Instead of merely surviving these last few weeks of December, finish out 2018 by taking a moment for yourself each day. A little self-care goes a long way.
This is a very important reminder: the time you spend on yourself isn’t selfish, but rather allows you to function at a higher level and give of yourself fully.
Soon enough, this time will become part of your daily routine and you’ll be able to be the best version of yourself. So set aside a few minutes each day to fill yourself back up. If you need a little help getting started, consider these 10 self-care practices. Sometimes the best things in life are really free.
Go for a walk.
Getting some fresh air and going for a short walk is a great daily ritual that allows you to reconnect with nature and clear your head. Moving your beautiful body, even if just for 10 minutes, can boost your mood and increase your energy.
Take a bath.
Taking the time to submerge yourself in hot water forces you to take a meaningful break. While you can jazz up your bath with magnesium or Epsom salts; or even go one step further and make your bath ultra luxe with bath bombs, flower petals, or detoxifying soaks; all you really need is some hot water and a half-hour to experience some blissful calm.
Make a cozy drink.
A warm beverage like tea or lemon water in the afternoon is an easy way to hit the daily reset button. It’s a little reminder to slow down and refill your cup, both literally and metaphorically. Just don’t go crazy with the caffeine.
Legs on the wall.
This yoga pose helps to gently direct blood circulation toward your upper body and head, which helps you rebalance after standing or sitting for a long time. This pose elicits a relaxation response in your body that helps reduce stress, anxiety and insomnia. Start by sitting with one hip close to the wall. Carefully walk your feet up the wall until your body is in somewhat of an L-shaped position. With your back on the floor, let your arms rest on your belly or out to the sides. Stay here for at least 5 minutes and focus on your breath by taking a deep, slow inhale through your nose and a deep, slow exhale through your nose.
Call a friend.
When was the last time you called a friend or family member just to chat? Taking the time to dial up a loved one and actually hear his/her voice can be extremely therapeutic. This form of communication is much more meaningful than a text or connecting over social media. A quick phone conversation not only fills you up but does the same for the person on the other end. It’s a self-care win-win.
Writing down your thoughts, concerns and daily experiences is a wonderfully therapeutic way to clear your mind. It’s the perfect time to let your mind run free and express your feelings, whether they be fear, joy, annoyance, grievance, etc. Journaling can bring insight and clarity to complicated situations and helps you sit with your feelings and problems so that you can let them go.
Put your phone on “do not disturb.”
Allow yourself to be fully present and enjoy the moment. When you allow yourself to be “here,” your stress levels fall which allows you to live a more full life. Your messages, emails and notifications can all wait. There is no time like the present. After all, moments make memories — you don’t want to miss out on creating something special.
Creating calm in the midst of the craziness can help you feel less overwhelmed. The simple act of organizing makes your home a more relaxing environment. Set a timer for 15 minutes and clean up one small space in your home. This can be kitchen counters, your junk drawer, your closet, the living room, or whatever space needs a little extra love.
Listen to music.
Get lost in the beat and become mesmerized by the words. Don’t be afraid to cry, laugh, or merely chill. The act of tuning out can pull your emotions front and center and provide insight into what you need.
Wake up or go to bed 30 minutes earlier.
Don’t underestimate the power of a solid 30 minutes. If you’re feeling a little run down, make it a priority to go to bed a half-hour earlier. That extra sleep can do wonders for your body and mind. On the flip side, if you have a busy day with a long list of to-dos, set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier. Refrain for hitting snooze and use that time to kick-start your day. You’ll be surprised at how much this precious time affects your productivity!
Jessica Bippen, MS, RD, is a HUM Nutrition Beauty Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian. Jessica aids individuals in uncovering beauty from within by prescribing optimal nutrition and supplements. She is the founder of Nourished by Nutrition, and through her wellness website and private practice she works to uncover their forever wellness.