We work, we take care of our families (or help other important people in our lives), we take care of our pets, we cook, we clean, we run errands, we sleep, and then usually we get up and do it all over again.
This is the type of schedule many of us have, on a day-to-day basis. We are working hard and getting a lot done, but there is a very important peices missing. The missing piece usually gets unnoticed for a long time before it screams for attention. That part is, taking care of ourself! Mind. Body & Soul. We cannot give full love or devotion to others without first having it within.
Sometimes, taking care of ourself is close to the bottom of the priority list. Why is that? You must ask yourself that question. It could be that what we really want is too expensive, and we are waiting for the right time and for some extra money in hand. It can also be somewhat fulfilling to get a majority of to-do list completed, giving us a sense of achievement and daily accomplishment. Or simply, it could be that we are too busy taking care of other people.
In our own defense, it's very easy to forget about giving ourself some TLC. Often times, we ignore for so long that it takes a break-down to force us into self-care and self-nurturing. Personally, there are days when I get a kind of strange sense of fulfillment knowing all the things I've managed successfully in a 24-hour period. But in truth, it always catches up to me, and it will for you too. There will be a point where you are so drained of working outside of the body, that your inner-self will crave some attention. Unfortunately, this drainage and severe depletion of soulful inner-fulfillment can show through anger, bitterness, stress in relationships, depression or even illness.
So let's put aside the excuses and look at some inexpensive and realistic ways to keep up with your inner-self-care.
1. Give Something Up (Just Once, Just Today)
This tip is number one because of how essential it is to recognize a potential overload in your life. And first and fore-most, sometimes this is a crucial step in order to make time for yourself. Sacrifice something that you normal would do on a day you are devoting to self-care. Perhaps it's deciding to postpose that phone-call you promised your friend (they will understand). Maybe it's not taking your dog to the park that day (he/she will be okay without it). Whatever it is, try to find something to eliminate so there is just enough extra time to do something special and different for yourself.
2. Your Favorite Movie with a Treat
This is one of my favorite things to do when I need a few moments of "recovery". It doesn't matter what time of day it may be, I throw on my pajama's, comfy socks, make sweet salty popcorn and pop in my favorite movie. Sometimes it's Twister (I'm a weather geek at heart) and sometimes it's Moulin Rouge (ah, musicals). I'm really not sure exactly what makes this experience so amazing, but I know it works. It's feel-good, low-key and relaxing. Oh, and only use my popcorn suggestion as a stepping stone. If I'm going to be honest, I'd be accompanying the popcorn with some good ol'fashion chocolate and candy.
3. Take a Nap
This is a good one, although it may not work for everyone. There are some people that can really feel rejuvinated after a nap, and there's some that just can't nap. Either way, the point of this tip is to find a place to sit (or lay down) and do nothing. Meditation would be another good option. Quieting the mind, and calming the body will help balance out your feelings and emotions. It will also help you feel refreshed and renewed, able to take on the world again!
4. Soak It
If you have a tub, take a bath. If you have a stand-up shower, take a shower! The best part about this is what you use to relax. Find yourself some epsom salts, essential oils or bath/shower bombs and enjoy the steam and warm water. The epsom salts especially will help heal the body and provide a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy it. Use a little extra hot water this time. This is most effective if you stay in the water until your fingertips start to look like raisins.
5. Don't Hang Out with Friends
Sorry folks, but I think some of the best self-care treats happen when you are alone. Spending time with family or friends will likely present an opportunity for you to be selfless or giving. Don't get me wrong, those are great things to do in life, but when we are trying to take care of ourselves, we need to be a little more selfish than normal. Find the courage to spend time alone, doing something that is only for you. If this is a bit uncomfortable or difficult for you, play some music or put a movie on in the background. Try it at the very least, you may surprise yourself.
6. Practice a Hobby
This is my favorite one, because it can be so different for each person. Our hobbies and our interested are rooted deep within us. They are things that make us happy and tap into our soul. Whether your hobbies are writing, drawing, crafts, bike riding, yoga, cooking, singing...etc, do it! This type of activity can be very theraputic, and often times we do not engage in our personal hobbies enough.
The most important thing to remember is that you deserve to be treated this way by yourself. Whatever it was that was sacrificed in place of you treating yourself, it will be okay!
Find a way to keep your soul and inner-self alive, happy and fulfilled!
Hello, I'm Julie.
Discover the wisdom of yoga and how it can bring nourishment, well-being and a deeper connection to all aspects of your life.