Do you do something for yourself every day? Let’s put a label on it, self care. It’s what you do to take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. Really it’s about making sure your own cup is full before you can pour into others.
Self care looks different for everyone. One way to find out what you need is to honestly answer this question, what do I need right now?
Depending on how you answer that question here are 6 self care ideas for you:
1. Free your mind.
Sometimes you need a break from that voice in your head. The one that gives a play by play commentary on your life including thoughts that may make you anxious, irritated or upset. One of my favorite quick meditations, 4 x 4 breathing, was shared with me by Dr. Rob Neilson at Hawthorn Healing Arts.
4 x 4 Breathing:
1 – Breath in through the nose, while slowly counting to four.⠀
2 – Hold the breath at the top of the inhale, for a count to four.⠀
3 – Exhale slowly, while counting to four.⠀
4 – Hold the breath at the bottom of the exhale for a count of four. ⠀
Repeat 4 times for the 4 Cubed version. ⠀
Allow yourself to be open to what your intuition presents to you during this brief meditation.
2. Reach out and connect
We aren’t meant to be here alone, we need people to talk to, laugh with and to share our life with. Spend some time with a friend, maybe one with positive, loving vibes. Meet for a coffee, walk or simply talk on the phone. Share those highs, or lows, or talk about that meme you saw with the smiling dog.
Here are a few dog memes to browse with a friend if you need a good laugh session.
3. Treat yourself to something that makes you feel good.
My friend Emily Hoy at Mayhem Loves Energy makes gorgeous seed bead jewelry with designs rooted in history, tradition and modern design. The days I wear my Mayhem Loves Energy earrings I feel happier.
4. Have a cup of tea.
Making yourself a cup of tea is an opportunity to take some time during your day to slow or wind down and be present. I find that I become more present as soon as the water gets close to boiling or while I’m waiting for my tea to steep. As the steam rises from my cup I like to breathe in the fragrant aroma before I take my first sip. I find a peaceful place to sit for a few minutes and take in the world around me. Blueberry Tea from Sakari Botanicals is my favorite right now, it has organic dried blueberries, jasmine, wild rose and bachelor buttons. It’s tasty and a great source of vitamin C, an essential vitamin that is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues.
5. Pick a self care card.
When you want to take time for yourself but can’t decide what to do pick a Self Care Adventure Card. This nature-inspired deck has over 150 self care prompts to take your self care beyond the limits of what you might already think that is. Here are a few example cards: create something for someone, do something for nature, get lost in a book or indulge in some pampering. These cards were recently released on Kickstarter and I can’t wait to start using them.
6. Get a massage.
Ok, you probably saw this one coming but I practice what I preach. I get regular massages to relax, ease my achy muscles and improve my blood flow and circulation. Before I go I check in with my body to figure out what I need. When I want to bliss out I get a hot stone massage, if I’m sore from some turns on the mountain I ask for cupping or neuromuscular therapy.
I know I’m biased so here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say, “Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever. You can even learn how to do self-massage or how to engage in massage with a partner at home.”