Is it fair to say you're a bit stressed out? I know I struggle with balance some days, running a business while a five year old is running circles around me, means that my time for self-care is limited. We read so much lately about the importance of self-care, but what is it, and how can you implement it in your busy life?
Self-care is the time you take to disconnect from your normal routine and check in with yourself. It's time that you take for yourself to do any activity you enjoy that rejuvenates you mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. The pursuit of self-care as an aspect of health can also cause stress for people. The questions of "am I doing self-care the right way?" or, "Is this enough to be considered self-care?" have probably popped up in your mind before. It's a bit ironic to be stressed about de-stressing, but it happens!
So below are three simple things to keep in mind when creating your self-care ritual.
It must include some level of mindfulness. That is, you must disconnect for a bit from your regular hustle and bustle to reset. I do this through reading. I tend to do more of it during the summer. I love spending my reading time on a lounge chair, in the backyard, phone off and no distractions. My ideal time is during my son's nap when I get to zone out into my favorite book. Pick the time that works best for you, it can even be 15-30 minutes but it will make a big difference in your overall stress level.
2. Sensory Experience
It's best to include a sensory experience. In other words, change your atmosphere as much as you can to change your mindset. You can do this through scent, light, going into nature, using skin products that can help with relaxing, listening to calming music, etc. Think of the five senses and incorporate pleasant changes to your ritual through them.
3. Be Intentional
You need to be intentional. Great habits don't pop up on their own, you need to set aside time for your regimen. If you want to improve your life, mood, and overall well-being through the practice of self-care, it needs to be something you schedule. Say it out loud to your husband, write it in your calendar, do whatever you need to safeguard this time. It will make you a better wife, mom, co-worker, and human being, anyway!
Here are 10 examples to get you started:
1. A soak in the bathtub, this might help!
2. A journaling session where you free write whatever comes to your mind to clear your head.
3. A hike through nature in your area.
4. Listening to a new comedy special on Netflix, comedians are great storytellers and you may find yourself immersed.
5. Enjoying a healthy smoothie and reading through a new book.
6. Taking time to lie down, close your eyes, and listen to your favorite music.
7. Taking 10 minutes to slowly stretch and become aware of your body.
8. Doing a more involved skin care and beauty routine, really taking the time to pamper yourself.
9. Sitting quietly on your porch / patio / deck / balcony to just take in the atmosphere. Especially nice in the early morning when the world is just waking up and the sun is rising. Think Folger's coffee commercials ;-)
10. Tapping into your creative side to either take on a new craft project, or simply draw whatever you feel. Watercolors cost a few dollars, and who knows, you may pick up a completely new hobby!
Thanks for reading, and leave us comments on which self-care idea seems the most fun to you!