Loving on You
The phrase self-care is popular these days. What does it actually mean and how does one perform self-care? The National Institute of Health defines self-care as "the ability to care for oneself awareness, self-control, and self-reliance in order to achieve, maintain, or promote optimal health and well-being". In short, any action taken to improve one's overall health & or well-being. These actions can range from inexpensive and o high dollar, from simple to extravagant, solo to large group. Need help getting started? Keep reading for five ideas to show yourself some love and affection!
Take A Walk
Walking outdoors is FREE & easily accessible. On a sunny day you'll receive a natural dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps improve mood and supports your immune system. For parents of little ones, walking is an activity the whole family can enjoy. Pull out that stroller and get moving. There might even be a napping toddler at the end!
Costs of yoga classes vary. Usually, studios charge a one-time fee to drop-in and offer membership options. You may be able to find community events offering FREE classes. Visit your favorite search engine and key in "free yoga". Classes vary by skill level. Be sure to read the descriptions to know if a class aligns with your needs & abilities. Some classes are fast paced, while others are slower and focus primarily on one area such as back or legs. During yoga you focus in ward on your mind and body, you slowdown from the hustle and bustle to connect with the present.
Oh yes, napping is self-care! Naps aren't just for little ones. Benefits of napping include improved mood, improved memory, reduced fatigue. Go ahead close those eyes, if even just for ten minutes.
You may need a major change in scenery and a couple of days to exist without worrying about being a responsible adult. This can be as simple or as extravagant as you desire & your budget allows. If travelling out of town is not doable, then try a "stay-cation". One night at a local hotel can be a suitable respite from your usual daily routine. However you vacation, be intentional. Don't go broke to vacation. Creating financial struggles is counterproductive to the desired impact of vacationing. Plan a budget, save and enjoy your get away!
Kid Free Time
Hey parents, it is totally normal & okay to desire a break from your children. Breaks are healthy! No matter the activity, plan a fun and relaxing kid-free experience. Based on your needs, pick a routine time to be kid free. Rather its daily, weekly, monthly. For stay-at-home parents, you may benefit more from a daily break. Speak with your partner and schedule time for you to get a 30-minute break, or longer if needed, each day once they're home and able to assume parent duties. You could go for a walk, drive around, shop, solo date, etc. The point here is preventing parent burnout by allowing yourself time to step away, rest & refresh. By scheduling this time, you know when to expect it and may reduce frequency of feeling overwhelmed. When you do experience the feeling of being overwhelmed, it may be less intense because you know exactly when a break and alone time are happening.
Self-care is an individualized experience. There are many activities that can be classified as self-care depending on your needs and desired outcome. These activities are a great way to improve & stabilize mood. However, if you believe you are battling a mood disorder such as depression, anxiety, bi-polar, etc., please connect with a licensed therapist and/or a psychiatrist for proper diagnosis and guidance for most effective treatment. Keep up with your self-care, keep smiling, keep loving on you!