Quality self-care is as vital for your well being as eating right and exercising regularly. While a six-week yoga retreat sounds spectacular, an extravagant trip may be out of reach for many. However, maintaining a simple but consistent self-care practice can prove just as effective for relieving stress and boosting your mind and body wellness while keeping your wallet happy.
According to the Harvard Health Blog, “Your mood and your mental health affect every aspect of your life, from how you feel about yourself to your relationships with others and your physical health. There’s a strong link between good mental health and good physical health, and vice versa. In the other direction, depression and other mental health issues can contribute to digestive disorders, trouble sleeping, lack of energy, heart disease, and other health issues. There are many ways to keep your mind and mood in optimal shape. Exercise, healthy eating, and stress reduction techniques like meditation or mindfulness can keep your brain — and your body — in tip-top shape.”
Here are a few easy ways you can jump start your self-care practice and start de-stressing and revitalizing your mind, body and soul.
Draw a bath
Nothing says relaxation like soaking in a nice, warm bubble bath. Think of it as a chance to cleanse yourself of lingering stress or anxious thoughts while enjoying some quality body care.
Pro tip: Try enhancing your experience by adding a soothing CBD bath bomb or epsom salts to further relax your muscles and calm the mind.
Practicing mindful meditation can help you let go of your worries while also improving your cognitive function, boosting emotional health, increasing productivity and enhancing self-awareness. Use mediation as a means for immediate relief as well as a long-term tool for centering yourself and managing stress and anxiety.
Eat healthy & stay hydrated
Nourishing your body and mind with a healthy diet can help you stay focused and keep your body operating at peak performance. Try swapping fast food and carb-heavy cuisine for fresh greens, vegetables and fruit. Staying hydrated is also essential for optimal wellness. Dehydration can lead to loads of health issues, ranging from lack of energy to fainting and dizziness. Be sure you are consuming enough water, especially if you exercise often.
Pro tip: Add sliced citrus, cucumber or ginger flavor for added flavor and nutrients.
Learn to say no
While this may not sound like your typical self-care ritual, mastering the ability to lovingly say “no” to certain plans or trying people can preserve some of your energy and prevent you from spreading yourself too thin. You are not obligated to dedicate 100% of your time to others, and most people recognize that taking care of yourself is integral to taking care of others. Learning when to use and conserve your time and energy may be the most vital self-care practice of all.
Have a stretch
Aside from feeling amazing, stretching can also help release tension, calm the mind, improve flexibility and increase energy. Taking a few minutes first thing in the morning or right before bed to stretch and flex your body will work wonders on your wellness. Experience the uplifting effects instantly with these 5 daily yoga poses.
Go on a hike
Exercise is a sure-fire way to clear your mind and boost your mood. In addition to the endorphin rush, getting outdoors and hiking in nature is great for reconnecting with your inner and outer essence and refocus on what matters most to you. Breathe in some fresh air, get your heart pumping and savor your beautiful outdoor surroundings.
Pro tip: Go for a barefoot walk on the beach or try an art or craft project outdoors.
Enjoy some aromatherapy
Savoring your favorite scents can provide immediate relief and send your mind and body into instant relaxation. According to the Mayo Clinic, aromatherapy is thought to work by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, which send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system (the part of the brain that controls emotions). Some studies have suggested that aromatherapy might offer physical health benefits like better sleep and improved quality of life, particularly for people with chronic conditions. So light your favorite candle or add a pleasing essential oil to your diffuser and breathe in the sweet-smelling benefits.
Take a snooze
You need quality sleep to function. Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep each night in order to feel refreshed and energetic in the morning. Tossing and turning without ever achieving restful sleep can wreak havoc on your health. Take a well-deserved nap or create a strict bedtime ritual to help you unwind faster and sleep better.
Try a DIY face or hair mask
While a massage may temporarily be out of the question, an at-home face or hair mask can help revitalize your body and mind while giving you a little of the spa experience. Stress can take a toll on our hair and skin health, but with a little TLC, you’ll be glowing in no time. We recommend trying one of these easy DIY hair and face mask recipes made of ingredients you’re likely to have on hand.
Read a good book or magazine
Another often overlooked self-care activity is reading. When you find yourself overwhelmed with work and daily stresses, the last thing you may want to do is read. However, instead of flicking through mind-numbing TV shows, consider picking up a favorite book or grabbing an interesting magazine. Your mind will appreciate the time to unwind with some soothing stimulation. Plus, reading before bed may even help to encourage sleep.