There is a lot of information available on the importance of self care for the health of your body, mind and spirit. Many recommend having a Spa day, or spending a weekend alone in nature. These are wonderful options, if you are able to schedule them ahead of time. For many, though, life’s responsibilities don’t allow for that. We are just too busy taking care of family, pets, work, and so much more. This has been a personal challenge for me lately, with a new puppy in the house, all while I am renewing my personal and professional Reiki practice.
Carving out self-care requires a little bit more creativity, so I have some suggestions on how to add some mindfulness to your daily routines, without adding to your already tight schedule.
Morning Self Care Tips
Start the day by hydrating first
Have a tall glass of water first thing when you get out of bed. Staying hydrated is essential to good health, and it also helps your metaphysical body as well, because water is a conductor of energy of all kinds, including reiki, prana, or chi. Whether you filter your water or go straight from the tap, it’s up to you. When you hold your glass, close your eyes and set your intention. You can do this as a silent meditation, prayer, or use an affirmation like this one:
I welcome the water of mother earth into my body. Let it flow through me and cleanse my body, mind, and spirit this day. As the water flows through me, so will I flow through my day, blessing and being blessed. I thank the Universe for the gift of water.
You can use a similar intention in the shower, letting the water flow over you to cleanse and revitalize yourself. Being present during your morning routine sets you up for living a more mindful, and peaceful, day.
Even giving thanks for your morning coffee can be a moment of mindfulness by adding an attitude of gratitude. Give thanks to the plant, to the people who grow and harvest it, and last but not least to yourself for providing a minutes of zen before the day takes hold. Paying attention to the little things in life creates happiness and joy, and everyone could use a little bit more of that, right?
Set your intention
Every day you have the opportunity to set your intention to focus your mind on what’s truly important to you. Whether it is a goal you are working toward, or just adopting a positive attitude, taking a moment to speak or write down your intention for the day helps get you into the flow. We all have lists of things we need to get done, and writing them down can help us stay on track. Plus you get the reward of checking something off your list! Mission accomplished!
Afternoon Self Care Tips
Don’t skip lunch
I know, I know, you are too busy to eat. But without fuel your brain and body will become fatigued and this can lead to irritability, lack of ability to concentrate, and gets in the way of living your best life. Plus, it helps keep your metabolism working, which is important for weight control.
PRO TIP: Don’t eat at your desk when you are working. You need a mental break and changing your location helps your brain reset and relax and focus on food. Also, eating lunch at your desk reinforces the bad habit of snacking while you work, which can lead to unwanted weight gain.
I’ll stop nagging, but you are here to learn how to take better care of yourself right? Thanks for letting me be your mom for a minute. 🙂
Smile and laugh
That’s right, I said it. Maybe your afternoon isn’t going great, and you just need to look at kittens on the internet for a minute. Go ahead, and let them make you smile. Need a laugh? Find a meme that makes you crack up and share it with a friend. Laughter really is the best medicine, here’s what laughter can do for you according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Stimulates your body. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
- Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
- Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
Of course there are also social benefits to smiling and laughter. If you want to learn more about long term benefits, check out this article on the Mayo Clinic’s website on stress management for a healthy lifestyle: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456
Evening Self Care Tips
At the end of the day there is nothing better than taking a moment to sit down and put your feet up! Here are some suggestions for wrapping up your day with mindfulness:
- Go device free two hours before your bed time. This really helps you get a better night’s sleep, plus it keeps you in the present moment and aware of your surroundings.
- Have a soothing cup of chamomile tea while reading a chapter from a book. Let your cares melt away as you improve your mind.
- Reach out to a friend or relative and call them on the phone. Really, a text message just won’t do. Hearing somebody’s voice increases intimacy and brings you closer together in a way that an email can’t. You’d be surprised at how fun a phone conversation can be! Here’s some information on calling vs. texting: https://bestlifeonline.com/call-versus-text/
- Share three things you are grateful for today with someone you love. This is a great thing to practice with your significant other or your kids. It can be something simple like the weather or something that made you smile.
- Plan your day for tomorrow, including deciding what your intention will be. This is a way of taking care of future you by giving yourself a head start on tomorrow.
What are your self care tips?
I really want to know what you think, and I’m always looking for ways to make my life more mindful and stress free. Let me know in the comments or over on my facebook page.