10 Self-Care, Self-Love Gifts for You!Dec 24, 2021
We all know that the weeks leading up to the holidays can be hectic and full of stress as we try to do more than ever to make life wonderful for our family and friends. But that can sure take a toll on our bodies and minds with all the rushing around trying to get it all done.
So whether or not you’ve taken time away from your regular schedule this coming week, whether or not you’ve even considered taking some down time, I encourage you to make at least some time for yourself, to give yourself the Gift of Self-Care!
And who knows, maybe you can even stretch it into a new and welcome habit for the New Year!
Self-care, self-love, self-support, or self-nurturing… whatever you want to call it, it’s one of the greatest investments you can make in yourself.
And it can also be described as the right and responsibility to take care of your physical, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing.
Because when you nurture yourself, you’re better equipped to help others. You see, self-care isn’t all about rewarding yourself at the end of a hard day or stressful week. It’s about engaging in something that is self-supportive and looks after your own needs first, so that you are better equipped to look after others!
“Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s mandatory.
Fuel your soul so you can give your best to your people.
We need all of YOU!”
~ Dr. Sara Gottfried MD, Author of The Hormone Cure
And if you’re someone who actually finds it hard to care for yourself, and give yourself permission to carve out that time, then you probably need it now more than ever!
So during this holiday week (and really, every week of the year!) I encourage you to give yourself the self-love and self-care of one or more of the following.
Plus, stay tuned for a sweet treat: coffee + chocolate… for your face! Yep, it’s a little DIY spa treatment you can whip up with a few ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen. What can I say - it’s all about maximizing your self-nurturing needs!
Ten Self-Care Practices - Pick 1 and start TODAY
If you’re not in the habit (yet) of nurturing yourself regularly, here are 10 ways to begin your self-care practice. You’ll notice that they are all solo activities, as it can be both rewarding and revealing to spend time with yourself, getting to know the real you!
So start small and START TODAY!
- Spend time sitting in silence and stillness, a meditation break - just 5 to 10 minutes will recharge the body, mind and spirit. Include some deep breathing. Feeling stressed and anxious? Take 3 slow, deep, belly breaths and notice how calm you will now feel. This is a great way to start your day and will help you deal with whatever comes your way.
- Read a book or magazine for an hour - and don’t just flip through, really get into it. Curl up by the fire with a warm beverage or go to the library or a bookstore, sit in a comfy chair and just read for the pure enjoyment of whatever the story or article might be about.
- Digitally unplug for ONE hour. Or a whole day! Turn off all devices and all notifications. Warn people in advance not to expect quick replies, since you are taking time for yourself because you are worth it! This can be a tough one as we have become so addicted to being in touch and always connected, but try it a few times and it might change your relationship with this activity!
- Get out in nature. Take in some sunshine and listen to the sounds of nature. Take a leisurely walk without a destination. In winter, try a snowshoe hike! Of course, walking and hiking with friends is also an activity you might want to build into your regular routine, but solo walks, without music, podcasts or other distractions will allow you to connect within, to contemplate life, to work through that stuff that needs your full attention.
- Do something creative or crafty like writing, poetry, colouring, knitting, sewing, crochet, painting, drawing. This can be so rewarding, even if you grew up believing that you weren’t creative–not true! Connect with your true self, relax, and see what flows.
- Take an hour for a gentle or restorative yoga class. Stretch, connect, listen to your body and inner wisdom, rest, restore. Our bodies were meant to move. Or try a shorter restorative practice before bed–my favourite is Legs Up the Wall–that will help you prepare for a long, luxurious night’s sleep.
- Take a bubble bath or Epsom salt bath. Add some essential oils, light a few candles, play some calming music, relax and soak in the goodness.
- Put on a homemade face mask - see recipe below!
- Write down 5 things you’re grateful for. These can be simple–for example "I am grateful to be able to snuggle with my cat"–to profound. Say thank you out loud. Then say it again. Have this list handy when life starts to get you down.
- Go to bed early, really early, or sleep in late, really late, no alarms! Start at least an hour before bed by turning off all screens and devices (and keep them out of the bedroom!), then wind down with that hot bath and face mask. When was the last time you had a long, restorative, full night’s sleep? It’s one of the essentials for a healthy mind and body. Try this a few times and notice how much better, and more energized, you feel each day!
As you can see, self-care doesn’t need to be complicated - in fact, the simpler the better. By practicing it regularly, maybe even daily, you’ll not only feel more balanced physically, mentally and emotionally, but it will leave you more prepared to take on whatever life brings your way.
Making Self-Care “Stick”
When your goal is to stick to a regular self-care routine, only seek out and implement the ideas that fit your personality, lifestyle, and of course, your schedule. Some ideas take more time and effort than others, so be sure they’re a good fit and that they’re something you truly enjoy doing. Remember, you are doing this for YOU, not for anyone else!
Scheduling and planning out your “me time” is what usually makes a regular practice stick. By practicing at least one (or two!) of these activities every day, you’ll soon realize that self-care is indeed a necessity, and you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life!
By giving yourself the gift of Self-Care this holiday season, you’ll hopefully gain some inspiration to start nurturing, supporting, and loving yourself more often.
You deserve it!
“When you discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”
~ Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. & Author
Need help making your self-care and other healthy practices stick?
Be on the lookout for my new program, a coaching and accountability road map that you can execute to address your healthy mind and body concerns. So stay tuned!
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Recipe: Coffee “Mud” Mask
For face & body - 2 applications for face or 1 application for a larger area. Even if your busy schedule prevents you from scheduling in a well-deserved spa treatment once in a while, you can still get your natural beauty on at home with this quick & simple face mask using just a few ingredients from your kitchen!
- 2 tsp coffee grounds (caffeinated; hang on to the coffee grounds from your morning cuppa!)
- 2 tsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (ACV, unpasteurized; can substitute with witch hazel or rose water if you have extra-sensitive skin)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp filtered water (or more if needed)
- In a small glass bowl mix coffee grounds & cacao powder with a silicon spatula.
- Add wet ingredients and mix until a paste forms. If it’s too thick, add a bit more water until desired consistency is reached.
- Using your fingers, spread mask over face or desired area, and let sit for 10 - 15 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water using circular motions to get some gentle exfoliation of the skin.
- Pat dry with a clean towel and apply a rich moisturizer - perfect routine before bed :)
Healthoholics - 50 Ways to Boost Your Self-Nurturing Practice
Wholefully - 51 Self Care Ideas To Kickstart Your Self Care Routine
Tiny Buddha - 45 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul
CanPrev - Practicing The Art of Self-Care: How to Cultivate Balance in Our Busy Lives
For more info on this and other natural health topics:
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