Self-care sounds like it may be a hard concept to get involved with. That is because, as a society, we have not taken the time to truly explore how we treat ourselves on a daily basis.
1. You may have heard the term "getting back to nature." It has several meanings, one of which is immersing yourself in the natural surroundings and absorbing energy. You get energy from the sun and from standing with your bare feet in soil or grass. This is connecting you to the earth and the universe, which has been shown to help with physical and mental healing. Studies have shown that pine trees emit a scent that, when inhaled, opens up the various parts of the lungs to help you breathe better—as such, walking in the woods and putting your bare feet in the moss or soil is a magnificent way to do self-care.
2. Practice the art of self-love or self-compassion. Many people give of themselves to others in need but ignore themselves, leading to negative mental thoughts. When you make mistakes, learn to not to beat yourself up and ask yourself what you can learn and how you can grow.
3. Proper sleep means different things to different people. For the vast majority of society, the optimum sleep time is between 7 to 8 hours per night. You need to drift off quickly and get into a deep sleep, so if this is difficult, research the different ways you can sleep quicker. During the day, consider a 20-minute power nap to let your brain reset. Self-care means you do not allow yourself to get overtired, make constant mistakes or get into moods that negatively affect you and those around you. Sleep has been something that I have been working on but I have found that I am falling asleep quicker and sleeping soundly each night for a solid 6 hours before I wake up. So I’m headed in the right direction. What has helped me has been Lavender essential oil and Breathe essential oil. I’ve been using these oils in my diffuser every night for the last two years straight.
4. Eat to fuel your body, not to comfort it. Far too many look for foods that make them feel good for a few minutes, and then they return to the negative mood they were in. In many cases, this is due to sugar content, which wreaks havoc on the body's system. Work towards stopping sugar a minimum of 2 hours before going to be bed and eating fruit, vegetables, and lean meat or fish. Hydrate frequently during the day, staying away from soda or the ever-popular energy drinks. You will notice an improved mood, digestive system, and even healthier skin in a short time. What you put into your body is part of your daily self-care habit.
5. Take a few minutes each day to meditate and get centered. This habit will help you to pause and reset your body and mind. We need to step away from the electronics and hustle of everyday life at least several times a day. You can meditate in the morning and then take a 10-minute pause in the afternoon. Try closing your eyes, and then visualize a sunset on the beach – I always remember the view from our room at Divi Bay Resort in Phillipsburg, St. Maarten. I feel settled when I can put my mind’s eye there. This was the view from our balcony - so beautiful!
6. Get into the habit of journaling and have more than one journal. You should use at least a regular journal and a gratitude journal. The regular journal is for your daily thoughts and asking yourself healing questions about how you are feeling in the moment and what you need to do to change a negative thought pattern. Your gratitude journal helps you see how wonderful your life is and that it is far more abundant than you currently believe. Check out my empowering notebooks that work well as journals.
7. Your final habit for today is learning the art of not being a “Yes” person. Far too many times, you will find yourself agreeing to do things that are not part of your belief system or that you find stressful. Learn to say no when it is most appropriate and create a boundary that works well for you. Saying no can be done very politely because no is an answer just like yes is. For example, when asked to do something that will bother you, simply reply, "I would be happy to do that, but unfortunately, I already made plans for that day." This type of self-care habit is excellent for your mental wellbeing and should not be ignored or avoided.
Now, what about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this blog post. Which of these seven practices are you ready to try this week? Drop your comments below. I will be sure to reply!
Next Steps: If you are ready to get crystal clear on designing your personal self-care plan, take my mini course, Self-care is not Selfish, so that you can make yourself a priority with action steps that will help you feel happy, joyful, full of hope and ready to reach your goals daily.
Disclosure: I hope you like the referrals I've provided! If you purchase something after clicking on the links in this blog post I’ll probably earn a few bucks from it.