Self-Care Sunday: Dedicate One Day Each Week to Yourself

By Roz Jones

Self-care has transformed a lot over the last few years. It began as a way to encourage people to do more for themselves, which is amazing. But somewhere along the way, it became something people felt like they were forced to do.

Self-care is especially important for caregivers, as we spend lots of time focused on others, and not a lot on ourselves.

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with this idea of the perfect self-care routine, it’s time to take a step back. Instead of focusing on having to fit it into your daily life, why not just start one day a week?

Why do Self-Care on Sunday?

Sunday is actually the perfect day to dedicate to yourself, since it is often already a day of rest for many people. You are winding down after a fun weekend, and likely getting ready for a new week to begin. Take advantage of the downtime by adding some self-care activities to your routine.

1. Setting Up Your Weekly Self-Care Routine

First thing’s first – figure out what your routine is going to be on Sunday. Don’t forget that self-care doesn’t have to be done alone, so if you have a busy house on Sundays, you can still do this! 

What you want to do is focus on your self-care on Sundays, whether that means an hour during the day, or changing the entire routine for the day. 

Think of Sundays like a reset day. When you not only get your planning done for the week, but you give yourself some time to relax and unwind, reset your body and your mind for another busy week.

How is it Different from Daily Self-Care?

To put it simply, it’s not. You still want to choose activities that help you to relax, are good for your body and mind, and your overall wellness. But you might have a little more free time on Sundays, so you won’t feel as pressured to fit it all in before or after work, or during your bedtime routine.

Sundays open up new possibilities for self-care, whether you do it alone or with family.

Think About Your Current Sunday Routine

In order to turn Sunday into your weekly self-care day, you need to consider what you tend to do on Sundays. This self-reflection helps you determine if these are things that can only be done on Sundays, or can be moved to another day to give you more time for yourself. 

First, make a list of things you do every Sunday. Then look at your list, and cross off anything that isn’t really necessary or might no longer be serving you. With what is left, determine if any of those activities can be moved to Saturday.

For example, if you do a lot of cleaning and chores on Sundays, could they be moved to other days during the week, freeing up a bit more self-care time for you?

2. Ideas for Sunday Self-Care Activities

The good news is that self-care on Sunday is pretty much the same as what you would do any other day of the week. It is more about dedicating a day to yourself each week, especially if you don’t have much time during the week to really focus on you.

Here are some activities that can be great to do on Sundays:

Let yourself sleep in – If you don’t get to sleep in during the rest of the week, at the very least give yourself this time on Sundays! Your body (and mind) needs the rest.

Go to brunch with friends – Self-care can also mean doing something you enjoy with other people. Grab a group of friends on Sunday to go to brunch.

Head to a park or the beach with your kids – You can also enjoy more time with your kids without cell phones and TV. Go outside to enjoy the fresh air and exercise. Ride bicycles around your neighborhood, have a beach day, or do a picnic at the park.

Have an hour of pampering – You might not be able to dedicate the entire day just to self-care, but at least fit in some pampering time.

Catch up on your reading or creative projects – This is the perfect time to pick up activities you enjoy, but rarely have time for. Maybe there is a book you have been wanting to finish or a creative project you would love to do.

Get ready for the week – Self-care can also mean just giving yourself time to really reset and prepare for the week ahead.

Try out your own version of a self-care Sunday this weekend, and check back next week for more discussion on self-care.

It’s here, I am so excited to share a new caregiver app called Circleof….This app will allow you to surround yourself with resources and experts from your community including ME!!!! As you are looking through the app, you will see my familiar face. I’m excited about this partnership and new ways to support you as you support your loved one. Here’s the link so you can explore the app. I would love your feedback and spread the word by sharing the link to family and friends.

Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on staying healthy as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!

Is “Mental” Health Really Just In The Mind?

By Roz Jones

Imagine you are asked to describe what depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, or bipolar disorder are. Would you say “mental health problems” or similar? Most would, and there is a general perception that these problems are purely based in the mind. There is still something of an attitude that people with mental health and anxiety problems should be able to “snap out of it” or get over it, just like that. Yet many mental illnesses actually have physical reasons. 

For example, clinical depression. A much-misused term, depression is now used to describe someone feeling a bit low. However, if someone has full, clinical depression, they will experience long periods of horrifically low mood, low motivation, and a general feeling of emptiness. A cruel illness, but one that is described as being mental, and a regular target for the “pull yourself out of it!” brigade. 

Yet, depression does have a physical basis. Depression is caused by a lower-than-average amount of serotonin in the body. Also known as the “feel good” hormone, serotonin controls the mood, personality, and feelings of an individual. If serotonin levels are low, the individual will experience depressive, low thoughts. This is a physical problem with mental evidence, but it is physical nonetheless – antidepressants work on increasing serotonin levels, and tend to have a decent success rate. 

Furthermore, preliminary scans have shown those with obsessive compulsive disorder have enlarged lobes at the front of the brain. These lobes control our worry and anxiety mechanism, and when enlarged, the anxiety goes into overdrive – resulting in what we know as OCD.  

So these mental illnesses are, more often than not, physical in basis after all – and one can no more “shake off” or “get over” a hormone imbalance than one can “shake off” a broken leg!

Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on addressing mental health as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!

Healthy Habits for Women Caregivers

By Roz Jones

Developing habits is a part of life and something everyone does, but we really should be focusing on the healthy habits. These are things you do on a daily basis that are good for both your physical and mental health. Take a look at these healthy habits that are great for women, especially those of us who are caregivers for our loved ones.

Get More Exercise

If you don’t have a regular fitness routine, now is the perfect time to start. Exercise is wonderful for anyone, male or female, but it has some unique advantages for women. Exercising can help you lose weight or manage your weight, fight diseases like heart disease and diabetes, and prevent conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis as you age. It is also great during any phase of your life, whether you are a teenager, in your childbearing years, or even as a senior adult. This is a great healthy habit to start developing now.

