Self Care For The Hectic LifePublished January 29, 2020 by Sheila Anne Murray
Stress has always been a part of the human experience. Newer innovations, such as modern technology and the disconnectedness it creates, has only increased our exposure to stress-inducing triggers. What’s more, many people face lofty expectations of what being a successful human looks like (ie. having it all / doing it all / earning money while making it look easy and fun!) which negatively impacts the ability to properly name and deal with stress in the way the body/brain might need. It becomes very easy to get wrapped up in the routine, the to-do list, and in the fulfilling the needs / expectations of others… but what are you doing for yourself?
As you read this, are you thinking to yourself, “Oh I definitely prioritize my me time!” Most likely you are reviewing your attempts to prioritize self care and the consistent roadblocks to make it happen. Today I’m reminding you just how important stress management is, by sharing ideas so that you can easily incorporate it into your life!
“Self-care for me is always being there for myself and treating myself like I would someone I love” — Amy Kurtz. Here are a few ways to be your own BFF:
- Take a new route to work or to another place you frequent. This keeps you healthy by developing new neural pathways and stimulating your brain.
- Spend an hour reading fiction. I’m guilty of filling my reading list with non-fiction books and tend to forget how good fiction reads can send you into another world.
- Lounge in a robe or plush towel. If you have the fortune of owning either, put it to use and spend a little extra time enjoying. It’s amazing what a gift it can be to simply spend a little extra time lounging!
- Watch clouds move and change. If you get a cloudy, or even stormy day, take some time to quietly observe the clouds and see what happens in your body as you watch the changes in the sky transpire.
- Make an oatmeal mask for your face or body. Travelling or being on-the-go often dehydrates your skin as well as your body. Since I prefer to save money and also to experiment in the kitchen, homemade masks are an easy answer. Last time I did this, I didn’t have many ingredients, so I kept it simple with a bit of rolled oats, water, and honey. There are also a slew of masks online if you need some inspiration.
- Take advantage of seasonal produce! It’s so healthy and lovely to consume fruits and veggies of the season; even a simple strawberry juice in the summer can do wonders for the body and soul. Give yourself a little love and pick a fruit/veggie to enjoy or use as inspiration for a meal.
- Try some gentle neck stretching. You can use this guide, or just do what feels natural and helpful to you! Our necks do a lot of work for us, and it’s only when they get those cricks that we typically appreciate just how much they do..
- Don’t wait for someone else to tell you how good you look — give yourself the compliment! ❤
- Write down 5 nourishing things you can refer back to and do anywhere, any time. Use this list as inspiration or create your own.
- Write a thank you note … to yourself. We write notes of gratitude to others but have you ever written one to yourself? Have fun with it and think of specific examples from the week or what you’d like to thank yourself for by the end of the week. If you don’t know what else to say, thank yourself for showing self compassion, for believing in yourself, for being kind to others, and then make sure you continue to do those things.
- Take a “designated down day.” A friend taught me this term and I love it! When you need a little me time, think about turning down a social invitation and gifting yourself with a designated down day. Make sure you stick to it (or find someone to hold you accountable)! Even better if you pick the day out a week in advance, so it’s officially on the calendar.
- Sneak veggies into breakfast. I like to get crafty in the kitchen, and one of my favorite things to make for breakfast is overnight oats. A few years back I created an adventurous version — overnight zotes. The oats become “zotes” when you toss in a zucchini! If you’ve never tried it, it may sound crazy … but get ready to fall in love. Look up a recipe or craft your own! It can be simple — 1/2 cup old fashioned oats/muesli, 1 small shaved zucchini, cinnamon & salt to taste, then fill jar/ bowl with milk of choice until it’s just above the oat mix. Option to add nuts, protein powder, flax/chia seeds!
- Self massage. Using just your hands a tennis/massage ball, you can work certain trigger points and break up myofascial tissue for a nice release this week! Get your guide here!
- Power Pose Like a Bada$$: Have you tried power posing? Evidence suggests that standing in a position of power, even in moments of perceived weakness, can impact your feelings of confidence and power.Amy Cuddy gave a TED Talk on this and, though findings are mixed, I’ll leave it to you to test if it works on you as an individual. That’s all that matters!
- Mantra-it-out: Do you know that mantras can actually be a very powerful tool in calming anxiety and offering powerful energy? Choose a mantra and repeat it to yourself for a day, or for a week and see how you feel! Examples: Everything is unfolding exactly how it should; I am powerful and bold; I am my own inspiration; I am appreciating the little joys today; I bring light wherever I go.
- Look at / surround yourself with colors that make you feel relaxed. Science shows that colors can have a powerful impact on us, psychologically, emotionally, and even physically. While colors like red can trigger a stress response, light blues and yellows can make you calmer and inspire joy.
- Get into nature! If you live in the city, head to a park or see if there is a local community garden you can visit. If you have easier access to a natural space, take a run outside (without headphones) or take a quiet walk and bring your attention to the growth in the landscape around you. Being in nature can inspire feelings of creativity and of one-ness with the greater universe.
- Next time you are commuting, reduce the amount of input you are receiving by staying off the phone and turning off the music / radio. This will allow your brain to some time and space to naturally process.
- While in conversation — Flip your phone over or (better yet) put it in a place you can’t see. This will shut down the temptation to reach for your device and lose your connection with the present moment. Bonus: This will do wonders for your relationships!
- Turn on your favorite song and sing loudly! Did you know that singing increases endorphin release and reduces cortisol levels? Why not try this next time you’re in the shower, cooking dinner, commuting in the car, or (why not!?) walking down the street.
Does this get you excited? Are you ready to take the next step and invest in yourself and in your future, more balanced life? While working with me 1:1, we’ll be able to do a full assessment and evaluate all aspects of your life. We’ll identify what areas you are absolutely killing, and what you might want to tackle next.