Self-care is always important. It’s important to take care of yourself no matter what’s going on in the world, but it’s especially crucial during difficult times. It isn’t all about bubble baths, face masks, and massages. Self care activities can be as simple as stopping to take a few deep breaths or phoning a friend.
There’s a reason they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before your child’s in case of an emergency on an airplane – you can’t take care of others if you’re not taking care of you. Nourishing the soul is just as important as nourishing the body, so I always encourage my health coaching clients to make a list of things that nourish their soul and make sure they do something from it every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
Because of the current political situation, the country is in quite a bit of turmoil these days. Many of my clients and friends are feeling distraught and stressed out. Self-care is especially crucial right now. Without it, it’s possible to over-tax your adrenal glands, lose sleep, and get sick. I asked some of my friends what they’re doing for self-care right now, and they had some great responses.
10 Self Care Ideas
Meditation can do wonders for the mind, body, and spirit. It works best when practiced every day, so I encourage all of my clients to add into their daily routines. I love to use guided mediation cds, and recently I’ve been using the Headspace app, which just requires 10 minutes a day. Similar to mediation, deep breathing exercises and yoga can also help to quite a busy mind and calm a stressed-out nervous system.
Physical activity can help to increase the production of endorphins, which are the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, and can lower levels of stress hormones. Exercise has also shown to help improve mood, lower anxiety, and help with sleep. If you get can’t get to the gym, you can take a walk or workout at home with trainers on YouTube.
That old saying about laughter being the best medicine is kind of true. Like exercise, laughter triggers the release of endorphins, which can lower stress, improve mood, and create a general feeling of well-being. Now is a great time to binge watch your favorite sitcom on Netflix.
Get Lost in a Book
Reading can help us escape the real world for a little while and get escape into another land. It can help us relax and de-stress. Skip the non-fiction for now and go for a real page-turner.
Drink Herbal Tea
It may be tempting to reach for a glass of wine or a cocktail, but alcohol can end up doing more damage than good. Herbal teas such as chamomile, passion flower, and kava can help calm the nervous system without causing harm to the body.
A little lavender can do wonders. It can help calm and relax the nervous system, and it can even quell anxiety. Roman chamomile, geranium, bergamot, and frankincense are also known for their calming properties. Try some in an oil diffuser, add a little to a hot bath, or dab a bit on your pulse points.
Sometimes it really helps to just “get it out.” When writing in a journal, you can dump everything that’s swirling around in your brain without judgment or fear of hurting a loved one. Journaling also helps organize your thoughts, gain perspective, and clarify your emotions.
Research shows that we help ourselves when we help others, and there are plenty of people who can use a helping hand. Volunteer work helps to give a sense of purposefulness, and it can help take our minds off of what we can’t control.
Cuddle with Animals
Animals always provide unconditional love, and they don’t really care about politics. If you don’t live with any furry critters, try volunteering at an animal shelter – there are always plenty of dogs that need to be walked and cats that need chin scritches.
Limit Exposure to the News
It’s important to stay informed, but information overload can cause a melt down. Allow yourself to watch the news on television or read the news online for a limited amount of time, and then turn it off and go do one of the activities listed above!
What are you doing for self-care right now? What nourishes your soul?