For busy women, self care can feel like an unaffordable luxury. Self care is often promoted as long, luxurious weekends spent at a beach resort, a trip to the spa, or even hours spent on exercise. In reality, though, self care can be anything (small or big) you do to give your yourself some much needed attention.
No time for yourself? Don’t worry, the following self care tips take less than 10 minutes but still have a big impact on your body.
Self Care Tip #1
Touch your toes and stretch
It’s easy to ignore the stress in your back. But the truth of the matter is that when we spend long hours hunched over the computer, curled up on the couch or picking up after the kids, our posture and body take the backseat. It won’t take more than ten minutes to stand up and stretch out! Sitting for hours a day can make your gluteus maximus (bum) weak, your hips tight and your abs mushy. Stretching your lower back and legs can help ward off low back and hip pain and it improves your circulation and your metabolism.
While you’re at it, stretch the rest of your body as well. Perhaps you can look up a yoga posture (like cat & cow), or you have a stretching routine in mind already. Whether it is advanced or basic, any kind of stretching will keep your body functioning well despite periods of inactivity. Touch your toes, extend your arms and gear yourself up physically and mentally for whatever task is at hand.
Self Care Tip #2
Massage and Moisturize
Massages and fancy lotions aren’t just for a day at the spa. You may not have the time or budget to indulge in frequent spa trips. That’s okay, because no masseuse will know your body and your preferences as well as you do!
Use a natural lotion such as organic coconut oil or avocado oil (don’t be afraid to indulge in your favorite) and rub it mindfully into your arms and shoulders, or even across your legs. Spread the cream or oil gently and thoroughly and use your hands to massage over your body across areas that you might not realize are aching. You might come across some sudden sore spots, it’s important to focus on those for a moment, rubbing in the lotion. You will be relaxed and energized and your skin will benefit greatly from the extra moisturizing.
Self Care Tip #3
Phone a Friend
When was the last time you actually made a phone call to a friend and not just sent a text? It’s funny how disconnected we actually are. The troubles of everyday life can be exhausting and drain us of all the time and will to socialize beyond what is absolutely necessary. During our free time there are personal things we need to tend to that make socializing take a back seat. But to truly care for ourselves, we need to nurture social and emotional aspects as well.
While it’s super quick and easy send a text, why not take ten minutes out of your day to chat with a friend or family member. You benefit just as much as they do. Simply talk about your day and maintain the feeling of being connected. Your support system can help relieve stress and help you to maintain a healthy mindset through your shared bond.
Self Care Tip #4
Drink two additional glasses of water today
Water is that little magic potion we all too often ignore: it relieves fatigue, clears skin, detoxes your body, improves digestion, and prevents cramps. And yet we often forget to hydrate, or hydrate so little we get headaches as a result. Not only will drinking two glasses of water help you hydrate, it will also give you much-needed time to get away from your technological devices and focus on your surroundings.
Drink the water slowly and savor the break from you work before you dive back into it. Take it in slow sips if you need to, and be sure to follow this tip regularly to met your daily requirement of H2O. Try to follow the sensation of the water as it trickles down your throat as this will help you take your mind off of the stress and daily chaos of your life for a few seconds. Not a big water fan? Add in a little squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to add a touch of flavor. Better yet, grab a jug of water and put some sliced fruit such as strawberries and mint for a delightful way to get your water in. Grab your copy of “7 Healthy Ways to Drink More Water” (with recipes!)
Self Care Tip #5
Play with your pet or go for a walk
Whether it’s a furry friend or a tank full of fish, scientists have proven the health benefits of animals at every turn. A pet of your own means a faithful companion. And in addition to that spending time with a pet is a proven way to lower blood pressure and increase oxytocin levels.
The enjoyment from pets can be calming and repetitive motion of petting your companion (or even staring at a fish tank!) will help soothe you. Don’t have a pet? Go for a walk to your local park or dog walking track, just taking in the sights of other dogs and animals has the same impact on your wellbeing.
Self care isn’t just about facials, eating your greens and getting your hair done. It’s also about nourishing your soul. That fuels you and the small things that make big impacts on your overall wellbeing. By practicing these 5 tips, you get to spend 10 minutes away from whatever it is you do each day and you get to separate yourself from the chaos and stress of your daily life. Do you take 10 minutes out of your day for you each day? Share with me below!