There comes a time in everyone’s life that they forget to take care of themselves. With life moving at a frenetic pace and our ever increasing responsibilities, there are only so many hours in a day and it is easy to put your own needs on the back burner. The problem with not making self care a priority is that you can only continue this way for a limited amount of time before your body forces you to start caring for yourself. For many, this is normally a temporary wake up call as they eventually go back to living life at full throttle not taking the time to care for themselves.
Contrary to popular belief, self care is not a selfish act. By not taking the time to nourish and rejuvenate yourself, you will eventually deplete yourself of the ability to do things for others. The old adage “you can’t pour from an empty cup” rings true in this situation. Over the past few years I have tried to make self care a priority. While I am not always successful, there are a few self care rituals that I frequently practice to centre and rejuvenate myself. They also help to remind me that I need to be on my priority list, and to schedule a larger chunk of time for myself in the (very) near future. My top five favourite (relatively quick) self care practices are:
1). Get outside
We spend way to much time indoors. Being outside and enjoying the fresh air is good for the mind, body and spirit. Take a few minutes to just sit and enjoy the view or go for a quick walk around the block to get your blood pumping.
2) Meditate (or just breathe) or stretch
I used to think that meditation was not for me. My mind is always racing and I am frequently multi-tasking, how on earth could I be expected to just sit and breathe??? It turns out that those reasons are exactly why I needed to develop a meditation practice into my life. Ever since I started to meditate I feel more grounded and not nearly as scattered as I used to be. Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to spend a lot of time meditating to reaps it’s benefits. I normally meditate between 5 – 15 minutes first thing in the morning (before my to-do list kicks into high gear). Some mornings when I am running late I take a moment to take five deep belly breathes then I head out to start my day. I have met many people that are interested in beginning a meditation practice but they are overwhelmed with the amount of information given to them about how to practice successfully. Don’t overthink it! Find a quiet place, sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath. In and out, in and out. If you find your mind starting to wander don’t worry about it, just calmly bring your awareness back to your breath. Some people find it helpful to have a mantra. If you feel that you would benefit from one then just be sure to pick one that you can say/think with the flow of your breath. Voila! You are now a meditating superstar!
There are countless benefits to stretching or doing yoga. It is good for the mind, body and the soul. If you are to busy to take a class then roll out your mat and move through a few moves at home. There are some great apps out there (my favourite is Yoga Studio) that will help you to achieve a successful yoga practice wherever you are. Aside from the greater range of flexibility and the calming effect that yoga has on my mind, I love the rosy glow that I get from my yoga practice.
3) Put your electronics down! (Yes that includes your phone)
Chances are that this self care practice may take some well…….practice. Most of us are overly reliant on our phones (yes that includes me most of the time), but taking some time away from our electronic lifelines is healthy. While the idea of being away from our phones for even a second is frightening take baby steps. Try leaving your phone in another room while you eat and don’t pick up your phone as soon as you wake up. This will allow you to stay (and enjoy) the moment rather then mindlessly going through your day.
4) Take a mini spa moment
In an ideal world we would all have the time (and the resources) to visit a spa for rest and relaxation. This is obviously a far cry from reality but with a little effort you can have a mini spa moment in the comfort of your own home. Apply a sheet mask while you relax. Light some candles, enjoy a glass of spa water or wine and read a leisurely magazine to achieve the full spa effect. When was the last time you took a luxurious bubble bath? Treat yourself to your favourite bubble bath and body oil and be sure to add in some epsom salts to help relax those tired muscles. It doesn’t matter how you choose to bliss out as long as you do it. Even just 15 minute of spa time will rejuvenate your body and nourish your busy mind.
5) Treat yourself to something that will make you smile
I don’t mean to go and splurge on a high price item and consider it self care. It can be as simple as treating yourself to a bouquet of flowers or a picture that gives you a positive pause for thought. Something as simple as flowers can brighten a room, bring the outdoors inside and encourage you (and those around you) to smile. Small treats that you enjoy will help to remind you that YOU are worth making yourself a priority.
There are endless ways to practice self care but it is important that you take the time to do so. What are your favourite ways to care prioritize yourself and nourish your mind, body and soul? Let me know in the comments below
I hope that you have a fabulous day! ❤️XXS