I love face masks, baths, nail polish, and skincare
way more than as much as the next person. However I feel suspicious about the current wave of self care that focuses almost exclusively on activities that focus on changing or improving your appearance. Your skincare routine can be used as a moment to be gentle with yourself and complete your ADLs, but there is so much more to explore when it comes to self care.
If I won the lottery I would be at the spa at least once a week to help relieve the ever living tension in my shoulders. Stress makes my shoulders tighten up by my ears, the feeling of my shoulders being tight encourages my body to feel more stressed and a never ending cycle starts. One of my favorite ways to relieve this is some at home massage. Grab a tennis ball or lacrosse ball and place it on the floor and position your back so your problem area lands on top of it. Move your arm in a circle across your body a few times then slide your back up and down to make sure the ball hits all the different tense points in your back. The same ball can be used to massage out your feet too, just take a seat (or stand if you have great balance) and move the ball up and down your foot. I can always feel a couple of knots pop when I do either of these!
Meditation is so useful for so many things and a guided mediation can take you on a nice journey to self care. Light a candle, put your headphones in and let the recording take you away and into a calmer state. Most doctors recommend getting 30 min of relaxation in a day, this means actually relaxing, not stimulating yourself with TV, a book, comedy etc. Relaxing means bringing your body back to its center, in a calm relaxing environment that allows you to decompress. A guided Yoga Nidra or any guided mediation you can find on youtube is going to give you this time to relax and set aside a time to care for yourself.
Keeping a journal may feel weird at first, even a throwback to being in middle school, but it can help sort out your thoughts and keep them from bouncing around in your head all day. Pick a time during the day, I like before bed, to journal out what’s going on in your life. What are you worried about, happy about, angry about, who, what, why! It is a good way to keep you grounded and prevent emotional build up. A nice bonus is being able to look back over the past and see what patterns are coming up for you. Are you always angry about the same person, happy about the same activity, frustrated with the same issue? These are good places to start making some changes for better health, add more in that makes you happy, negotiate those things that frustrate you. This may seem simple or self evident at first but you will be surprised by what comes up from writing it all out.
Take some time to take care of yourself this week and let me know what is working for you!