Did you know that September is Self-Care Awareness Month? Yeah, me neither. September I’m usually too busy trying to get the kids to school and sports activities on time and it seems that there is always some random work deadline that sneaks up on me. Also, every time I go to the store this month Halloween and Christmas displays seem to taunt me like a constant nagging reminder that I have much more to do than my fragile psyche will allow.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m busy the first thing that goes out the window is my healthy lifestyle followed soon thereafter by keeping up with dying my hair roots. But now that I know there is an entire month dedicated to me taking care of myself, I’m totally onboard with this. Here are four things I plan to pay attention to:

  1. Sleep

    Did you know that sleep depravation is a form of torture? That’s why pets and small children enjoy using it against adults. But this month I aim to get seven (7) hours of sleep each night. Why? Because it helps your brain work better so you can be more productive (and less grouchy), it can help you lose weight by balancing out your hormones and it can boost your immunity. Also, dreams rock. I’m partial to dreams about flying and meeting famous people.

  2. Exercise

    Some people view exercise as a chore but I view it as “me time”. I’ll go on my Schwinn stationary bike or Bowflex treadmill and watch inspirational YouTube videos for about 20-30 minutest to get my mental state positive. Then I’ll lift weights for 30 minutes and go to work. When I exercise my body feels so good (endorphins) and it gives me quiet satisfaction that no matter what the day throws at me at least I got my workout done.

  3. Eat Clean

    The most basic form of self-care is to feed yourself well. If you had a red Corvette would you put sawdust in the gas tank? No way! You’d only use the best premium. Why do we treat cars better than our own bodies? Food is fuel, so treat yourself to a tasty, well-portioned mix of homemade proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats six times per day every 2-3 hours. Your body will thank you for it.

  4. Gratitude

    I have two kids. One is prone to going negative and the other is prone to acting entitled. My method for dealing with this is to play the gratitude game. As we eat dinner we take turns saying three things we are grateful for and go as many rounds as we can go. Gratitude is also helpful to give us perspective about how incredible our bodies are, even when we are dealing with injuries or illnesses.

We can all talk a great game about self-care, but if you really want to commit to it, try tracking it for a month. Make a weekly habit tracker like this and then check it off each day:

Monday thru Friday Self Care Calendar

***ADDED BONUS*** If you complete the self-care habit checklist at least 90% of the time all month, give yourself a super self-care bonus like a massage. OK, I’m seriously liking this whole Self-Care Awareness Month…