The term self-care is getting thrown around a lot these days. Some of us understand what it means. Others may get the concept but think, no way do I have time for thatT! Self-care may recall images of lounging in a bath or expensive spa treatments. For most of us this type of self-care is an occasional and special indulgence. But self-care which basically just means taking time to take care of yourself doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. In fact, self-care is not a luxury, it’s an essential practice to protect your mental health. People who practice self-care report less anxiety, depression & are more productive in their work lives. So, if you’d like to practice self-care but are thinking I don’t have time for that! Here are some easy (quick) and inexpensive self-care ideas.
1. Deep Breathing. Sure, you’ve heard it before and it sounds simple. But did you know that breathing or how you breathe can impact your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety? Try this simple tip when you’re feeling anxious; practice taking a deep breath in all the way down to your stomach (you can place your hand on your stomach) breathe in to a count of 4, hold your breath for 4, breathe out for a count of 4 and repeat until you’re feeling calm.
2. Mini-Meditation I am a big fan of meditation, I try to practice it daily and I often recommend it to my clients. But sometimes you don’t have 15 or 20 minutes to meditate. When that’s the case try a mini-mediation. There are lots of 5-7-minute meditations on YouTube you can try. One of my favorites is The Honest Guys, here’s a link to get you started; https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+honest+guys+5+minutes+meditation
3. Five Mindful Minutes This concept can be applied to anything; eating, cleaning, driving, whatever. Whatever it is that you are doing allow yourself to completely and totally focus on the task at hand. If you’re cleaning notice the sound of your sponge scrubbing the counter and the feel of soap on your skin. You’ll be surprised to notice how relaxed you feel when you allow yourself to completely focus in on only the task at hand.
4. Conscious Day-Dreaming When was the last time you let yourself day dream? Or think about your goals? Do you let yourself imagine your ideal life? Taking a few minutes to envision your goals or dreams or notice steps you’ve taken toward your goals. Would you love to take a tropical vacation? How about redecorate your home? What are your long-term career goals? It’s o.k. to not know how you’re going to achieve these goals just allow your mind to wander and imagine all of the great things you’d like to create for yourself!
5. Pamper Yourself Many women enjoy the simple joy of using a face or hair mask or painting their nails and you don’t have to go to an expensive spa to feel pampered. You probably already have products in your bathroom and if not, they needn’t be expensive. Try taking a few minutes today to paint your nails or put on a face mask.