The last year has been a whirlwind for all of us. Personally, I feel like I live in a giant plastic bubble. Anyone with me? Currently, to date, WorldoMeter reports 110,425,754 Coronaviruses cases globally. Unfortunately, 2,441,044 have died as a result (My condolences to anyone who has lost a family member or friend to this virus). Understandably, this ongoing global pandemic has us feeling down. Therefore, we must take at least 60 minutes every day to practice self-care.
What is self-care?
According to the Oxford dictionary, self-care is the practice of preserving or improving one’s own health. When we don’t make time for ourselves, we internalize everything around us. This can and will, over time, lead to disruptions in our mental health. Sadly in any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental illness or addiction problems (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). To help you develop a GOOD self-care routine, I will share a few things that I love to do! Please add yours in the comments below.
This is something many of us haven’t done since we left our local high school doors, am I right?
If you’re saying yes, I want to challenge you to pick up a book. It can be a self-motivational book, a murder mystery, a romantic love story, or….. Buy Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson, for a massive laugh. Did you know you can get some Amazon Kindle books for $0.00? Search free on Amazon.
Why do I recommend reading? Because reading has scientifically been found to put our brains into a meditation-type state. This deep relaxation (inner calm) can reduce stress levels, increase self-esteem and lower your chances of having depression. Take a moment to check out the 5 benefits of reading as little as 20 pages per day from the South African College of Applied Psychology.
Mediation is a hard one to explain. There are many different meditation, mindfulness, spiritual, movement, mantra, transcendental, and even focused on naming a few. The benefits include increased emotional well-being, a sense of calm, peace and balance in your life.
I like to listen to audio clips; I often use ones in my FitBit app or the Calm app. More often than not, I do this while I am getting ready for bed. Because I struggle with turning my brain off, I can not just close my eyes and sleep….. Unlike my husband…… I think
about the kid’s projects. If there are bills, I’m missing. If there is anything, I need to study up on for work, and so on, so forth. So if you’re an individual struggling to turn off at night. I suggest popping in some headphones and a nice soothing audio clip. YouTube also has many free ones! If you can’t do that, just practice deep breathing. Breath in for 10 seconds deeply, and hold for 5, breath out slowly for 10 seconds through your mouth.
Lastly, if you’re like me, you love bubble baths (or even a good shower). Both can be equally relaxing. Grab a nice soft bath towel (or sheet, let’s be real). Add a few drops of your favourite essential oils to the bath towel. Get your favourite bubble bath/bombs. Don’t forget to light the candles, something that smells relaxing. My go-to is lavender! Turn down the lights and enjoy. Lock the door if you can, so the kids and spouses don’t bother you. Alternatively, you could even play some light music, have a glass of wine (or OJ, in a fancy glass).
But the one thing I really recommend you do is NOT to bring your mobile device into the tub with you. I know how easy this can be; I am horrible for it too. Instead, grab a book (and a book light), or maybe an audiobook. Take this as a moment to distress and even meditate while you’re in the tub. The best thing about this; is you can do all three things I mentioned, all in this one place.
Clean your bathroom, make it your getaway from “reality.” Hang some beautiful pictures of places you love. Paint if you can. Bring “sand/shells” in. Whatever makes you happy. But try to create this positive atmosphere that you can love and relax in.
Needless to say, I could go on with this topic forever. I could include skincare, haircare, fitness, and more. But I want to interact with you! So in the comments, let me know some of your favourite things to do when you need a bit of self-care? Do you get self-care every day? If not, the time to start is now!