Taking Care of You

Your relationship with yourself

sets the tone

for every other relationship you have”

-Robert Holden

Another successful Valentine’s Day is in the books.  But while you were making sure that your loved ones felt the love, did you forget to love your self, too? In theory, it seems like it should be one of the easiest things in the world to do: take care of yourself. But with family, kids, work, and everything else, how often do we actually put ourselves first? It’s time to remember how important it is to show ourselves some love, and figure out how that fits inside chaos.

Recognize Your Wins

Keeping track of your “wins” throughout the week is one way to keep a positive focus on everything you do.  Consider writing in a gratitude journal nightly, or as often as you feel up to it.  Not only is writing soothing for many people, it’s a great way to become more self-aware.  By writing down the things you are grateful for, you paint yourself a more accurate picture of what matters most and also what you can begin to remove from your life.  Journaling can be a useful tool in finding the silver lining in a crazy world.  But most importantly, it recognizes your accomplishments and strengths. Give credit where it is deserved. For a list of tips on keeping a gratitude journal check out this article or challenge yourself to this 52 Week Gratitude Challenge.

Treat Yo Self

Even if you don’t have time for a full day at the spa, you can still find ways to pamper yourself at home. Spend an afternoon trying out a DIY clay mask (this one here is amazing) or soak your feet while you catch up on your favorite shows. Also, pampering yourself doesn’t have to be all soap and lotion. Nourishing your brain is an important way to practice loving yourself, too.  Take a leisurely trip to the bookstore or check nearby community colleges for a class in a skill you’ve always wanted to learn. Just do something, anything, that brings you joy. We spend most days giving our time and energy to others – and that is a wonderful thing! But your being and self matter, too.

Go Outside

There is some serious healing power in nature.  Give yourself permission to carve some time out of your week to get out and soak in that vitamin D.  Researchers have found that being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings.  Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotional, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.[1]

In fact, nature has such an effect on humans that just adding a single plant to your work space can have a major effect on your mood.  A study done by the Nursery & Garden Industry of Australia suggests that the simple addition of live plants to a work space can significantly boost creativity, improve air quality, and reduce anxiety[2]. So is putting a fern in your cubicle going to turn your life around 180 degrees? No – we wish it were that easy! But having love and care for yourself means doing little things that will make you happy. 

Mind Full?  Be Mindful

Meditation and deep breathing exercises are definitely not new practices to humanity.  And in our fast-paced world it’s really no surprise that meditation has seen an increase in participants seeking relief from their environments.  Meditation is believed to relieve a myriad of problems including  chronic painanxiety, stress, improve heart health, boost mood and immunity, and resolve pregnancy problems[3].  Give these meditation techniques a try at home. Don’t have time? Meditation expert Chad Foreman suggests making shower time meditation time. “A shower is also a great metaphor for washing away the past and cleansing the mind, revealing the natural purity of bare and open awareness which is always there but sometimes covered with a bit of dirt we pick up along the way[4]

But if “omming” your way to inner peace is out of your comfort zone, consider picking up an adult coloring book. They’ve become a hugely popular way to unwind.  Some experts even suggest that coloring can send your mind in to an ultra-relaxed, meditative state.  “[The] repetition, pattern, and detail, prompt positive neurological responses in participants. When you have things that you can predict will happen in a certain way, it's calming for us”[5].

You take care of some many other things for everyone else during the day, so whether it’s a shopping spree or leisurely nature walk, do something for yourself!  And if you’re struggling to find even the littlest of time, why don’t you give Lifesquire a call?  We’ll take care of all the extras so that you can take care of you.  The most important takeaway here is you matter: your mind, your body, and your state of wellness. Take care of you and be happy.

 

 

[1] https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/enhance-your-wellbeing/environment/nature-and-us/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing

[2] http://www.ngia.com.au/Story?Action=View&Story_id=1686

[3] http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/transcendental-meditation#1

[4] http://www.thewayofmeditation.com.au/blog/shower-meditation/

[5] https://www.colorit.com/blogs/news/85320388-amazing-benefits-of-coloring-for-adults