7 Easy Self-Care Rituals
Most of us go through life taking care of other people’s needs. This is often at the expense of taking care of ourselves. Jobs, children, elderly relatives, cooking and housework all make demands on our time and energy.
While service to others is an important part of being human, it’s clear that we will be of little use to anyone if we are stressed and exhausted. To be our best selves we need to look after ourselves, mentally, emotionally and physically.
December this year is like no other; the combination of a year full of uncertainty and fear combined with the high expectations of having a few days together over Christmas may take its toll. Here are some ideas for small things you can do every day to help you enjoy the festive season without sabotaging your health or your relationships.
1. Schedule in time for yourself – in the same way that you schedule in meetings and work and family commitments, get into the habit of blocking off periods of time in your diary that are for you to do whatever you want.
2. Use aromatherapy to change your mood – essential oils have powerful properties that can be tapped into in a variety of ways; they can be inhaled, added to bath water or a foot bath or added to massage oils. Some are calming, others are reviving, so choose whatever feels appropriate in the moment.
3. Get into nature everyday – you don’t have to go out into the wilds to experience the power of nature. Going into your garden, a local park or small woodland are all powerful and accessible ways to experience the transformative effects of nature.
4. Get physical – even if you can’t maintain your usual exercise routine aim to get some physical activity every day. Go for a walk, dance, cycle, do some yoga or play physical games. You’ll burn off calories and the endorphins will leave you feeling energised and happier.
5. Take time out – a daily meditation practice can help to keep things in perspective and leave you better able to deal with all that life throws at you. Take a few minutes each day to focus on your breathing. If you become aware that thoughts are coming up let them go and return to the breath.
6. Have a bath – add dead sea salts, Epsom salts or essential oils for a relaxing soak. Light candles and turn off the lights, get a cushion for your head to rest against, close your eyes and breathe.
7. Give thanks – taking time to give thanks every day can help to focus on the good things in your life, rather than being caught up in the challenges of life. For example, breathing and saying thanks before each meal is a good way of getting into a calm state before eating. Either think or write down 3 things for which you are grateful every night before you go to bed. This is a good way to wind down and appreciate the day just gone.