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. We need to learn to care for 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. But, instead, 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 regular 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 feel 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 get out of control.
- I feel exhausted, even when I haven't 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 or anxiety.
When we are 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 friend (live and in person, if possible).
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.
Eating mindfully means paying attention and being present while you're eating.
- Put your phone away
- Don't read or watch TV
Pay attention to the taste, smell, and textures of your food.
When you eat mindfully, you will find yourself making healthier choices, eating less food, and enjoying it more.
The older you get, the less flexible you become.
Stretching feels good physically and can also improve your mood and get your blood moving.
It's also essential for your strength and balance—a win-win.
5. Compliment yourself.
Imagine you were your best friend; what compliments would you give yourself?
Now, stand in front of a mirror and let the compliments fly. It feels a little awkward initially, but you'll enjoy the results!
6. Go to bed early.
Sleep is essential for every part of your being. But, unfortunately, most of us fail to get enough sleep.
Try starting your bedtime routine an hour earlier than normal.
Turn off electronics before climbing into bed. Read a book or journal your thoughts about the day.
Write your to-do list for the next day to get those thoughts out of your head.
It's also a great time to list things you are grateful for.
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 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! Unfortunately, many of us live sedentary lifestyles, exacerbating our stress levels.
Use your body daily, even if it's as simple as taking a walk in the fresh air.
Make your self-care non-negotiable.
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 anxiety and stress levels.
Keep your energy levels high and rejuvenate yourself daily by taking care of yourself.
If you don't do it, who will?
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