Self-care activities begin with the basics of nutrition, exercise, sleep, and relationships, but self-care is so much more than being functionally fit.
Most of us feel overwhelmed and stressed out at least some of each day. We’re juggling more responsibilities than are realistic to achieve in a day, week, or month, and our instant electronic connectivity reinforces reactive behavior.
The question is, how can we get a handle on stress to stay sane and productive as we move through our day-to-day routines and work towards our longterm goals?
Taking a little “me time” out of your busy day is one of the quickest ways to get and stay in that wonderful feeling of being centered. All we’re talking about is a dedicated 20 minutes out of your day. Life’s “to-do’s” roll will be there, either way, and 20 minutes isn’t a lot to ask for.
Self-care is any activity that brings you bliss to make you feel grounded.
You wouldn’t dream of not brushing your teeth every day, would you? Like anything else worth having, self-care takes a little practice in the beginning.
Below are some ideas to get you started. Skim the activities to see if something resonates. Go ahead, give yourself permission and start thinking of self-care as a mandate, 1/3 of the trifecta, the other two being a healthy diet and some form of exercise.
Breath – getting rid of CO2 and bringing in more O2 will help your overall health
1. Meditate: find a practice that works for you. Talk to us if you’re not sure.
2. Try this exercise, available 24/7.
3. Use a neti-pot to clear your sinus cavities.
4. Try lap swimming.
Diet – “You Are What You Eat” so have a think about how you can make it even better
5. Be consistent with eating a healthy diet and don’t over-rely on supplements.
6. Menu plan each week: 10 minutes up-front shaves time and saves money.
7. Balance plant and animal proteins.
8. Read a book on nutrition from a reliable source.
Get creative – when you allow your mind to wander, great ideas emerge. This naturally occurs with regular meditation, another great reason to do it.
9. Read! Reading novels is like inhabiting someone else’s consciousness for awhile and helps you absorb new ideas, experiences, and possibilities.
10. Write: many swear by the value of journalling as a way to express their thoughts and feelings. Writing an outline of goals helps you map out a plan.
11. Listen: music can be both invigorating and soothing, providing a way to clear your mind of excessive thought and allow new ideas, or new ways of looking at problems to arise. Podcasts and audio books are a great way to absorb new information. Listening during exercise improves comprehension for some.
12. Draw, paint, photograph, sculpt – just for yourself. Playing with color is a quick way to clear your mind and improve your mood.
Exercise and Move – as the Greeks said, “Sound Body, Sound Mind”
13. Hike a distance or take a short walk (10 minutes one way, 10 minutes back).
14. Explore your internal world of intuition and physical awareness with yoga, qigong, and taiji.
15. Pick up a sport you’ve let slide, slowly at the beginner.
16. Learn a new physical skill – it keeps your brain young!
This list is by no means exhaustive. It’s really about taking that 20 minutes a day for yourself, and the possibilities are as varied as are human interests.
In summary, give yourself the permission to take a time out and go within. A little goes a long way and you’ll find, over time, but taking care of you, you’ll be happier and that will make the world around you a little sweeter.
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