5 Easy Self Care Activities
Regular self care can take you from "meh" to "more me time please!"
You know how the emergency procedures card on the airplane instructs you to put your own oxygen mask on first, before attempting to help anyone else? In real life, though, we may not follow that type of advice. Many people (especially women) give so much of themselves that there is hardly anything left. We nurture and tend to children, aged parents, work responsibilities, volunteer commitments, family/friends/church functions, and the like, until almost without noticing, we can become worn-out, resentful and exhausted. Sometimes this becomes a permanent state.
So isn't 'caring for self' just one more chore to add to the list of drudgery?
If you see self-care as just another bullet point on a never-ending to-do list, that is a sure sign that you are desperately in need of some self-TLC! The good news is, it's not a chore if you take the time to check in with your own needs and choose a form of self-care that truly makes you feel cared for, relaxed and loved. Many of us are so disconnected from our bodies and inner world that we don't even know what we want. That's why some experimentation may be necessary before we find the forms of self care that can transform us from 'running on empty' to 'cup runneth over'. Here are 5 simple self-care activities to try today!
1. Got 5 minutes and a foam roller? Try self-massage. Now you don't have the excuse that your workplace doesn't provide good medical benefits; you can quickly alleviate stress with a DIY massage and some minimal tools.
2. Sit outside. You don't have to be a distance runner (or a smoker) to make a point of enjoying a peaceful, serene moment in nature - or, with the benefit of your laptop or tablet allowing you to work remotely, half a day. Whether you are listening to birdsong or simply letting the breeze ruffle your hair as you work, you're getting Vitamin D and broadening your perspective.
3. Take a nap. Rather than being horrified by that tired feeling and trying to push through it lest you turn into a total degenerate, accept that you might be genuinely tired - and giving your body some needed sleep will make you more productive, not less. Limit naps to no more than 20-30 minutes to ensure your sleep cycle isn't disrupted.
4. Nobody to talk to at the moment? Feel like your venting sessions with girlfriends leave you worse off than when you started? Journalling might be the key. If you don't take the time to listen to your own thoughts and feelings, and process them on paper, they stay trapped in your head, where things are often magnified, confused and snarled. Put your truth down in black and white and watch as you gain clarity, peace of mind, relief and resolution.
5. Pamper yourself with a warm bath. Bath rituals can be healing on so many levels: assuming you're using high quality bath additives like healing salts or natural skin care products, you're doing good for your body; the warmth, aromas and sensations can be soothing and relaxing as well as stimulating and invigorating; and there is almost endless room to take the experience to the next level with simple indulgences like calming music, candles, crisp towels...
What do all 5 self-care activities have in common? You are spending quality time with the most important person in your life: yourself. Don't wait for someone to come along and pamper you; the key is to make yourself a priority and do it for yourself. Try one or all of these activities on a daily basis to discover what makes you feel wonderful. You deserve it!