When we are the heartbeat of our family, it can take a lot to nurture and care for all those who depend on us. Below are five of my favorite self-care options to help support you in being kind to yourself.
Start Each Day With Gratitude
Our mindset is the cornerstone of how we experience the world. Having a gratitude practice is a sure-fire way to help you see the abundance in your life. This is not to say you do not have struggles or the unexpected curveballs of life thrown your way. You have to honor the hard parts, but you can choose where you put most of your focus and energy. I find starting each day by writing three things I’m thankful for helps me set the tone for a good day.
Here is a link to my current favorite gratitude journal: GOOD DAYS START WITH GRATITUDE JOURNAL
What is awesome about this journal is that it is open-dated meaning that you can begin it at anytime and easily skip a day or two without missing a beat. It also has some great quotes to inspire a grateful attitude. I highly recommend it.
Incorporating yoga into your life will have many wonderful benefits. Aside from the physical benefits like building muscle tone and increasing flexibility, it allows you to check in with your inner self. It can be difficult to get yourself to a class so I recommend trying it out at home. This way there is no pressure to be perfect in your poses. It also gives you freedom to plug it into your day whenever it suits you best. Even ten minutes can have a positive impact.
Here is a link to my favorite at-home YouTube yoga, Sarah Beth Yoga (SBY): 10 MINUTE SIMPLE MORNING YOGA FLOW
SBY has a wonderful library of free YouTube content. There is also an app that I have purchased for a yearly fee which gives me access to more content which I have really enjoyed. I recommend trying lots of teachers and types of yoga. There is sure to be something that will meet your needs.
Lunch with a Good Friend
Make a date with a friend. Even if you can’t schedule it right away, it can do wonders having it marked on your calendar. It gives you something to look forward to until you can meet. The key to making these ‘dates’ restorative is to choose to spend time with friends that lift you up. If you feel lighter after your encounter then your friend is a keeper. However, if you feel drained or burdened, it may be time to consider letting the friendship go. Friends are allowed off days and down moods, but if this becomes a consistent pattern, you deserve better. The goal here is to fill YOU up so you can enjoy your life more.
There is something magical about a hot cup of tea. I believe it has to do with the heat of the cup in your hands. The warmth centers you solidly in the present moment. The more connected you are to the present, the more you can reset yourself. Often, when we are stressed, it has less to do with the current circumstance and more about the fearful stories we conjure about the future. If you have a cup of tea, you can immediately change your inner dialogue. You are simply a person sitting in a chair, sipping their tea. Take note of your surroundings, inhale the aroma of the tea and if even only for a moment, let your mind rest. You deserve it.
A Walk in Nature
Being outside has a similar magic as a cup of tea. To get the most benefits leave your phone, podcasts and music at home. Focus instead on the sights and sounds around you. Birds calling, leaves rustling and people passing by are reminders to connect to exactly where you are. It’s also great to get some fresh air, sunshine and helps keep you active. Asking a friend to join you is a way to double the rewards of outdoor walking.
However you choose to take care of yourself is personal and should fit your unique needs and tastes. It does not matter what you do, it only matters that you make time for yourself.
Written by Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent