It is important to remember to take time for yourself. People are often more aware of their physical health, but sometimes forget about their mental health, and that is just as important. Since most of us have been couped up inside for the past six months, and now with the transition to autumn and winter, it’s never too late to start implementing some self-care routines. There are many ways you can practice self-care. Here are a few simple ideas you can start with.
1. Take five minutes to lay on your back and focus on your breathing. Try doing this on the floor instead of your bed, if possible. Lay flat on your back with your arms relaxed at your sides. In yoga, this is known as the Final Relaxation Pose, Corpse Pose, or Savasana. Some may find it harder than they thought to simply be still and relax. This pose can allow your mind and body to relax and “reset”.
2. Put your legs up against a wall. Similar to the first idea, this is another yoga pose known as Legs Up the Wall or Viparita Karani. This is great for relaxation, but it’s also good for blood circulation. You can do this on the floor or in your bed. Start by laying as close to the wall as possible, put your legs up, then scoot yourself until your hips are against the wall and you are in a L-shaped position.
3. Take a bath. Since the weather will start to cool down soon (hopefully), a nice, warm bath is great for relaxing the body. Add some bubbles, a bath bomb, or some essential oils and really soak in this ‘me time’. You can read a book or listen to a podcast as well.
4. Dance it out. Even if you’re not a very active person, play some of your favorite high-energy music (or find a playlist) and just MOVE. Opposite to staying still, this can help let out any pent-up energy and gives you a quick cardio workout without feeling like a workout. Bonus: this will release endorphins and boost your good mood!
5. Use positive language and reflect on three things you are grateful for or appreciate. Literally anything. The fact you made yourself coffee this morning? Yes! The fact you treated yourself to Starbucks? Great! You folded your laundry and put everything away instead of waiting? Good for you! The fact you even got out of bed and did your best today? Nothing can be better!
There are also other ideas such as writing in a journal (paper or digital), calling a friend or family member, or even going to bed or waking up 30 minutes earlier. Anything new you can introduce into your routine to help you focus on you is good enough. Take care!