It's easy to get fatigued and uninspired by all the Hall-marketing that surrounds Valentine's Day. While giving love to others is essential, giving love to yourself, even more so. "Self-care" is becoming an exhausted term in the wellness world, but if you look below all the Instagram clutter and dig into the heart of it, you might find something useful, maybe even life-changing.
Cliche self-care mantra I secretly love:
"You can't pour from an empty cup."
When we get caught in the throes of life, the daily hustles, the errands the to-do lists - putting yourself first can feel so negligent and just plain selfish. Pouring from an empty cup is just status quo for so many of us (myself included some weeks). But, making time for you is essential to achieve our best work and become our most genuine self. When our cup is full, we have more to give to our friends and loved ones. Taking on a regular self-care ritual isn't something you should do just because I am telling you to - its something that will only work if you discover the benefits for yourself. My recommendation: take a week and explore a 'Self-Care Ritual' - then check in after a few days and see how you feel. Any difference?
Try a 7 Day Self Care Ritual
Here's how it works
Every day for the next 7 days, set aside 30 mins or so to do something for yourself. It doesn't need to be the same thing every day, it doesn't need to be vigorous exercise, but it should be something you feel you need at that moment. Maybe today you just need 30 minutes to sit, breathe and be alone. Making some space for yourself where you don't have to think about work/the kids/your boyfriend/that argument/that deadline. Maybe you just step outside, take in some fresh air, go for a walk. Or you could make some tea and do some easy stretching. Maybe you just give yourself permission to read a magazine or watch silly cat videos that make you laugh. Whatever it is, it shouldn't feel forced, or uncomfortable. It should be something you feel you need at that moment. Something that will energize you and "fill up your cup."
Some ideas to help you get started:
1. Find some Headspace
Headspace is a fantastic meditation app that has all sorts of exercises and mindfulness practices. You get to pick how long the session will last and they even have specific packs for Flying on an Airplane, Boosting Creativity and Reducing Stress (plus a ton more). You can try Headspace for free or subscribe for around $8 per month.
2. Write It Down
If you do a Google search for "Benefits of Journaling." you will find an endless list of the positive things that can happen in life if you start writing down your thoughts. We're not talking about extra long, heartfelt Instagram captions - this is something you're going to want to do old school, like with a pen and paper. Personally, I keep a journal - but it's not a "Dear Diary" situation (if that's your jam though, awesome!) My journals are full of to-do lists, and doodles and all sorts of randomness. The point being, there are no official rules for journaling. You can write a lot or a little; the only requirement is that you have a pen and paper and just let it flow. How to get started? Keep a notebook right next to your bed, wake-up, write down the first three things that are on your mind.
3. Take a Deep Breath
If you spend all day in front a computer or are constantly being bombarded with calls from clients and customers, taking time for yourself can simply feel impossible. I love using Aromatherapy to help me to fully take a "time out".
"Benefits and popular uses of aromatherapy include reducing anxiety and depression, colds and coughs, fatigue, pain, PMS, menopause symptoms, nausea, ulcers or indigestion, and arthritis joint pain." >
Smells can have a strong influence on your brain by triggering emotions and memories (There's a reason why Smell Marketing exists.) I love to carry a Roll On Essential Oil in my bag to have at the ready whenever I need a little pick me up. Just roll on your neck, temples, wrists and take a long and replenishing breath in.
Hopefully, these recommendations got you excited to dive into your Self-Care journey. Let us know how you feel after your 7 days!
Thanks for all of your love and support,
Renée + Erin