For years, I neglected to fit self-care into my schedule because I was either too busy or simply did not understand what self-care involved. But, as I get older, I am starting to make taking care of my mind, body and spirit a top priority.
The reason many of us feel physically exhausted or mentally drained can be directly tied to our lack of self-care.
Few of us ensure that we’re being kind and gentle to our bodies unless it shuts down altogether or a doctor tells us to.
Unfortunately, many of us only slow down and make taking care of ourselves a priority when we get sick, and that’s not good. Our bodies deserve so much more.
Here are five ways to get started with your self-care.
1. Meditate Meditate Meditate.
I used to laugh at people who talked about meditating, now I feel like a fool because it’s such an integral part of self-care. Meditation doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process. Since the start of the new year, I have committed to dedicating five to 10 minutes in the morning and night to daily meditations.
The minute I open my eyes in the morning, I commit to lying still. I thank God for His many blessings; I consider my circumstances and how life would be without my blessings, I think about the things I have to do for the day and I just relax. This usually lasts 10 minutes, sometimes a bit longer.
Doing so clears my mind for the day and allows me to go through my day with a spirit of gratitude. The same goes for my evening ritual, I repeat the process before going to bed. It usually helps me to have a good night’s rest.
2. Take Long Soothing Baths.
I cannot tout the benefits of long soothing baths for self-care enough. I am someone who enjoys long showers, but there is something so relaxing about slipping into a hot tub at the end of the evening. Nothing compares to it.
I am not a huge fan of bubbles in the bath, but I do enjoy lavender epson salt, which I pour generously into the tub. I light scented candles, turn off the lights and put on some relaxing yoga music or Sade.
It allows me to just mellow out, connect with my thoughts and relax after a long day. I do this at least three times a week. I find that it makes a great difference in my sleep habits. I have a more restful night. Give it a try, I’m sure you will, too.
3. Just Say No.
So many people have such a difficult time saying no to others. I’m not one of them. Especially if it involves my self-care.
You would be surprised how many of us commit to doing things we don’t want to because we don’t want to disappoint a friend, colleague, boss or family member by saying no. By committing, we create stress for ourselves. Sometimes, it’s best to say no, even if it means someone else will be angry.
You’re not doing yourself any favours by saying yes to something you don’t want to do, especially if it’s going to cause you miss your sleep or create anxiety.
4. Food Plays A Big Role In Self-Care
I won’t even lie to you and tell you that I am a healthy eater. I’m not. And I don’t want to get struck down by God for lying to you. I enjoy a two-piece from Popeyes like everybody else. But, I feel the healthiest and most energetic when I am eating healthy.
Nothing makes me feel clean and energised like a nice juicy salad or a delicious smoothie. The human body requires clean food and great nutrients. When we fail to give the body the fuel it needs, it breaks down. It gets sick. It presents differently (i.e. we put on weight).
Even small changes make a big difference. Trust me.
5. Spend Time With People Who Love And Care For You.
I cannot stress this tip enough. Human beings were not meant to be alone. We were not designed to not have interactions with other humans, which is why it’s healthy to engage with the people who truly love and care for us.
Considering that we are in the middle of a pandemic, it might not be safe to meet up with people. But, technology has given us options. Just talking with a friend on the phone or over videoconference works wonder for our spirit and mind. It gives us a chance to laugh and reconnect.
As an added bonus, step outside into the daylight while chatting with your friend. It will help you to connect with nature and get some fresh air.
There are so many things you can do to practice self-care, but I believe these five easy tips are the way to go. It truly makes a difference.
This Bahamian Gyal