If you have an Instagram account and follow at least one yogi, you’ve probably seen the hashtag #SelfCareSunday. It’s all about giving your body, soul, and spirit what it needs so you can face the demands of life with a renewed sense of clarity, energy, and a positive attitude. Sounds simple right?
In reality, the majority of us are so crazed during the week, the very last thing on the to-do list is taking care of ourselves. When we think about relaxing, we picture spas or Balinese retreats or yoga classes, but there are so many things you can do right in your own home to access those feelings of total relaxation.
Check out my top picks for self care practices you can do at home.
1. Have a morning gratitude ritual.
Rather than starting your day dreading what’s to come, start a routine that helps you focus on all the good things in your life. My favorite thing to do in the morning is to head to the beach down the road from my house and take just one minute to stand in the wind listening to the waves.
I take a couple deep breaths and acknowledge how lucky I am to have this experience each morning. If you aren't so lucky to live near the ocean, find something in your home or neighborhood that gives you this sense of gratitude. Even if it’s just the cup of coffee you’re drinking, really take the time to enjoy each sip and appreciate a moment of stillness.
2. Do a morning detox.
When you’re stressed, it can be so hard to focus on eating well, and tension and anxiety can further disrupt digestion. A simple way to detoxify your body each morning is to drink a cup of warm water with lemon. This will jump start your digestion and give you a little health boost to start your day.
3. Practice Restorative yoga.
A lot of us put pressure on ourselves to get to the gym every day. However, giving your body a break is just as important as being active. There are so many wonderful yoga poses that you can practice at home, and even in your bed. They can even help you unwind before bed for a more restful night sleep. Here are some wonderful poses and sequences to help you sleep better.
4. Make your bath tub a spa.
Is there anything more relaxing that a nice warm bath after a long day? Take your bath to the next level by adding some essential oils (try lavender, rose, or chamomile for ultimate bliss). If you’re feeling sore, sick, or totally depleted, try an Epsom Salt bath. This ancient remedy is said to relieve muscle pain, menstrual cramps, improve circulation, and generally detoxify your body.
5. Invest in an essential oil diffuser.
Whether it’s stress, anger, sadness, headaches, or creative blocks, these powerful oils can help center, soothe, and rejuvenate you. There are tons of options when it comes to diffusers, and many come with a starter kit of oils. Keep one in your bedroom for a more peaceful bedtime, or better yet in your office for all day healing.
6. Create a sacred space.
The reason that we go on vacation, to the spa, or spend time in nature is to escape from the noise of our lives. It’s so important to have a place in your home that exists just for the purpose of making you feel at peace. Even if it’s just a corner in your bedroom, create a sacred space that is filled with things that make your soul feel good.
Incorporate your favorite books, candles, pillows, flowers, anything that encourages you to be your best self. I like to write myself notes of encouragement that I put in my sacred spaces as reminders each day.
7. Do nothing.
Yes, do absolutely nothing. Just sit, lay down, stand, and breathe. Breathing is the single most important thing you can do to eliminate stress. Our breath is the thing that connects us to the present moment, the place where we are not worrying about the future or the past.
Having this quiet stillness also allows you to actually hear yourself. It’s the time when you can tune in to what your mind and body really need to feel their best.
Self care is about more than taking a long, luxurious bath every once in a while. It’s about taking time each day just for yourself. With any luck, self care will be much more than a social media trend, but rather a shift in focus from stretching ourselves too thin, to taking the time to replenish our bodies, souls, and spirits.
Image credit: Tie Simpson