If you're anything like most women, you see self-care as a grand undertaking that has to be planned in advance. While I can appreciate an elaborate all day self-care affair, that's not always feasible. And there are times when we need a "pick me up" in the middle of the day or when we don't have hours to spare. Here are 7 of my favorite Self-care "pick me ups". Most of them have proven benefits and can be completed in 15 minutes or less.
- Soak your feet. A warm foot soak helps to release energy blockages in the body and provides a calming energy boost. We also release toxins through our feet and absorb the relaxing benefits of essential oils and bath salts. This makes foot soaks a super effective "pick me up" to relax or de-stress.
- Take a bath. Studies show that a nice warm bath can reduce depression and boost the immune system. Baths give your body the sensation of being in the womb and encourage feelings of comfort, which makes it easier for us to feel intense relaxation. So, take a bath tonight and if you're feeling adventurous; add fresh rose petals to really elevate the self-love vibes and add a little razzle dazzle.
- Just breathe. Seriously, take 5 minutes to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Take long, slow, deep breaths and feel the air as it travels in and out of your mouth and nose, in and out of your lungs, and to and from your belly. I love to do this while holding certain crystals, but you don't need crystals to experience these benefits. If you've never tried focused breathing, I encourage you to take 5 minutes and try it now.
- Go for a 10 minute walk in nature. This doesn't have to mean journeying deep into the woods. If you can be somewhere near some trees, shrubs, or flowers, then that should suffice. If you can take your shoes off and let your feet touch the earth, that's even better. As you take your walk, truly look around at the nature surrounding you. Be thankful for it. This is a great opportunity to practice the breathing exercise mentioned in #3.
- Dance. Turn on some music that makes you feel good and dance. It can be a slow song, fast song, gospel, trap music, jazz, binaural beats, etc...it really doesn't matter as long as it makes you feel good when you hear it. Just take a few minutes or 1-2 songs to get lost in the music and really move your body. Dancing helps to uplift your mood and ease anxiety. Sounds cliche, but...dance like nobody's watching.
- Read a good book. There's something about a good book that calms the mind and transports you into the story and away from real world stresses. Even if you only have time to read one (1) chapter, allow your mind to escape into a great book.
- Have a cup of herbal tea. Certain types of tea can help to soothe nervous tension and relax the mind, body, and spirit. Studies show that drinking warm liquids can reduce stress and improve circulation. These benefits are boosted when we drink herbal tea with medicinal benefits. Some of my favorite teas for relaxation and stress relief are tulsi (holy basil), linden flower (tila), and chamomile.
As you can see, self-care doesn't require a day of planning or an elaborate game plan. We just need to be able to center ourselves and reconnect with the calming energy force that lies within us all.
Have you tried any of the self-care practices above? Do you have your own simple, but effective self-care "pick me up" practices? If so, please share them in the comments. I'd love to hear about them and they may benefit someone else reading the post. If you've decided to try any of the items above, please share your experience, I'd love to know how it worked for you.
Until next time,