Thursday, July 13, 2017

5 Quick Ways To Practice Self Care Daily

When was the last time you practiced some self care?

When was the last time you hit up a yoga class, got a manicure, drank a hot cup of tea or booked a massage?

Guys, life is just SO hustle and bustle. And if you're anything like me you just do NOT know how to take breaks. You have a job, side hustle, friends, fitness routine, love interest and general #adulting to take care of... I still wonder how the heck I'm going to throw kids into all that (eventually)

About 18 months ago I made it a priority to date myself. This was during a period of high stress so practicing self care was really important. I came up with a few things that I could do to feel like my best self... The only problem was, all of these things took up serious amounts of time.

With my new job meaning longer hours, and my fitness schedule revved up for half-marathon training, I'm finding myself with less and less time for myself these days.

BUT, just because time is a factor, there is no excuse not to give yourself a daily pampering! So here are 5 quick ways you can practice self care every day, without breaking the bank or sacrificing your precious time.

1) Moisturize.

You've just woken up.

Not everyone in the house is awake yet. 

You've just stepped out of the shower and before doing ANYTHING else... you put moisturizer on your face, arms, legs and chest.

I find the ritual of moisturizing at the start (and hopefully end) of each day to be so soothing.

When you wake up your skin is so dehydrated, so while you should definitely be reaching for your water, give your skin some love with a good moisturizing treatment from head to toe. Ideally something with some sunscreen in it!

Relaxing, sun protecting, wrinkle fighting! Win. Win. WIN!

2) Stretch.

You really should try and take 15 minutes out of each and every day to stretch. A flexible body is less likely to break down, and you'll get the oxygen flowing to all the right places and feel more awake!

Here's the nice thing about stretching: It doesn't require a yoga class or 15 uninterrupted minutes of silence. I mean sure, that's ideal, but if you have a toddler running around that is NOT going to happen, so what can you do?

Stretch in the shower.

Stretch while you work at your desk.

Stretch while you're doing chores.

Stretch IN BED first thing in the morning (seriously, look it up and you will find great options)

All you need is to be able to hold a stretch for 20 seconds. Do you have 20 seconds right now? STRETCH! It's amazing how much better, taller and more alert you will feel.

3) Get Outside

Here's how I feel about getting outside: Do it every day, even if it's only for 5 minutes, and if possible do it at lunch.

For goodness sake people DO NOT EAT AT YOUR DESK AND STAY INSIDE ALL DAY. Taking just a few minutes to get outside and see something green has tons of health benefits! Everything from lowering your blood pressure to boosting your happiness and productivity.

Raining? Snowing? Bundle up and get out there! 

The great outdoors is free, and it's one of the most therapeutic things to immerse yourself in.

4) Find somewhere dark and chill out!

OK, so whenever I feel a headache creeping in, or I'm stressed, or maybe just a little bit cranky, here's what I do:

Find a dark room. Bathroom with the lights off, closet, bedroom and throw a blanket over your head, whatever.

Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose, right down to your stomach, and breathe out through your mouth.

Picture something soothing, or nothing, try not to think of life outside of your dark space.

Do this for 1-2 minutes, open your eyes, get back into the light and go about your day! 

Seriously, this is like having a nap for adults, without actually sleeping. You can do this standing up! Just breathing deeply and removing any light and colour can be really mentally balancing.

Fun fact: When I meditate, I picture golf balls getting hit and sailing down the fairway. I'm not even much of a golfer but I find that "swish, THWACK, saiiillllll" so soothing.

5) Keep a happiness journal

The happiness journal is my ultimate tip for practicing self care! 

It's a journal where you record 3 things from your day that you personally ROCKED, and then things from your day that you saw/happened TO you that made you happy.

I kept one of these during a period of high stress and in just a few weeks I felt my whole attitude shift more positively.

Most importantly, it takes about 5 minutes at the end of the day to write down your happy things! Seriously, 5 minutes a day for a few weeks to entirely change your perspective.

Finding your happy = the ultimate in self care.

So I want to know! 

How do you practice self care when you only have 5 minutes to squeeze it into your day? Do you drink your favourite cup of tea? Listen to soothing music? Close your eyes for a spell?

Let me know in the comments down below!

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