Self-care is important to the overall health of all people. Self-care is self -explanatory. It is taking care of oneself. We often get so busy and put others’ needs before our own, which can be detrimental to our health. Making time for oneself and taking care of one’s own needs must happen in order to be ready to care for others. As they say at the beginning of every airplane flight, put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping others with their masks.
SELF-CARE ROUTINE 1: MEDITATION
Any time spent meditating, even if it’s only for several minutes, will benefit you in so many ways. It slows your heart rate, keeps you focused on positive thoughts, relieves stress and makes you feel calm. Many people may think that you have to sit for long periods of time and keep your thoughts totally clear. This is not the case. You can take 5 deep breaths when you are sitting in your car and that is meditation. However you do it, whenever you do it, for however long you do it, is fine. It is a personal practice and whatever works for you is the best way to do it.
SELF-CARE ROUTINE 2: YOGA
Yoga is not just about stretching and posing. The focus on breath and connection to the practice can be more important than getting into specific positions. As you move through your yoga practice, you will find yourself focused on the process and a pose that you couldn’t do one week, you can do the next week. It is not about getting to the finish line first. It’s about enjoying the journey. It helps with stress and negative thoughts because when you do it, your brain is thinking of the process, not those stressful, negative thoughts.
SELF-CARE ROUTINE 3: MASSAGE
Massage seems like a luxury to some people, but it should be part of everyone’s self-care routine. It helps with relieving stress, sore muscles, specific pains and overall tension. Many people sit at desks all day, which puts pressure on different bones and muscles. Cell phones, tablets, and computers have our necks in unnatural positions, as well as our wrists, fingers, and arms. Getting the knots out of our necks and other muscles in our bodies is crucial for our good health.
SELF-CARE ROUTINE 4: JOURNALING
Journaling is a cathartic, freeing routine that anyone can do. There are so many resources, many free of charge, that assist with organizing thoughts while journaling. You can just write your thoughts every day. You can write about 3-5 things you’re grateful for each day. You can follow journal prompts if you need a little more direction. The possibilities are endless. Writing about things that are bothering you can release them to the Universe so that you don’t have to carry them around with you. This releases stress. Writing about things you are grateful for rewires your brain into a positive thought pattern. Writing or drawing about feelings get them out so that you can work through them, which may make it easier to discuss them with others.
As you may have noticed, these self-care routines have several things in common. They are all routines that you do for yourself, not others. They are all routines that can relieve stress and create calm. They are all routines that will bring your body, mind, and soul to a happy place. This list is by no means the end- all and be-all of self-care routines. Add any routine that is something that you do for yourself and that brings you to your happy place.