Self-care doesn’t have to be a lengthy or expensive endeavor to be beneficial. Just like a 20 minute power nap can be refreshing and beneficial, so can 5-10 minutes of intentional self-care.
Self-care typically falls under seven types: Sensory, Pleasure, Mental/Mastery, Spiritual, Emotional, Physical and Social (www.psychologytoday.com). It is also not a one size fits all. My cousin runs every day, participates in marathons(Physical) and blogs about her experience as someone who turned their health around through running. I prefer yoga (Physical/Spiritual), reading (Mental/Mastery), and spa services (Pleasure/Sensory). Whatever works best for you, that speaks to YOU, is what is best for you. Whatever you choose, allow your chosen self-care to nourish your mind, body, and soul.
When I work directly with busy women, I hear the same things repeated about not having enough time for self-care. As a mother of five children who has maintained her first career (Speech-language Pathologist) for 21 years and counting now, I get that. I understand the difficulty of carving out time for yourself, when it seems everyone else needs a piece of you first. But consider this quote from Jennifer Louden,
“Self-Care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, then we can give from our surplus, our abundance”.
I learned this first hand when my early thirties found me at one point with four children under the age of six. There was no way I was going to be able to give my family what they needed, if I didn’t give me what I needed. I have carried this lesson with me into my forties: I am worthy of my needs being met. I am worthy of self-care. I am worth it.
** indicates this self-care activity is free or has free options
2. Meditation (even 5 minutes of meditation has enormous benefits… if you need a place to start, check out headspace.com )**
3. Guided Imagery (there are several guided imagery meditations available on youtube)**
4. Feed your body healthy things
5. Read positive material**
6. Spiritual life**
7. Reiki/Energy work
8. Date night with spouse/significant other
9. Spend time with friends**
10. Buy yourself flowers
11. Treat yourself to something you want (small or big)
12. Make time for a leisure activity (one you used to enjoy, or one you have always wanted to try). This doesn’t have to be an ongoing commitment like a weekly class (unless you want) but can be a “one and done”, such as a workshop, listening to a guest speaker at a bookstore, etc.)**
13. Get a Haircut
15. Manicure/Pedicure (whether paying someone else for this service or give one to yourself!)**
18. Take a nap**
19. Enjoying a simple daily ritual, i.e. that morning or afternoon cup of tea, or opting for an unhurried warm bath instead of a quick shower**
20. Journaling (Diary, dream journal, nature journal, writer’s notebook)**
21. Arts/Crafts (sketching, painting, knitting)**
22. Take a hot shower or warm relaxing bath**
23. Participate in a Gratitude Practice**
24. Compliment yourself**
25. Create a vision board**