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Scheduling items from my self care list helps me to manage stress. In addition, these are non-negotiable, i.e. they are as important as brushing my teeth in the morning and getting to work on time. Regular self care includes relaxing breathing, wandering around my vegetable garden, trying a new SparkPeople exercise video, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), and so on.
One of the scheduled non-negotiable self care activities is to think of new items to add to my self care list. Some of these have become ways to pamper and reward myself when I reach new healthy lifestyle goals.
Write down a list of goals for the month. Target some habit you want to control, and little by little work up to your goal. For example, one month I had a goal of morning workouts. The first week my goal was simply to wake up a half hour early three times a week and take a ten minute walk around the block. Each week, I tweak the goal a little, until I get closer or at where I want to be. I put up a log on my fridge to monitor my progress.
For example, I'll get up earlier, workout longer, or do it more times in the week. By the end of the month I've worked up to getting in a 30 minute workout 5x in the week.
I've also worked on getting my calories in range, and watching less TV.
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