Nothing better than having a Monday off to sleep in, get organized, hang out with friends and family, spend time outside, exercise, and relax. In the midst of our busy lives, we often put the needs of work, family, and social responsibilities ahead of our own needs. An extra day off over the weekend can often be just the spark we need to take better care of ourselves. Unfortunately, these days don’t come along often enough.

Pets and toddlers are great teachers, especially for self-care. We all know what happens when a toddler is overtired, over-stimulated, over-tired, and/or cooped up inside for too long. All I need to do is look to Guillermo, my cat, to remind me that self-care is something to practice every day. When he tired, he finds a comfortable place to take a nap. When his body needs to stretch, he does a downward dog or stretches himself as long as he can. And when he is not hungry anymore, he leaves the food in his bowl and comes back for more when he gets hungry again.

I like to think of self-care as a practice. I certainly am still learning. I can’t always take a nap when I am tired or drop to all fours and do a few stretches when my body needs to move. However, I do find that the better I plan my week, the easier it is to find time to do all the things I want and need to do each week while still taking good care of myself. With the new month and the new week, I spent a little time on Monday planning for the week and practicing a little preemptive self-care.

This week take some self-care inspiration from your pet(s) or the children in your life. They have a great sense of knowing what their body needs to thrive and how to make it a priority.