Sadly, most of us fall into the category of neglecting ourselves at one point or the other and as a result we end up battling health issues, gaining weight, struggling with stress and generally unhappy.
I discuss self care with most of my clients during our first session and I encourage my college students to begin a self care practice before they begin their careers. Ideally, you should be practicing self care on a daily basis with many activities becoming routine. On those extremely difficult days, I encourage you to have a tool box to go to with a list or reminders of what has helped you in the past.
Does your daily routine include self care rituals?
Daily rituals could include:
- Stretching before you even get out of bed (the first thing any animal does before getting up from a nap is to stretch – you should too)
- Waking up a few minutes before the rest of your family – use this time to mediate or journal
- Check your breathing – when we are stressed/anxious we often hold our breath. If you catch yourself sighing, slow down and practice deep breathing.
- Using a shower gel and lotion that you enjoy (think about the aromas that make you happy)
- Drinking plenty of water
- Make sure you have clothes/jewelry that make you feel good (they don’t have to be expensive)
- Listen to music that you enjoy on your commute to work
- Eat food that nourishes your body and doesn’t drag you down
- Exercise and move your body (our body keeps in stress and needs to be released)
- Make time for sleep (our body needs time to heal from the day and most of us do not receive enough sleep
On a daily basis you should be doing something that evokes all of the senses of sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch. By doing this you are establishing routines that will help to keep you centered and able to support others in your life.
Regularly you should also make time to
- Schedule time for regular hair appointments,massages and/or manicures/pedicures
- Reach out and maintain friendships which nourish you (schedule girls night in advance)
- Allow time for creativity in whatever form that may be (cooking, crafting, gardening)
- Take time to enjoy what is going on around you – listen to the birds, feel the sun
- Maintain regular health check ups and listen to your body (we often ignore signs that something is wrong)
- Journal/meditate or spend quiet time with yourself
- Use your vacation time (many people don’t use all of their time off)
There will be time n your life when you feel overwhelmed and may forget what is helpful for you. It is for those days that I encourage people to create a specific self care tool box which includes a list of activities. I discuss creating a specific tool box in this post.