Do you care about yourself? I hope the answer is yes. Actually, I hope you don’t just care about yourself but that you take the time to prove how much you care about yourself by making self-care a priority.

The notion of self-care is nothing new, so I’m sure you know why self-care is so important. When self-care isn’t a priority, you eventually lose steam. How can you possibly care for others if you don’t care for yourself, right?

But do you know what else is true?

Self-care is not just about avoiding a meltdown.

Self-care is an essential part of life. You need it to survive and thrive.

Yes, it is that deep.

You see, when you neglect to take care of yourself, you stop living. You start floating through life, doing what you’re expected to do–like a robot–while failing to truly live your life. You keep that up and things can get pretty tragic pretty quickly. I know because I’ve been there. The days get busier, the people I love need me more than ever, keeping up with my business is a struggle, and I start to put my needs at the very bottom of the list. It’s a sad place to be.

I’ve always been dedicated to making self-care a priority, but I have to be honest; the last few years have been tough. Life was challenging and self-care was often an afterthought. My priority was simply making it through the day. Carving out time for myself rarely seemed realistic.

But about over a year ago, I started to truly get it. I caught a virus that had me out of it for over a week, and I started to understand that failing to care for myself could no longer be an option if I planned on truly living a happy life. By neglecting my health and my needs, I was essentially saying NO to life. Something had to change because there was no question in my mind that God placed me here to live and live well. I had to say YES to myself in order to say YES to life.

I started 2015 with this new attitude in mind. Self-care was on my radar for sure and I made great strides. But as with all things in life, changing poor habits can be really hard. Now that it’s 2016, I see the need for self-care like I never have before. I need it like I need air.

Self-Care Help Has Arrived

I recently received items from The Fringe Hour collection (I’ll share more in a bit since you may not know what The Fringe Hour is) and I just smiled. Everything I opened felt like it was in alignment with what I want for my life this year. Not only am I reading words that resonate with me in powerful ways, but my package included greeting cards and postcards that would allow me to share this message of self-care with the women I love most. That part warmed my heart.

The Fringe Hours

If you are still wondering what The Fringe Hours is all about, please allow me to share. The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You is a powerful book written by Jessica Turner. It reminds us all how important is to take the time to pursue our desires in life without feeling guilty. It gives us permission to use our gifts and talents in ways that don’t just serve others, but also serve us.

Jessica Turner, the author and creator behind The Fringe Hours Collection, is an inspiring woman. Jessica is that woman you’ve never met in person, but you read her words you start to feel like you could be friends with her. Well, at least that’s how I felt. And I gotta tell you, it takes a lot for me to feel that way about anyone (the New York skeptic in me). But with Jessica’s spirit and the wisdom she shares in The Fringe Hours, I felt like I was at the kitchen table with a friend.

I love the book so much because Turner surveyed more than 2 thousand women and interviewed dozens to help her bring the book to life. That means a lot to me. When I read their stories throughout the book, I see pieces of myself. I know that the book was written with me in mind.

The book has been a blessing. I feel like I have been taking a course about self-care for the last 16 months and The Fringe Hours is the text I’ve been missing. No matter how much you think you’ve got it all figured out, nothing beats holding a book in your hands to help you pull it all together.

Self-Care

How to Make More Time For Self-Care 

What does your day look like? I bet you first thought is busy. That’s typically what my day looks like, too. But we can all be busy while still failing to focus on the things that matter most. What is taking up all of your time? How much time do you spend doing what really matters to you?

Have you ever really taken a look at what you do with all the time you have every week? What do those 168 hours look like? What takes up most of your time?

I can tell you that after making much-needed changes in my life, the things that take up most of my time weekly are:

  • Spending time with my family
  • Connecting with God
  • Exercise
  • Work (that I happen to love)
  • Sleep
  • Preparing meals
  • Connecting with family and friends I don’t see often

These are the things that matter to me most. And listen, like you, I also spend a lot of time running errands, dealing with sick kids, and managing other unexpected issues. But when that happens, I manage it in the best way I can, and I go back to my priorities as soon as I can.

I am a work in progress. We all are. But I have to share how good I feel about putting a lot of effort into making time for the things that truly matter in my life. One of my goals this year is increasing how much time I spend on fitness, spirituality, sleep, reading, and quality time with my kids.

Below is one of my favorite quotes from one of the pages in The Fringe Hours. What are you making time for?

Self-Care

Encouraging The Women in Your Tribe 

I think of the women in the CandidBelle community as members of my tribe. I wish you all well. I look out for you whenever I can. If I come across information that might make your life happier, healthier or easier, I share it. If I fall flat on my face, I share that, too. Your support means the world to me.

I also have a tight circle of women in my life that give me life.  My bond with them sustains me. They are a part of my inner circle. They are the members of my tribe that I talk to on the phone, see in person, and connect with often. I try to pour into them as much as they pour into me.

With my amazing greeting cards from The Fringe Hours, I decided to pull out a few stamps and bless the women in my inner circle. Each card shares a sentiment that I know will warm the heart of a woman I love. Nothing makes me happier than encouraging and inspiring other women. Life is beautiful, but some days can be so hard. If I have a chance to lift someone’s spirits, I accept it with open arms.

Self-Care

Who’s in your inner circle? Is there a chance they need some inspiration? I bet you they do. How do I know? Because we all do. Even your friends that seem to have it all together need a word of encouragement and love.  And I am certain your friends also need a reminder about making self-care a priority. I think we could all do more with our fringe hours.

What You Should Do Next 

I don’t want you to read this and go off on some crazy search for balance. I actually don’t believe in the notion of true balance. I share Jessica’s sentiment about balance. In the book she shares, ” I don’t think true balance really exists. That said, I do think the word is helpful as a guiding principle for how we choose to live.”  It’s not about feeling bad because you can’t find balance no matter how hard you try. It’s about using the word balance as a guiding principle.

 

The Fringe Hours

 

So I want you to do a few things so we can all get this year started off right. First, grab a copy of The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You and My Fringe Hours: Discovering a More Creative and Fulfilled Life. I believe both books will have a meaningful impact on how you view your time and how you spend your time.

It is my hope that these books can help you with making self-care a major priority in your life.

I also want you to inspire a friend (or friends) by sharing this message. Send them a link to this blog post, get them a copy of the book, buy the greeting cards or postcards and mail them an inspiring message. Do whatever feels authentic. But please do share. I don’t want any woman left behind. I want us all to live happier, more fulfilling lives.

The beautiful hours that exist on the margins of our days are meant for living. Don’t waste any of the time God has given you. Use it, enjoy it, make it your time to do what matters most.

To purchase the ebook version of The Fringe Hours for just $2.99 visit Amazon.com. This offer ends on January 15th.

I’d love to hear more about how you plan to make more time for #FringeHours in your life. You deserve it. Drop me a line on twitter to tell me your plans and don’t forget to use the hashtag #FringeHours when you share.

I received items from The Fringe Hours Collection for this sponsored post, but all opinions expressed are my own.