The days pass us by; flashing quickly before our eyes. Responsibilities and to-do lists pile up as we find ourselves stuck in a cycle of busyness. Before we know it, the end of the day is here.
There is a better way of living; a way of life where we give ourselves permission to slow down and make time for self-care.
When you hear the phrase “self-care” maybe a day at the spa comes to mind, which is a wonderful way to nurture yourself. But self-care can also be done at home starting with a mindset and lifestyle shift. One’s self-care practice should be accessible and sustainable so that it can be incorporated into daily life. Here are some simple ideas to nurture your mind, body, and soul on a daily basis.
Take Time for Stillness
Step back, slow down and be still.
It is one of the most simple things that we can do – but at the same time, it can be one of the most challenging. Most of us are conditioned to continuously be doing something or going somewhere.
Usually this is in a fast-paced manner, in order to reach a deadline or to be on time for an appointment. So to slow down might feel foreign – but with patience and consistency, this simple practice can reap enormous benefits. Try it right now for one minute:
Close your eyes. Bring your awareness to the sensation of your inhales and exhales. Notice how it feels to slow down the breath. Inhales fill the belly, exhales release any tension. When a thought enters your mind concerning your to-do list or stressors, simply observe without judgment. Practice redirecting your focus to your breathing.
This practice is called mindfulness meditation. It is a simple practice, which has been proven to reduce stress, settle the nervous system and increase immune function. Many people feel that they do not have time to meditate, but this practice can create change even if practiced for just five minutes a day. Try it spaced out in one or two minute increments throughout your day and watch your energy shift from stress to serenity.
Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Soul
“Eat like you love yourself. Move like you love yourself. Speak like you love yourself. Act like you love yourself. – Tara Stiles
There are many ways to nourish our bodies far beyond eating leafy green vegetables (though that is a great idea). Nourishing your body in a soulful way includes deeply listening to your body. Once you have established the practice of stillness and mindfulness, this listening will come more naturally. Similar to the mindfulness practice, we practice non-judgment; simply awareness. This deep awareness will lead us to choices that nourish us from the inside out.
Mindful movement is essential to our overall wellness. This does not necessarily mean you need to exercise in a gym everyday. Shifts occur when we begin to view moving our bodies as a blessing instead of a chore. When we focus on how we would like to feel, instead of how we would like to look – this is when the magic happens. The importance is that you move your body consistently in a way that feels good to you. even if that means putting on a playlist of your favorite songs and dancing around the house as you put away laundry. Make movement fun and enjoyable in order to feel your best.
Setting Clear Boundaries
Connect to intuition. Live life fully.
Let’s make one thing clear: saying “no” does not make you selfish or rude. Setting clear boundaries is an act of self-care, since saying “no” creates more space for “yes” in our lives. Saying no to a social gathering means we are saying yes to some alone time, maybe catching up on a good book or favorite TV show.
Letting go of others’ perceptions is the ultimate act of self-care and self-love. We put aside the notion of others’ opinions and more fully embrace our true values and desires. When we become more self-aware, we cultivate more peace, confidence and clarity. Life becomes more enjoyable when we look deep within and create the space to do more of what we love.