Why does self care matter? Because if you don't take care of yourself, if you aren't well, you aren't going to be as proficient at anything you do. Whether it's work, parenting, exercising, even just sitting around, you're not going to have as much energy or enthusiasm.
If you've ever gotten really sick or injured yourself in any way, you know what an impediment it can be on your day-to-day life just to not feel great. One way to feel better in life is to take time for yourself.
One obstacle for a lot of folks is a lack of time. It obviously goes without saying–folks have kiddos, folks have all sorts of crap that they're doing all the time. So how do you make time for self care?
Well, I've come up with eight things that I love to do. They each take less than 10 minutes to do. Some of them take just a few seconds.
Here are eight ways to inject a little self-care into your life:
Number one: take a bath or a shower.
I know this sounds totally basic, but the shower is one of the few places that we have in our day-to-day life where we kind of let the walls drop. Because we're so used to being protected in these spaces, we're not as vulnerable.
So if you are looking for a way to just give your mind and body a little nourishment, this can be one of the simplest, most accessible ways to get yourself into that drop into that space of vulnerability.
Number two: things that smell good.
I particularly am referencing essential oils. Sit and just put a dab of something that smells good on your wrist. Let it kind of follow you throughout the afternoon. Peppermint is really great. And citrus is really great for just kind of lifting you up a little bit, making you feel just a little bit more energized.
You can do your research into some of the benefits that each of the oils offers, but this is such an easy thing. You can throw it in your pocket purse, whatever, take it with you, give yourself a little plant medicine love while you're going about your day.
Number three: breathe.
The science behind this is so vast and it's actually pretty remarkable.
There's a book called Breath by James Nester that I highly recommend if breath interests you at all. But this is a powerful tool that we all have access to. If you're alive, take three breaths in through your nose, out through your mouth. In through your nose, out through your mouth.
You can do this while you're driving while you're waiting in line, while you're waiting to pick up your kids, while you're waiting at the vet, while you're grocery shopping, it doesn't matter where you are. This is an act of self care that is accessible, easy to do, and super, super, super valuable.
Number four: stretch
I don't care if it's for two seconds, just get up out of your chair. And stretch your arms over your head, stretch your legs. You know how to stretch. If you have more time, great. But even if you set a little alarm on your phone, if you're working at your desk all day to just get up for one minute, do some stretches, it helps to dramatically invigorate your system.
Google it yourself. See what the benefits of a quick stretch can do for you. It doesn't have to be long, just like a minute or two.
Number five: Water.
I shouldn't really have to go on about this, but it's pretty easy to get dehydrated, even if you're a fairly healthy person.
So if you're feeling a little low, drink a glass of water, put some lemon in it, put a drop of essential oil in it. One thing that I've started doing that has made a huge difference in my own energy levels is that I drink a quart- so 32 like a Nalgene size bottle when I wake up in the morning. It seems like a lot.
You can start with 16 ounces, or a pint of water when you wake up before you have your coffee. It gets things moving. It helps cleanse your system, get your digestion moving. It actually sometimes wakes me up more than coffee does. Sometimes I don't even want my coffee since I started drinking a substantial amount of water.
Number six: grounding.
Go outside. Don't have shoes on. Stand with your feet on the earth. Get that energetic transfer. Put your face up to the sun. Just get outside and ground yourself for a few seconds. Take your shoes off, put your feet against the earth, Google grounding, read about it.
This is a simple, powerful way to take care of yourself when you're busy.
Number seven: vegetables.
Just eat one more vegetable today than you normally would have. Grab a carrot out of the fridge or some powdered greens. Whatever it is, add one more vegetable to your day or replace the kind bar or whatever it is you're going to have with something that is a little bit more green and leafy and good for your body.
Number eight: Sit still.
It sound super lame. But this is in lieu of just saying “just meditate”, instead, just sit still. I know that sounds like you don't have the time to do that, but you can do it in traffic.
Turn off your phone, turn off your radio and just sit there. If you're prepping dinner for the family, just literally just stop for a second. Maybe watch the water boil. Why? Because this is just wildly good for your mind, body and soul to just quiet down and calm down for a minute.
It's very akin to meditation. But it's a little bit more accessible if you're out in public. So this is really just like a suggestion to turn off the phone, turn off the stimulation, do something like stare outside the window at like a tree in your yard. If you're in a waiting room, don't look at the magazines or your phone. Just sit there and observe what's going on around you. There's so many ways to stop the input.
These are eight things that I find to be really accessible for anybody that's super busy to boost your self care.