I experienced a lot of success in 2017. I successfully completed a challenging work assignment, and received a promotion. My natural hair routine fell into place. My plantar fasciitis healed. Most importantly, I found peace of mind in the midst of hardship.
On the other hand, I experienced a lot of stress. Many of the positive habits I had in the past have fallen away. My stress management needs major improvement. Self-care needs to take a higher priority in my life. To this end, I plan to intentionally incorporate the following self-care habits into my daily routine.
Meditation occurs when a person deliberately removes all thoughts and images from his or her mind. A variety of techniques help people reach a meditative state. These techniques include deep breathing, listening to sounds, and the recitation of mantras.
Various organizations have documented the benefits of meditation. Reported benefits include better sleep, inner peace, happiness and well-being. Clearing one’s mind of all worries and thoughts enables true relaxation. I know members of my family that swear by meditation and its worth.
Because I haven’t been successful in incorporating mediation into my routine, I am going to utilize technology. I downloaded an app called Calm. Calm’s mission is to make the world healthier and happier through the super power of meditation and mindfulness. It offers a free unique 8 minute guided meditation everyday along with a 2 minute mindfulness training. It also offers subscription plans and access to tools to help people live mindfully, sleep better. and breathe deeper. My plan is to utilize the app for at 8 minutes each day in the morning. I also plan to meditate each evening for at least ten minutes without the app or other assistance.
2. Spa Days
Last week I spent the day at the spa with a good friend. Soaking in the hot tub, sitting in a steam bath and dry sauna, and simply lounging were amazingly relaxing. We caught up with each other’s lives while enjoying the services that the spa offered. At the end of the day, I felt calm and relaxed.
Taking time out to focus on one’s body honors the toll we place on our bodies. Stress often manifests itself in physical ailments, and spa days are a good way to negate that stress.
I realize that everyone doesn’t have access to a day spa. However, many times people don’t take advantage of the resources that are available to them. For years, my gym offered a hot tub that I rarely used. I love taking hot salt baths at home but rarely do so. Laying back with a warm (or cold) washcloth over one’s eyes can provide a nice break from the day’s stress.
In 2018, I will schedule a spa day at a local spa at least once a month. I also plan to reinstitute weekly salt baths and use the face masks and other beauty products I’ve received in my Rachel Zoe Box of Style, other subscription boxes and swag bags.
3. More Exercise
The benefits of exercise are plentiful and well known. My struggles with plantar fasciitis interfered with my old work out routine. I am in dire need of a reboot. I intend to implement new exercise routines and work on consistency. Because time is of the essence, new and practical approaches to exercise will be my focus.
For example, its easy for me to access the stairs in the building where I work. In less than twenty minutes I can walk up and down the six flights of stairs several times. Even though it will be difficult at first, the boost of energy that it will provide will be worth it. I’ll start with going up the stairs once from the ground floor and will slowly increase the flights of stairs that I climb. My routine will also include short midday walks and weekend Tae Bo or Zumba workouts.
4. Drink More Tea
I love, love, love my morning tea. On a daily basis I drink Dunkin Donut’s green tea and occasionally I treat myself to Vanilla Chai. Packets of chamomile tea fill one of my desk drawers at work because chamomile tea keeps me calm. The world looks brighter and better after I’ve had a cup of tea.
Herbal teas are refreshing, have less caffeine than soda or coffee, and can be sweetened with less sugar than other drinks. Many people praise tea for the antioxidants and nutrients they provide. Some claim that teas ward off cancer and help with weight loss.
Something so easy and beneficial shouldn’t be limited to once a day. I plan to add afternoon tea to my day and to decrease the amount of cane sugar that I add to my tea.
I regularly attend church and highly value my relationship with God. It keeps me grounded, at peace and calm when facing challenges.
Even though I value this relationship, I don’t nurture it the way that I should. To this end, my goals include consistently writing in my prayer journal and more frequent prayer.
What Are Your Self-Care Practices?
I believe that good health (mental, physical and spiritual) is a blessing that should not be taken for granted.
Dealing with plantar fasciitis for the last two years helped me appreciate my mobility and all that I am able to do. I hope to take advantage of that blessing and preserve it by adding more self-care into my routine.
Have you thought about your self-care routine? What types of things are you doing to care for yourself?