Complete My Plate: Self-Care Edition
Let’s talk about the one thing we all need and sometimes struggle with: self-care.
My favorite podcast, The Friend Zone, recently dropped an episode entitled, “Complete My Plate,” which featured Wendy and Jess of Food Heaven. (I talk about them a lot because they ALWAYS drop gems.) The episode discussed best nutrition practices, myths about dieting, etc. During the show, Assante, one of the co-hosts, asked to play a game called “Complete My Plate,” which involved him suggesting a food item and having the two ladies balance it out with the healthiest side items. This exercise was so cute, and it taught me a lot about the healthy results of eating well-balanced meals with the right portions of the various food groups.
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with anything – no, I’m not switching over to food blogging! That’s not my ministry, lol.
Complete My Plate got me thinking about other areas of my life that are not balanced besides my meals. I realized that beyond the great results that healthy meals bring, there are many benefits to having a well-balanced schedule. In life, I find myself becoming overwhelmed with task after task and having to force some self-care time in during the week. After working a full-time job, freelancing, handling other tasks that come with being an adult, and keeping my head above water, I find it hard to take time for ME. Rarely do I add things to my weekly agenda that nurture my mind, body, and spirit. BUT you better believe I have every assignment and errand written down (smh)!
To avoid neglecting my mental health needs, I decided to take a page from Assante’s book and play “Complete My Plate” with my daily activities. I literally drew what was supposed to be a plate (drawing isn’t my ministry either), and illustrated how I wanted my days to look. Now, I understand that things happen, and every day WILL be different, but this gave me a good base to start with.
As you can see, I’ve added a small section for self-care because realistically, I don’t have 50% of a normal day to dedicate to that. However, this is better than my 5-10% that I usually put in daily. I do want to note that my self-care time should vary each day, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be as extravagant as spa treatments or laying out on a beach that Atlanta doesn’t even have, lol. It can literally mean spending more time reading, exercising, meditating, cooking for leisure, walking for leisure, meeting up with a friend(s), all types of small gestures that lets my body know that I am unwinding and giving it time to regroup. More importantly, I want to dedicate more time to God because, in my opinion, spending time with Him is the ULTIMATE form of self-care.
Here’s an example of what an ideal “balanced plate” would look like for me on a normal day:
First 15-25 minutes of the day: Say a prayer, read a devotional
Next 20-30 minutes: Exercise or unwind with yoga/stretching
Prepare for work
Work from 8 AM – 5 PM
Run any errands as needed
Have dinner (preferably a cooked meal that I ENJOYED cooking with no rush)
Work on freelance projects as needed
Self-care activity for 15 min to an hour (maybe longer if I’m hanging with a friend)
Prepare for bed
Spend more time in prayer and reading scripture
(Like I said, this is just an outline of how I would like my days to go because we all know a huge shift can happen right after work and the whole schedule is canceled, lol.)
I encourage you to play Complete My Plate: Self-Care Edition (do the food one while you’re at it to develop better eating habits)! This piece of paper with my terrible drawing is just a small task with a huge reminder of how important it is for me to allocate more time to giving myself a break.
Also, outline your ideal daily schedule. These are just two simple tactics that will give you a visual of what a balanced life looks like for YOU. It may also help for you to compare your ideal schedule to what you currently have written down in your agenda. Point out each difference and thoroughly examine what you can eliminate or lessen to fit in some more of what makes you happy. Don’t overwhelm yourself by attempting to implement a lot of changes right away – take it one day at a time!
***If you share your completed sheet on social media, please tag me so I can see your goals and tag Assante (@heyassante on IG & Twitter) to credit him for creating the Complete My Plate activity!
P.S. My bestie sent me this IG post of some great self-care activities literally as I was writing this! Check it out and see how many you can incorporate in your daily schedule. Let me know in the comments what your favorite activities are!