Ever feel like the more you give the more people want from you?
We live in a society that rewards selfless behavior from women. Women are the care givers and many of us often neglect our own needs. We are too busy taking care of everyone else. At some point, however, this self-sacrificing tendency begins to take its toll. We become irritable, resentful, or even ill.
With the additional stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is time to start taking care of yourself, for your own well-being and those for whom you care. The world is having to take a break right now through social distancing and quarantine. What that means for women is you could be bombarded with the needs of your family and the stress of the world’s illness. In order to stay sane and well, some new habits may be required.
Your health and your sanity depend on it and if you are to be any good at taking care of others, you have to be able (physically and mentally) to do so. The “law of reciprocity” states that in order to give, you must receive; the following list are some ways you can take a little time to receive.
Here are 25 delightful, yummy, fun, and sensuous ways you can begin to take good care of yourself, so you can keep on being there for the ones you love.
- Take a hot aromatherapy bath at least 3 times each week. This practice promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
- Learn how to love yourself: Give yourself credit and say, “I love you” to yourself, in the mirror and as you go about your day.
- Carve out a few hours per week, that are just for you. Your choice. “Me time” is an essential part of your self-care regime.
- Take up a hobby or sport you always wanted to do, and then commit to doing it as part of your self-care routine.
- Meditate. Just a few minutes a day can bring you a sense of inner peace and relaxation. There are many different methods from which to choose.
- Focus on your breath. When you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a few minutes to just breathe. Focus on the in… and the out-breath. This helps calm the nervous system as well as refresh you.
- Rest with your legs up against the wall. Scoot your butt up close to the wall and lift your legs. Allow your arms to flop out to the sides. Relax. It will get the blood flowing to your head; rejuvenate your legs, your mind, and your whole body.
- Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which make you feel good. It tones your muscles, increases your circulation, improves your heart health, and can contribute to weight loss.
- Find out what you are passionate about. Many of us, as women, are so focused on pleasing others that we don’t even know who we are or what we love to do! Try out new things and discover who you really are.
- Practice gratitude. At the end of every day, write down three (or five, ten or 100) things for which you are grateful. Make sure you experience the feeling of gratitude. Keep a gratitude stone. Hold it in your hand as you think of the thing you feel most grateful for this day.
- Spend time in nature. Nature is a wonderful healer. She calms us down and helps us decompress. It is good to sit by water, feel the breeze on your skin, and enjoy the benefits of sunlight. Nature is good for you.
- Eat well. Simply start to eat more vegetables every day. Add in some fresh, organic greens, or some crunchy carrot sticks or celery. Add in seeds and a few nuts, and eat more chicken and fish than red meat. Choose organic when you can.
- Drink enough water every day. There is no hard and fast rule for how much is enough but the experts currently say about nine glasses for women and thirteen glasses for men. That’s a lot! Drinking plenty of water hydrates your skin and helps keep it smooth and supple.
- Sleep well. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Drink chamomile or another calming type tea in the evening. Put a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow.
- Laugh. Find a reason to laugh every single day. Watch funny movies, try to see the funny side of a situation, or practice laughing for no reason at all. Yoga laughter is one way to learn this!
- Let go. One of the biggest keys to a happy, healthy life is in learning to let go. Learn to let go of what you cannot control, of outcomes, of stress, and let go of being right.
- Sing. Whether it’s in the shower, in the car on the way to work, in a choir or a band, singing makes you feel good. It releases endorphins and oxytocin, which help you feel happy and connected to others.
- Do yoga. Yoga has so many benefits: A calm mind and a relaxed body; greater strength and muscle tone; improved flexibility and tranquility.
- Forgive yourself and others. Forgiveness is a practice, which benefits you and your mental health as much as it benefits the one who is forgiven. Practice daily and above all, forgive yourself.
- Eat chocolate. Chocolate contains anandamide, the “bliss enzyme”. Chocolate was called the “food of the gods.” Why would you deny yourself this sensuous delight?
- Take action. The key to self-care and wellness is to put some of these ideas into practice. That means taking action. Otherwise, nothing changes. What small step will you take today?
- Surround yourself with positive people. People who lift you up, encourage, and support you are healthy to be with. Limit interactions with those who drain you or put you down. That means, drop those FB friends who are not positive and pull you down.
- Take time to smell the roses. Life goes by very fast and stopping to be present enhances the journey. It also keeps you calm, centered, and much less stressed. Caring for yourself means enjoying and savoring each precious moment we have been given. Don’t let life pass you by.
- De-clutter a room in your home. You will feel so much more at ease when you get rid of all the excess. You may find that you are able to concentrate better, and you will feel more relaxed with less clutter.
- Create an affirmation and say it daily. Try one of these or make up your own: “I love myself and treat myself kindly.” “My health is flourishing and so is my life.”