So often our own self-care ends up as our last priority. This is so unfortunate because it leaves us feeling depleted, which then detracts from our ability to show up in our lives as kind, patient, present beings. The thing with self-care is that it not only benefits you, but it also benefits everyone and everything else in your life. It’s time to put self-care at the top of your ‘to do’ list!
Here are my top 5 favourite self-care strategies for feeling grounded, present and at ease:
Whether it’s sitting on a bench by the ocean and gazing out at the expansiveness of the sea, or walking through a lush forest with moss at my feet and trees towering over me, nature is my #1 go to for the times when I need to regroup. Ever since I was a teenager, I have always sought out wild space when I felt stressed, anxious, sad, or frustrated. I draw a huge sense of comfort and strength from nature. My favourite way to spend holidays is to head out into the wild and totally unplug. Nothing is quite so rejuvenating as that.
When I need to be soothed, baths are my go to. I add a few drops of lavender essential oil and Epsom salts to make it extra luxurious. Sometimes candles, too! I find a bath is the perfect way to unwind at the end of a stressful or physical day. Soaking the muscles and soothing the mind with the lavender oil – it’s the perfect pause for me to help prepare me for sleep.
Staying hydrated is so key for me to feel vibrant in my health. I basically always have a glass of water beside me at home and a bottle with me when I am out. I’m lucky because I’ve never been that big into coffee or juice. I don’t mind tea now and then, but for sure my favourite beverage is water. Not sparkling, not iced, just plain old, room temperature, water! Boring, I know – but, so essential to the body functioning optimally! When I don’t drink enough water I notice my skin is dry, my digestion suffers and I get headaches. We are so blessed here in Canada to have such delicious drinking water – I savour every drop.
- Bed time
It may seem funny that a 30 year old would have a ‘bed time’, but I admit that I do and I am actually pretty strict about it! It fluctuates slightly with the seasons (a little earlier in the winter, a little later in the summer), but for the most part, you can find me in bed by 9:30pm. Most adults will find this hilarious, but here’s the thing: this is what works for me. Not only do I wake up early (whenever the sun rises, so in the summer, that’s by 4:30am), but I also realized a few years ago that a lack of sleep was one of my biggest migraine triggers. Not just a lack of sleep, but specifically any time I go to bed after midnight, I get a migraine the next day. So, I am like Cinderella now – if a social event has me out passed my 9:30pm bed time, you can bet you will see me heading home by 11:30 – my head needs to be on my pillow before midnight!
If I find myself in a mood, nothing helps to flip my perspective more, than gratitude. It’s easy to get caught up in conversations in our heads that lead us down a path to frustration, resentment, jealousy, anger or sadness. My practice is to cultivate an awareness of when those moods are present, so I can watch them mindfully. I allow whatever is there to be there – but, if those moods start to lead me to a place of “everything is always going wrong”, “I wish things were different”, “why is this happening to me” – you know, the drama the mind likes to create? Then I lean into gratitude. When I think of things I am thankful for it shifts my thought patterns and takes me from a place of disappointment and lack to a place of abundance and appreciation. It doesn’t mean whatever was bothering me disappears – but, it means I can approach whatever is bothering me with a more open mind and a broader perspective.
What are your favourite self-care strategies? Do any of my favourites work for you? Share and let me know what you do to show yourself a little love!