Something this year has taught me, is the sense that my overall well-being isn’t just food and exercise, but that wellness starts from the inside out. No amount of celery can “fix” feeling worn out and overwhelmed. 2020 has brought about some extraordinary circumstances, and many are feeling more drained than ever.
Every now and then, we do fun but effective self-care challenges on Instagram, where we challenge our followers to follow along and do the daily self-care activity. We’ve done a 5 minute self care challenge, as well as a goal-setting challenge. This year, we focused not on a set time, but on keeping it simple. We all need self care, and if there’s too many steps or too many things to buy - I’m out! I’d like to share these ideas with you below, in the hopes that they may spur you on to taking care of your inner self, as they have helped me!
- Read an article or blog post about something that interests you, but that you wouldn’t normally read. Remember when you were a kid and you would read about planets, then cats, then a mystery novel, then about a random country? Remember that sense of curiosity and wonder you had about the world? Too often we get entrenched in our daily routines and our things that we check in on and read. Part of self-care is breaking the normal patterns of our life that can wear us down, and making it a priority to branch out on a regular basis and read something I haven’t before is a good way to do that. You can also listen to podcasts with this same mindset as well.
- Inhale for 4 seconds through your nose. Hold for 4 seconds. Exhale for 6 seconds through your mouth. This pattern of deep breathing helps create a relaxation response to your body’s stress response to something, it’s particularly good for anxiety. Do this for at least two minutes to feel the effect.
- Roughly plan out a dream vacation for yourself and/or your family. This is another good way to break routine or anxious thought patterns. Where would you go if you could? You could get technical here and look at flights and costs and available hotels, or you could look up some videos about your dream destination, or make a Pinterest board. Here is one we made on our Pinterest to give you an idea.Think of this as a first step to actually one day taking that trip.
- Take a stroll, if bad weather - light a scented candle. These ideas both have to do with changing up your atmosphere and rewiring your brain. If you have the time, you can listen to this podcast with Dr.Huberman, who touches on the importance for our mental well-being to take walks, especially in nature. So much so, that there is an effective PTSD therapy that involves simulating what your eyes do as you walk and observe your surroundings. Walks are great for everything - digestion, mood, clarity - you name it. I know I always feel better after taking a walk and really being present. Look at your surroundings and really just be in the moment!
- Write out a motivational quote / poem / Bible verse in a creative way. There’s a reason calligraphy is so popular, because it’s a skill that requires creativity and concentration. It means you have to be present and focused on the task at hand. If you have some fancy pens, great - but even a simple pencil or pen will do. The idea is the act itself, and also the fact that when you write something out you remember it better. Here’s an example of what I mean.
Thanks for reading,