For most of us, self-care tends to fall last on our list of priorities. There just never seem to be enough hours in the day. However, it’s important for many reasons, not the least of which is deterring burnout. Developing and maintaining a self-care routine can help you get in the habit of taking care of you.
Setting aside an entire hour each day to devote to self-care might seem out of reach. However, if you can make it a regular part of either your morning or evening routine, you’ll start to see (and feel) the results immediately.
We’ve got a few easy suggestions to get you started. You can choose one or combine them any way that works best for you.
Rather than lying in bed for half an hour after the alarm goes off or vegging out in front of the TV at night, why not use that time to prep for or end your day in a relaxing way? Meditation is a fantastic way to do this, and the benefits are worth the time investment. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation can reduce stress quickly.
It’s also simple to do, and you don’t even have to leave the bed or couch to do it. Taking a little extra time to clear your mind and find an area of focus to start or end your day will not only improve your mood, but it can also help you attack that to-do list. You can blend meditation with other self-care activities, or do a motivational one-hour meditation to prep for or end your day.
There are tons of guided meditations available on YouTube of all lengths, and for just about any purpose you can think of. You can try a general morning meditation, like the one above, or switch them up and do a different one every day. There are also many free meditation apps for iPhone or Android phones, including Smiling Mind and Insight Timer, so explore until you find an option that works best for you.
You might not have time for a relaxing bath every day, but if you can take one a few times instead of a rushed shower, you’ll reap some excellent benefits. Baths are an excellent cure for whatever ails you, both mentally and physically. There’s even a term for the therapy a warm bath provides: balneotherapy.
If you have trouble falling asleep, a warm bath before bed can help you wind down. Take the time to soak in some essential oils. In the morning, peppermint, eucalyptus, or citrus will help you wake up. In the evening, go for lavender, chamomile, or bergamot.
What’s incredible about yoga is it not only gives you time to focus inwardly, but it also stretches those muscles and gives your bod a workout.
A morning yoga routine will get your muscles warmed up and ready for a busy day. You can do it as your singular morning activity or combine it with other pick-me-ups, like aromatherapy or meditation music. An evening routine will help you wind down, relax, and relieve any stress from your day.
Again, YouTube is an excellent resource for free Yoga routines, like the one above. Try a few different wrokouts and see which work best for you.
If you stick with it, yoga can strengthen your muscles and tighten your core. It can also help boost your self-esteem, and increase your flexibility and overall well-being.
Once you have a well-rounded self-care routine, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. Whether you incorporate one or two of our suggestions or a combination of them all, you’ll notice the benefits immediately. Want some more de-stressing tips? We got ’em!