If you are like me, you have been hearing the phrase "self-care" on repeat for the last few months. Self-care is something that is important when life is moving "normally" - and even more so when you and the stressors of a pandemic on top of the chaos. Some of you have reached out to me and asked for tips on self-care. While there is no one way to make the time and take the time for you, below I share 5 of my personal favorites.
1. Bath Time Ritual
Bath time isn't just for the kids! Treat yourself to a luxurious spa experience at home.
When I dig into bath time, I go all out. I draw the water, put in some lavender essential
oil (you only need a few drops of this), and add my Epsom salt (about 1/2 cup). Now,
depending on my mood, or why I am drawing the bath (stress, meditation, etc) I will add
additional things from here. I sometimes like to add rose petals - one because they are
good for your skin, but two because they are a symbolic representation of self-love. I
often add candles around the tub (with fire safety in mind, of course). Sometimes I play
with the symbolism of colors - but I always light the candle with intention. "I light this
candle for peace of mind," would be an example. "I light this candle so that my own light
may shine brighter," would be another. Usually, I turn the electronic lights off so that I
can enjoy the soft candlelight. I also tend to play a lot of meditation or chill hop music
since it is typically pretty chill and calming. Taking these 30-60 minutes to yourself in a
nice relaxing bath could be just the boost you need to take on the rest of the day or the
next day. It's also a nice time to spend time with your body - rub your feet, tell your body
you love it, and that you are thankful for all of the things it helps you get done in the day.
2. Hike in Nature
"But Suzanne, it's in the middle of summer and so very hot!" Then pack some water!
Getting out in nature has always been important, but if you ask me - it is even more
important now. During this pandemic, the majority of us have been spending
exceptional amounts of time inside our homes. Getting out in nature allows you to be
one with your physical body, increases oxygen intake, and often allows room for
curiosity and exploration. Mind won't slow down? Take it for a walk! This form of self
love is also exercise, which is proven to improve mental health and stress.
Breathe. Breathe in and out and focus on your breath. Meditation is a wonderful
expression of self-care. There are plenty of 10-minute meditations out there too, so this
option is great for those of you who may be having to hide in the bathroom to get
private moments during this time. This can be done really anywhere you can have a
distraction-free space. When you bring your attention inward and focus on your breath,
it has an amazingly calming effect. When you slow your breath down like this, it is telling your nervous system that everything is groovy and there is no reason to stress out or be
in an elevated or triggered state. This allows your system a reset. I love doing this when
I get overly frustrated or start feeling overwhelmed in general. I pause, take a deep
breath, check in, and after a few minutes often see a different perspective, or can
simply approach whatever challenge I am facing with a clearer mindset. Practicing
meditation on a daily basis has been proven to decrease stress and anxiety levels. I am
working on a meditation series now. You can find a beginner's meditation here.
Journaling is a great form of self-care. It allows you to release all of the thoughts that
have been tumbling around in your mind. It is a great tool for self-reflection. Self
reflection gives birth to self-awareness and then growth. If you are having trouble
starting, check out my blog about journaling prompts. Another option is to just put the
pen to the paper with no judgement and see what happens. You may doodle, you may
write the equivalent of a memoir. You won't know until you try, but I'm willing to bet that
if you try, you will enjoy the sense of release as much as the growth benefits involved.
5. Try Something New
Try something new. Get out of your element. When you do this, you are opening the
door to expansion. An expansion of experience, of perspective, of understanding. When
you are outside of your comfort zone, you are the example of living in the moment. You
are adapting, you are meeting and overcoming challenges, you are using your mind,
body, and spirit to experience this new thing. If you think about it, the only risk you are
taking in trying something new is that you won't like it. If you don't like it, then you have
found something that is not for you - and that is a gift also. If you never try anything
new, you get locked into stagnancy and complacency - and what if that thing you never
tried could have been your next favorite self-care activity? If you are looking for something new to try, check out my services!
All of these activities lend themselves to expansion, introspection, and a calmer mind. Taking time to take care of yourself not only helps you but the others you are around. Be the example of what someone can show up like when they make that time for themselves. Self-care unapologetically. You deserve it. Happy self-caring, Soul Siblings!