As I look around the world today, I can’t help but feel like all of us could use a great big dose of self-care. Many things right now may feel like they are out of our control, so it is important to stop and find ways to make ourselves feel nurtured and taken care of. The concept of self-care may carry a different definition from person to person, but on a fundamental level, practicing self-care means taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. What differs for some people is how they choose to do this, based on what makes them feel good and cared for individually. It feels good to have others do things that make us feel comfortable, but in some situations of stress or sadness, it’s important for us to feel capable of doing things to care for ourselves as well. It does not require an elaborate plan; self-care can be as simple as taking a deep breath when you notice you are becoming stressed. By maintaining your physical and mental health, you will likely be better equipped to handle the stressors that come along with supporting someone you care about.
Here are my top 5 favorites:
This is at the top of my list. It is the most important but the hardest to implement for many. The idea of spending time without distractions can be difficult, but the benefits are profound. Meditation allows us to train our mind to focus and ultimately redirect our thoughts. People often use this practice to develop other beneficial habits, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance. It is one of the best ways to find peace and calm even when things in the outside world feel chaotic. I recommend starting slow with 10 minutes per day and working up to 20- 30 minutes per day if possible.
Not only do massages feel incredible, they have a tremendous number of health benefits. People who choose to supplement their self-care regime with regular massages will see the benefits carry through the days and weeks after the appointment. A few of the health benefits include: stress relief, reduction in anxiety, promotion of better sleep, and reduction in blood pressure. Find a practitioner that is right for you, and try to work up to one session per month.
For an ultimate relaxation experience, create a spa in the comfort of your own home. Burn incense, light candles, and dim the lights in your bathroom to create an ultra-zen atmosphere. Using Epsom salts or Himalayan sea salts with essential oils in your bath water can further enhance the tranquility. My suggestion would be once per week at a minimum. Below, I have included my favorite DIY bath salts recipe for you to enjoy.
Spending Time with Loved Ones
People who spend time with family and friends find healthier ways to cope with stress.
Loneliness is becoming an epidemic in our world today, so it is important to reach out to friends and family if you start to feel isolated. Spending time talking or sharing a fun activity is a healthy way to fill your cup. Having good friends and a strong social support network can relieve stress and enhance your psychological well-being.
In times of stress, it’s easy to find comfort in comfort food. But, unfortunately, the comfort is only temporary. Unhealthy eating habits can create a whole host of physical and emotional problems. Weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure are just a few of the issues that can surface from an unhealthy diet. So, it’s better to work to stay on track and get your full servings of fruits and vegetables each day to stay strong mentally and physically.
The above rituals help to keep me balanced and grounded. I work to incorporate as many as possible into my life, especially when things start to get chaotic. I encourage you to reflect on what types of self-care rituals may be right for you and carve time out to make them happen. You deserve it and you are worth it! When we take the time to care for ourselves, we are better able to take care of those around us.
Sleepy Time Bath Salts Recipe:
- ¼ Cup Himalayan Pink Salt
- ¼ Cup Epsom Salts
- 2 Tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil
- 4 Drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
- 3 Drops Orange Essential Oil
By Amber Sherman