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piggy bankIf you’ve ever gone to a financial adviser you’ve probably been told to pay yourself first. That means that for each paycheck you get, take a certain percentage of that and put either into a savings account or an investment in your own future.

This kind of strategy works so well because it ensures that we consistently put energy (in the form of money) into the things that are most important to us. And honestly YOU are pretty darn important to yourself!

The same technique can also help us take better care of ourselves, our families and the rest of our lives.

Often we get so caught up taking care of every thing and every one else that 7pm rolls around and we still haven’t exercised, eaten our own dinner or done anything that we would consider self care. If you‘re able to fit self care in at the end of the day, more power to you. Keep doing what you’re doing.

But if you’re like me and are dead tired by the time the sun sets and the last thing you want to think about at night is self care then these tips are for you.

4 Tips to take care of yourself first.

Disclaimer: I am not a morning person. Just ask my family and they will tell you that mommy has on her “mad” face before 7am. So I get it. But when the time options for fitting ourselves onto our schedule are few, we just gotta woman up and step out of our comfort zones.

So tip # 1 is…. Get up Early!

I have to confess that there really is something magical (for lack of better word) about the early morning hours. During the time jut before the sun rises, or very shortly after, it is quiet “very quite. So it’s the perfect time for you to do your morning routine. If you haven’t created one of these productivity boosting, stress releasing, routines then check out this post to learn how to craft your own.

You don’t have to get up several hours earlier than normal. Just 15-20 minutes earlier is sufficient.

All you really need is enough time to set your intentions for the day and write them down or schedule in your workout time.

Tip # 2 – Be Consistent

My husband is very diligent about his bed time routine. He turns the TV off and is in bed faithfully by 10:30 every weekday night.

I would encourage you (and me) to be even MORE consistent than my hubby. Research shows us that our bodies are more efficient when they are regulated on a consistent schedule.

We actually get more restful sleep and wake up easier when we get up and go to bed at the same time everyday. The human body does not know what a “weekend” is so don’t allow your human brain to screw with a good thing.

Consistency applies to sleep as well as all the other things we do to take care of ourselves.  So be consistent with your spiritual practice and your exercise as well.

If you are looking for a way to move your body AND take care of your mind and spirit, join me every Wednesday for free online yoga practices made just for busy moms!  You can learn more here!

Tip # 3 – Go to Bed Earlier

You knew this was coming right? If you’re gonna get up with the roosters you gotta go to bed with the kids. Or not too far behind the kids.

Part of taking good care of ourselves is getting our full 7-9 hours of rest at night. There is just no cheating the system on this. When we don’t get enough sleep we’re cranky, less productive, prone to weight gain and more susceptible to sickness. So get your sleep. If you need some helpful tips to get more sleep check out this video I created on the topic.

Tip #4 Invest in You Last Too!

The most important thing in your life is YOU! No matter how many people you love and care for, no matter how many responsibilities you have. YOU are the main element in all of it.

And because there would be NO ‘Your life” without you, I say the very first and the very last person you need to focus on in your day is …. You guessed it… YOU.

So we already talked about getting yourself going in the morning. But this tip is about winding down gracefully at night.

Take 5 minutes to do something for you before you shut the lights off and lay down. Write something you’re grateful for. Read an inspired passage. Say a quick prayer. Or just lay down and enjoy how good the sheets feel on your skin.

Do your best to feel as good as you can before you go to bed and your morning will automatically be primed for more positivity.

Share with us. What will you do this week to put yourself first?