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What’s in Your Basket? Self-Care for Busy Lives

For health and happiness, self-care is necessary to stay centered. This means it's time to renew and fill your basket with all things fabulous.

What's in your basket? A yoga instructor once asked that question. What she wanted to know was what do we keep in our personal arsenal to maintain our mental health and emotional and physical well-being. She explained that we could not give and share with others from our personal baskets if we failed to replenish those baskets regularly. The world is fast paced and busy. There are people making demands in our lives every day. With each demand, something in our basket is removed, depleting us of energy, strength, and ability. So how do we keep our baskets full and brimming so that we can keep sharing with others?

Ditch the Rewind Button

Sometimes you have to take stuff out of your basket so you have room for something else. One of the most important things to remove is your personal rewind button. Humans have a tendency to look back and rehash the past through a slow-motion-replay. We go over the details of conversations that went badly and situations that turned out less than awesome with agonizing detail. Stop hitting the rewind button on your life. Things that happened in the past are great to learn from but not great to agonize over. Don’t wallow in the mud of yesterday. Wallowing is for pigs, not people. Learn the lessons your past is meant to teach you and then shake off the negative feelings that come from it. Let the past go.

Be Present

Since we’re letting go of the past, it’s a good time to talk about the present. I am a fiction writer with a lot of goals and hopes and dreams for my writing career. I used to live a “someday” existence. This meant that I knew I would be happy when I finished my first novel. Then it was I would be happy when I was published. Then it was I would be happy when my book hit the best seller’s list, then it was I would be happy when I won this award or gained that contract. What happened was that I went years with never being happy where I was, even after I obtained all those goals, because there was always a new goal out there, ready to be achieved. {3ast3r}

It was an interesting moment when, on one particular day of feeling unaccomplished, that my five-year-old daughter entered my room. She handed me a picture and said, “Look, Mom! You’re not sad everywhere. You’re happy where I drew you!” The picture was a Crayola masterpiece of me with my arms wrapped around her. We were both smiling. That was the moment I realized I had allowed far too many moments to escape me because I refused to be present for them. This doesn’t mean you stop looking forward to the future. It just means that you keep your feet firmly planted in the moment of right now. It would be a shame to miss the vibrant and rich sunset going on today simply because you were too busy anticipating the sunrise of tomorrow to notice it. Live every moment to the fullest. Be present.

Give Yourself Gifts

Speaking of the present, you totally deserve one! It’s a basket after all, why not fill it with the kind of goodies and treats you like best? Not all gifts have to be expensive; the best gifts don’t cost much, if anything, at all. Check out some gift ideas for you to give yourself:

  • Take a hot bath with a good book (or with good music if you’re so inclined)
  • Take a long meandering walk
  • Visit your local museum
  • Have a movie night
  • Get a massage
  • Spend time on a favorite, yet oft neglected, hobby
  • Breathe (sometimes a few deep breaths can go a long, long way)
  • Play with your pet
  • Watch the sunset
  • Get an edible treat (let’s be honest. Eating good food is a joy unto itself)
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Play your favorite sport or game
  • Call a friend you don’t see nearly often enough and go out

Give Yourself Permission to Say No

Busy people are usually the first ones asked when there is something that needs to be done. Why? Because busy people actually get stuff done. But sometimes, we smile and agree to do things that really do throw us over the edge of mental and emotional health. Underneath the smile, we weep the tears of a soul under too much pressure. The thing is it really is good to do things for others. Service is something that brings its own kind of happiness and keeps us from doing that wallowing we talked about earlier. But too much is too much. If you’re cutting out all time for your own self-care, your basket drains rapidly. Sometimes, it’s okay to let someone else step up and help out. Sometimes, it’s okay for you to say no.

Make a Gratitude List

Part of keeping your basket full is acknowledging the awesome stuff already in there. Studies conducted by several universities have shown that gratitude anchors people to positive emotions. Gratitude helps us deal with antagonistic conditions, promotes health in our bodies, and actually attracts more good things to us.

Eat Your Veggies

Don't roll your eyes at this one. Eating healthy is some of the best self care you can give you. You will have more energy, you will feel stronger, and you will be more alert. Plus, you will live longer and have a few more sunrises and sunsets to enjoy--worth it right there! Make sure you get in all your vitamins, minerals, and protein. The best way to do that is through whole food sources, but when you're in a hurry and you need all those vitamins and minerals but don't have the time for breakfast, you can get all the nutrients you need to fuel your day with a meal replacement shake. Sunwarrior has you covered there with illumin8.


We’re talking Easter baskets after all. A few indulgent treats are okay every now and again.

Self-care is important. If you want to live a rich, full, and happy life, do whatever works for you to keep your basket full and brimming over.

Get healthy with our free fitness challenge where we give you a free meal plan and a free exercise regimen to follow so you can feel your best!

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