The topic of self-care is a favorite among therapists. We often preach how important it is to slow down and really take care of our bodies, minds, and spirits. After all, we can better serve and give to others when we’re feeling whole ourselves. But honestly, who has the time or money to really pamper themselves? Thankfully, self-care doesn’t have to be some elaborate, expensive practice. Here are 4 tips for daily self-care:
Stop & Smell The Roses …Literally!
We hear this cliché a lot, but there’s actually something to it: really getting in touch with our senses (such as smell) can decrease our stress cortisol levels and increase our endorphins. As the winter months kick in, try buying a fresh wreath for your door or simmer cinnamon sticks in the home. A bite into a fresh orange can be reinvigorating when you are feeling the blues. It’s also important to push pause and then take the time to experience and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
When we’re just running, running, running on the hamster wheel of life, it’s easy to forget to slow down and focus on something as simple and necessary as our breathing. Going too fast can lead to quick, shallow breaths, but stopping to take slow and deep breaths (inhaling through your nose for 5 seconds, then exhaling through your moth for 5 seconds) can help you relax, bring your heart rate down, and make you feel more calm.
Get Up and MOVE
We all know that breaking a sweat can make us feel good, but if you don’t have the time to hit the gym, even just getting up from your desk and walking outside to feel the sunshine can help. Overall, we are far too sedentary as a culture, so at least get up out of your chair, stretch, and move!
Say “I Love You”
This may seem like less of a self-care strategy and more a way to improve your relationships and communication skills, but the truth is that by getting in the habit of regularly expressing these words to others, you can better accept and internalize these same words in return. Once you can truly love yourself, you’re free to love others.