We have all heard this analogy (or similar) at some point or another. It is an easy way to visualize the importance of caring for oneself, as well as how our self-care practice benefits our fellow humans. It is very easy in these times for us to become overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the problems we face as people, a country, a world. Bringing a solid self-care practice into your routine will establish healthy coping mechanisms, constructive down time, and lessen anxiety.
Below are three tried-and-true methods of self-care that we would love to challenge you to implement!
Mindful actions and activities
These may be activities that you already engage in - a morning cup of tea or coffee, or an afternoon walk. Unplug from your headphones and screens and really focus on the sensations of the moment. Slow down and engage your mind by mindfully enjoying the little things. Breathe in the fragrant steam from your cup of tea, notice the squirrels scurrying around in the leaves while you walk to the subway and reconnect with your own mind.
Exercise is probably the greatest way we can practice self-care. Exercise is not only good for your body, but also for your mood and mind! Exercising releases endorphins, provides an opportunity to release energy or aggression in a positive way, and builds self-esteem. Find a class that you enjoy with an instructor that inspires you, and come back to it. It might be hard at first, but once you start seeing and feeling results you will only be greater motivated to continue.
Create a comfortable space for yourself
Maybe its re-decorating your bedroom with a cozy reading area, or sprucing up your bathroom and throwing a fun bath bomb in the tub, whatever you choose to do, the action of planning and creating a "treat" for yourself is almost as fun as getting to enjoy it afterwards. Try a project with long-term benefits such as a container garden for your kitchen, or going through your closet clutter and donating what you aren't using anymore.