Self-Care Practices That Benefit Your Mind, Body & Soul
No one will ever take care of you as well as you can take care of yourself!
On our way to becoming wise crones, we spent most of our lives looking after families & friends and building careers. Now we need to learn to take care of ourselves and become more self-focused.
That doesn't mean you stop doing all the things that are important to you or caring for others, it means that if you don't look after your own needs you won't have the strength and energy to live your best life!
Life has been very stressful the last few years. (Understatement?) In addition to the normal ups and downs in life, we've had the added pressures of the worldwide pandemic, financial issues, and, if you are a news junkie like me, a lot of distressing news.
I know I have been feeling challenged and I imagine many in the crone community are feeling the same way so I've put together a list of ideas to help you create a self-care plan.
My body gives me unmistakable signals when my stress levels are getting out of control. I feel exhausted all the time even when I haven't really done anything except sleep. My leg muscles tighten up causing pain in my lower back. My neck gets tight causing headaches. I crave sugar and junk food.
Do any of these things happen to you? Does your body give you different signals? Have you been feeling bad without knowing why? Maybe it's stress.
Many times when we are feeling stressed it's hard to find the energy to do the things that will help us most, only exacerbating our problems! So I have put together a list of easy things you can try. Start with one and add more if needed.
1. Unplug for at least an hour each day.
Give your mind a break from the digital world each day. Turn off your phone. Close your laptop. Turn off the TV. Go for a walk, read a book, meditate, or talk to a real, live person.
2. Do a Puzzle. Work your brain a little bit.
It could be a jigsaw puzzle, crossword, Sudoku, or whatever mental challenge appeals to you. Put your brain to work and test its problem-solving abilities.
3. Eat mindfully.
Pay attention while you're eating. Put your phone away and avoid reading or watching TV. Pay attention to the taste, smell, and textures of the food you are eating. You'll eat less and eat better food. It's easy to eat a lot of junk while you are distracted by something else.
The older you get, the less flexible you become. Stretching feels good physically, and can also improve your mood. It's also important for your strength and balance. A win-win.
5. Compliment yourself.
Imagine you were your best friend, what compliments would you give yourself? Stand in front of a mirror and let the compliments fly. It feels a little awkward at first but you'll enjoy the results!
6. Go to bed early.
Sleep is important for every part of your being. Most of us fail to get enough sleep. So, how early is early? Early enough that you're not tired when it's time to get up.
7. Take a hot bath.
Showers save time and water, but there's something relaxing about a hot bath. Add a few drops of relaxing essential oil, light a candle, close your eyes and relax. If you don't have a bathtub, light some candles, turn out the lights, and put on some soothing music for a similar relaxing experience. I know it's cliche, but it works!
8. Move daily.
Humans are meant to move! Many of us live sedentary lifestyles which can exacerbate our stress levels. Use your body each day, even if it's as simple as taking a walk in the fresh air.
Sometimes setting time aside for self-care feels like just one more thing added to your already too-busy schedule, but it is so important! Good self-care practices can reduce burnout and stress levels.
Keep your energy levels high and rejuvenate yourself each day by looking after you. If you don't do it, who will?
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