It’s important that every day we are in the business of taking care of ourselves, acknowledging how we feel and taking steps to form small habits that have a positive impact on our wellbeing. It doesn’t have to a luxurious, extravagant or expensive experience. Rather, actions with intention to take care of our mind, body and soul. Today, I want to share with you a few simple ways to allow a moment of self-care into your busy routine.
Just five minutes of meditation or quiet contemplation can make the biggest difference. If not at the end of the day to help you wind down, perhaps at lunch time to help you de-stress and re-focus.
Mental rest is just as important as physical rest. You don’t even need to sit on the floor or in any particular position. It can be as simple as sitting on a chair, hands in your lap and closing your eyes.
Apps such as Headspace or Calm can help get you started with guided meditation techniques. There are also many YouTube channels that take you through these practices ranging from five to 40 minutes.
Breathing techniques are a big part of not only meditation but yoga. Deep breathing in, holding and breathing out on set counts is one option. Just focusing on single counts of breathing in and out on repeat is great if the first option makes you feel light headed. It’s important to only pursue what feels good to you.
My personal favourite that not only helps to calm the mind and your mood but aids in dispersing anxiety too. Also known as pranayama, using your thumb and ring finger:
o Block your right nostril with your right thumb
o Breathe in through your left nostril
o Pause and switch to blocking your left nostril with your ring finger
o Breathe out through your right nostril and then breathe in through your right nostril
o Pause, alternate fingers and continue.
Self-care for the mind is all about stepping back, switching off from daily stresses and noticing how you feel. Don’t bottle up your emotions. Part of self-care is finding ways to disperse negative emotions so that they don’t fester. Acceptance of where you’re at is important to lessen the struggles we feel internally.
I’ve mentioned yoga, which can stem from practices for all levels and even the most inflexible of people (like myself). Stretching routines, exercise or a stroll through the park are also great options to relax. If the weather is nice enjoying some time outside can help boost energy and revitalise you for later on.
Running yourself a relaxing bath with a muscle soak or Epsom salts to help relieve tension in the muscles. A simple foot soak and scrub, painting your nails or a face mask are all acts of self-care that can make you feel better about yourself. They also give you the necessary down time you need because it’s hard to run around with your to-do list if you’re amidst a beauty routine.
Eat something you enjoy. Eat with friends or family or in a natural more calming environment. For example, a picnic as opposed to at your desk or on the go. Perhaps you could treat yourself and go out for dinner. Balance is key. Don’t deprive yourself of down time and allow yourself to be present in enjoyable moments.
They don’t say laughter is the best medicine for nothing. Laughing triggers endorphins and also helps reduce stress hormones in your body. Perhaps some comedy TV, talking with a friend that always brightens your mood or even laughter yoga if you’re feeling adventurous.
There’s something about the nature of animals that’s. Sitting with your cats, playing with dogs in the park, brushing horses or something else that takes your fancy.
Animals may not be everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s perfectly okay. Caring for plants can be a relaxing and therapeutic hobby. Perhaps you may even decide to grow some herbs or vegetables. They will also brighten your living space which encourages a calmer atmosphere.
Taking care of yourself is sometimes all about ensuring the people you care about and who care about you are around.
Self-care isn’t something we should be in the habit of slotting in whenever we’re not busy or whenever we reach the edge of burnout from our daily lives. Instead, we should see taking care of ourselves as a preventative measure and also one that will allow us to be better at our roles whether that be at the workplace, at home or otherwise. Learning to love yourself is just as important as loving others. The same applies to caring for yourself.
Finding balance is key. It’s a positive layer of selfishness that shouldn’t be looked down upon nor disregarded. To take care of others and to carry out our responsibilities successfully, we need to first take care of ourselves. The importance of self-care is that it allows you to build upon becoming the best version of yourself.