Focus on Your Nutrition

In addition to exercise, you should also develop a habit of eating better. Don’t try to find some fad diet just to lose weight, instead, choose a new way of eating that becomes a part of your lifestyle. Think of longevity and choose foods that are good for you, provide adequate nutrition, and are foods you can eat and cook easily. If your favorite food is bread, then low-carb is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you are a protein girl, you might do great on Keto or Paleo. Pick and choose based on what provides the most nutrition, but also what is manageable for your current lifestyle. Increased nutrition will give you more energy to help negate feelings of tiredness that can arise from juggling lots of responsibilities as a woman and as a caregiver.

Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health

Now is also the perfect time to start developing habits that are good for your mental health. Far too many people, women especially, neglect their mental health. Your mental health can also have an impact on your physical wellbeing, so it is very important. Some things that can help your mental health include getting regular exercise and eating right, writing in a journal, de-stressing when you can, and taking some time for yourself for a little self-care. We cannot adequately give care to our loved ones when we are running on empty ourselves.

Spend Time With Loved Ones

It is really easy to become a hermit and just work and sleep, but it is important for your health and wellbeing that you make a habit of visiting others. Make plans with friends, spend time with family, and reach out to people you don’t spend a lot of time with, such as co-workers or neighbors.

Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on staying healthy as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!

What is Self-Hatred?

By Roz Jones

Could it be possible you hate yourself too much? Self-hatred is more than simply not liking yourself. When you suffer with self-hatred, you’ll constantly put yourself down and feel like you aren’t good at anything.

Self-hatred and feeling like we are not enough can be especially difficult for those of us fulfilling caregiver roles for our loved ones. When we are responsible for taking care of both ourselves and others, we can feel as if we are never doing enough or “doing it right.”

Here, we’ll look at what self-hatred is, the impact it can have on your life, and how you can stop it in its tracks.

Understanding self-hatred

Self-hatred is basically like having a little bully sat inside your head. You will experience constant criticizing thoughts, pointing out your flaws and mistakes. Some common self-hatred thoughts you might experience include:

You’re a loser”
“Why did you even try, you knew you would fail.”
“You aren’t good enough.”
“Why can’t you just be normal?

You’ll put yourself down and compare yourself to others frequently. Self-hatred tends to develop over time and is triggered by more than one event.

How can it impact your life?

Although self-doubt is healthy, self-hatred is not. If you struggle with self-hatred, it can have a devastating impact on your life. Often the feelings of self-hatred worsen over time and can lead to destructive behaviors as you try and numb the negative self-talk.

Many people who suffer with self-hatred go on to develop destructive behaviors such as cutting themselves, develop eating disorders, or turn to drugs and alcohol. It can impact every aspect of your life, including your relationships, your career, and the friends you include in your life. You may also stop caring about the things you used to enjoy and avoid things that make you feel better.

The impact it can have on your life makes it important to treat quickly, rather than ignore it. The question is, how can you eliminate self-hatred?

Ways to eliminate self-hatred from your life

There are many ways to eliminate self-hatred from your life. Learning how to tame your inner bully is a great first step. So, when you notice that inner voice telling you negative things about yourself, switch it around. Stop those negative thoughts in their tracks and turn them into a positive.

So, if your inner bully says, “You aren’t worth anything,” switch it to “I may feel like I am not worthy, but I know that I am.” The more you counteract the negative thoughts with positive ones, the more positive your mind will become.

You can also make a list of all your strengths. If you struggle to come up with some, ask those closest to you. When you focus on your strengths, you won’t be too caught up in your weaknesses.

Finally, work on building up self-compassion. That is, treat yourself the exact same way you would treat a good friend. As a caregiver, you are excellent at helping out and lifting others up, so turn these skills on yourself. Would you beat a loved one up for making a mistake? If not, why do it to yourself?

Overall, self-hatred can be a powerful thing to overcome since it builds up over time. However, the tips above can help you to start to quiet your inner bully and develop a little more self-compassion.

Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on building yourself up as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!

Why It’s Hard to Say “No” as a Caregiver pt 2

By Roz Jones

Have you ever said ‘yes’ to something you wished that you’d said ‘no’ to instead? Chances are you’ve done that not just once, but several times in your life, and likely regretted it every time. This is particularly difficult as a caregiver, when we know that our loved ones are relying on us. Why is it so terribly hard to say ‘no’ when deep down, you know that it’s the right thing to do?

As it turns out, a lot of those answers come from the past and our upbringing. Thankfully, it’s never too late to rewrite the past. Let’s take a look at several more reasons people say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no.’

“I want to prove my worth.”

Poor self-esteem drives this statement. Frequently we set out to prove ourselves by becoming indispensable. Unfortunately, all that it shows when you say ‘yes’ to everything, is that people can easily take advantage of you. No one thinks highly of someone who says ‘yes’ all the time. 

“If I say ‘no,’ I’m selfish.”

This one comes straight out of childhood where we are taught to be agreeable from the time we’re small. In reality, it’s very healthy to put your own needs first. After all, how can you take care of anyone else, if you’ve compromised not only our time but your energy and quite possibly your health to take care of everyone else first? You are at your best as a caregiver, and in general, when you put on your own oxygen mask first before helping someone else.

There are many more excuses for saying ‘yes.’ What you need to realize is that whenever you feel put out, angry, or resentful about doing something, a ‘yes’ in that situation is just that – an excuse. That’s when you need to examine your motives, and then ask yourself – is that truly the person you want to be? Chances are, it’s time for a change.

Check out the first part of this discussion here, and visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on setting boundaries as a caregiver and to check out my upcoming book!