Are you burning the candle at both ends? Are you taking care of everyone else in your life except you?
You have probably heard the phrase “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” How full is your “cup”? Sit quietly for a moment, close your eyes and calm your mind by taking smooth, even breathes, in and out. What thoughts come into your head? What would you do if you had 20 minutes, a few times a week that was set aside, for you to recharge? What would you do if time were not an issue? What if you were expected to take this time for yourself?
Self-care is not a selfish thing. Do you know that if you don’t make time to take care of yourself you won’t be any good to the people in your life? If you are constantly going from one thing to the next, you run the risk of becoming depleted emotionally and exhausted physically. It is really important to give yourself permission to take this time to get back to feeling centered and grounded.
I have been making an effort to do this three to five times a week. My goal is to take 20-30 minutes on these days to shut out the world. I spend this time doing something that I enjoy and that makes me feel alive. As a busy mom, I am constantly juggling our family’s crazy, busy schedules. On days that I don’t practice self-care, I often get a sense that there is a knot in my stomach. It feels like a ball of anxiety and tension.
This anxiety and tension raises cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in my body. Cortisol is a good thing when it comes to helping us through a scary or dangerous situation. It is the fight or flight response in our body. For example, if you are walking in a big city and you suddenly feel like you are being followed, your immediate response is to go somewhere safe. The adrenaline in your body kicks in, which launches your energy into high gear and you do what it takes to get out of there. Once you realize there is no longer a threat, your body calms and the stress of the incident slowly dissipates. This is a normal bodily response. However, constantly feeling stressed and overworked on a regular basis can lead to all kinds of health problems such as digestive issues, depression, heart disease, weight gain, trouble sleeping, anxiety and brain fog.
I have noticed that I am less stressed and have more of a sense of calmness when I make it a priority to do something just for me. Here are some ideas for self-care to rejuvenate and be at your best each and every day:
- Hot bath with a few drops of lavender or other calming essential oil
- Read a good book
- Take a walk in nature
- Listen to your favorite music
- Get a massage
- Breathing exercises
- Practice Restorative Yoga
- Move your body/exercise in a way that ignites your inner fire
- At home spa treatment
- Dry skin brushing
- Prayer or meditation
- Talking on the phone to a good friend or loved one
- DIY shower body scrub
- Relaxing foot soak
Here is one of my favorite body scrubs to make at home. It relaxes me and helps me unwind, which sets me up for a good night’s sleep.
Calming Body Scrub:
-1/2 cup organic brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
-2 tbsp local honey or Manuka honey
-3/4 cup sweet almond oil or jojoba oil
-5-10 drops of Lavender essential oil
Mix all the ingredients together. Place in a glass bowl or jar with lid. Transfer the amount you need to a BPA free small plastic container for each shower.
I encourage you to find something you can do at least two times this week that is just for you! Notice how you feel afterwards. Can you commit to doing this on a regular basis? You deserve it!