Self-Care: Taking Time for Yourself

Photo: Simon Rae

Self-care is anything you do to take care of yourself so you can stay physically, mentally, and emotionally well. Of course, eating healthy and exercising is part of this, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. My interpretation of self-care is doing things that you find enjoyable, all of which can help you decompress from the stresses surrounding you.

In a world that has us going in a million directions constantly, there never seems to be time to slow down and take a breath. Stress, we now understand, can be a silent killer and cause many health issues. Controlling our stress is very important and can sometimes feel like an impossible feat. There are many ways to promote self-care and below are just some of things that have helped me relax and manage my stress.

Take a bath

I love taking a soothing, hot, bubble bath, especially after a long day of work. I light candles and make sure I have a great smelling bubble bath like Honest Bubble Bath. It is the perfect ending to the day, especially when it is cold outside.

Get some sleep

You have heard it time and time again that sleep is so very important to staying healthy. But getting enough of it can be the hard part! Tips on how to do that can be found in the article “Sleep tips: 6 steps to better sleep”. A good sleep schedule will not only put you in a better mood throughout the day, but will also help you from getting sick often and help you think more clearly. I also believe in the occasional nap, especially on the weekends!

Read a book

Curling up and reading a good book not only helps me de-stress, but also lets me focus on what I am reading and helps turn my mind off from the everyday trials and tribulations. It’s also a refreshing sense of accomplishment after finishing a new book.

Aromatherapy

There has been many articles about if aromatherapy really works. In my experience, I think it does. The moment I light a lavender candle or use my diffuser with eucalyptus and mint oils, I start feeling relaxed. Maybe it is because those smells remind me of when I go to the spa, or maybe there is a real science to it.

Get outside

Fresh air, nature or some beautiful scenery all are helpful in promoting a good self-care routine. For me, a good walk, even if it is to take my dog out, always puts me in a better mood and helps clear my head. It also breaks up the day and gives me a moment away from work. Being mindful to get up out of my chair and go for walk helps me get through the workday.

Listen to Music

If you are a music lover like I am, listening to music can be very soothing and calming. I personally like to listen to music from Sigur Ros, Nick Drake or Nina Simone. I also will put on some jazz music time to time and grab a glass of wine or tea and take a moment to enjoy some amazing artists.

Breathe!

Last but not least…just breathe! Life in general can get stressful and demanding. When I feel overwhelmed, I sit back and take a few deep breaths. As funny as that may seem, it really works. I haven’t tried meditation and would love to do so at some point. However, a great article in the New York Times called “How to Meditate” can help you get started.

What are some ways that you show yourself a little TLC? Let us know in the comments below!

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