4 Easy Rituals To Improve Your Self-Care
As women, we lead very busy lives. Juggling work and family leaves us with little time for ourselves to engage in self-care to manage our stress before our stress manages us. Traditionally we’ve been taught to put others before ourselves. However, if we’re to care for others it’s imperative that we care for ourselves first.
We must maintain our own health and well-being if we’re to care adequately for those around us, not to mention maintain responsible positions at work. Because you can’t fill another person’s cup if your own cup is empty. Here are four simple, self-care rituals that you can work into your day, without having to take too much time away from your never-ending “To do” list. You can choose to make some of them part of your morning routine, while doing others throughout the day.
"You can’t pour from an empty cup" - unknown
A few minutes of gentle stretching when you get up in the morning can help increase your blood circulation, improve flexibility, and reduce pain in your muscles and joints. When done regularly you may be astonished by the results.
Try stretching your muscles to incorporate their full range of motion: Shoulder shrugs, neck rolls, wrist and ankle circles and forward/back movements, etc. After a few weeks of daily routine, you’ll notice you are more limber and can get dressed, tie your laces, reach etc. way more easily. Stretching is important because as we get older, we have to move it or lose it. Stretching is a great tool to have in your toolbox.
There’s a website that I love called Darebee that has tons of exercises, most of which can be done using only your body weight or minimal equipment. Among Darebee’s thousands of workouts and routines is a great, easy to do morning stretch routine. It consists of eight different stretches, is suitable for beginners and won’t take a lot of time.
Meditate Morning And Night
Another easily incorporated daily ritual that can help improve your sense of well-being is meditation. Meditation is known to help improve mood, deepen sleep, and help individuals to develop a sense of inner peace and calm. It can reduce stress levels by decreasing cortisol, contributing to an increase in immunity and increase relaxation.
Meditating regularly can reduce high blood pressure and improve one’s concentration by increasing your ability to focus. Because meditation has so many benefits and only takes just a few minutes a day of your time, this is one self-care ritual you can’t afford not to do. When I first started meditating, I found it hard to sit for extended periods of time, so I did 2 to 3 minutes per session at first and built up gradually over time. You can do the same thing. If you’re really having a hard time getting into meditation, consider guided meditation as an easy way to begin this wonderful craft.
Guided meditation as the name suggests, guides individuals through different images, such as walking through a forest and listening to the birds in the trees or hearing waves on a beach. Guided meditation can be done on your own, with a therapist, a recording or an app.
Why Water? Why Not?
The jury is out on exactly how many glasses of water you should drink every day, but if you aim for eight, you’ll avoid dehydration and keep your skin soft, smooth, and supple. Drinking this much water can help you stave off hunger pangs. Often when we feel hungry, it’s really a sign of dehydration.
Next time your tummy tells you to eat, try drinking a glass of water first, wait a few minutes and then see how you feel. Staying hydrated keeps your kidneys working optimally and aids in healthy digestion. If you’re like some people that I know who don’t like the taste of plain water, jazz it up by adding fresh fruits or veggies. Many people add lemon or other citrus fruits to their water.
All Recipes has a great article that talks about the basics of making a flavorful infused water combo and also includes several flavor infused water recipes.
Even if you don’t feel like it, science has discovered that if you turn up the corners of your mouth, into a smile shape, you actually start to feel happier! Smiling releases neurotransmitters called endorphins. Endorphins make you feel happier. Our brains don’t know how to differentiate between a fake smile and a real one; it reads the positioning of the facial muscles and acts accordingly. That’s just the coolest thing! A simple smile can help you feel better, and make others feel better too. Everybody wins!
If you’re anything like me, you’re busy with a lot of responsibilities, however, it’s of the utmost importance that you put yourself at the very top of your list of priorities. After all, if you don’t look after yourself, how will you be able to do all that you do for others?
By easily incorporating these few self-care rituals into your daily routine, you will feel in tip-top shape and will be able to carry on caring, working and living your life to the fullest. It’s all about making time.
What self-care rituals are you gonna add into your day? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In