

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