I'm not proud to admit that once in a while — when everything is ultra-busy — my own form of self-care is something as small as remembering to apply body oil or brush my hair. But however brief and mundane, these self-care timeouts can be calming and rejuvenating. What’s important is that you understand what it takes to soothe your anxiety and put your mind and body at ease. And then practice that routine, regularly.
What does self-care mean to you? Perhaps it’s just a moment to breathe. A chance to physically recharge. An opportunity to reset a tired mind. A shelter from the storm of chores, commitments and expectations.
The act of protecting your mental and physical well-being, especially during times of stress, is too important to ignore.
Make it a daily consideration. See what you need or crave. You need to check in with yourself and take your internal-mood temperature. If you feel off, or you feel anxious, it’s probably time for some self-care. If your body feels jangled with tension, it's time. Meditation, exercise, and laughter are some of the easiest yet most effective self-care exercises you can undertake to reduce tension. Put your to-do list down for a day — if that gives you the breathing space you need. If masking and skin care are your jam, have at it. Glowing skin is always mood enhancing, and so is taking time to spend on yourself.
It’s also a good idea to make sure those around you are taking a few moments for this essential practice. You can share the concept of self-care with children, friends and family as an act of kindness and teaching. Take some time to discuss the act of self-care with others and how it can help them improve mental and physical health.
Children and a few reluctant adults might need extra coaxing (or coaching). Ask them to engage in a quiet activity such as yoga or deep breathing, or bring them along on a calming walk in the woods.
Remember to check to ensure they are doing things to make themselves feel healthy and happy. They’ll appreciate your care and will begin to see how vital these activities can be to their own sense of calm and well-being.