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We all need to hit pause every now and then – to get out of our head and back to our body.
Self care isn’t always something that comes naturally to us, even to me as a yoga teacher. However, I do make setting aside time in my day for self care a priority.
I have had to make it a conscious decision, and I have had to prioritize it. Doing so has made a huge difference in my life, and I want you all to benefit in this same way. Thus, I have put together a list of 10 things I regularly make time for to better my mental, physical and emotional health.
Note: This doesn’t mean that I am amazing at doing all of these. I share them with you humbly, as over time I have gotten better at making each of these a priority.
1. Luxurious Bath – I set aside time for a nice long soak in the tub (I’m talking one and a half hours) at least once a week. When I’m setting up for my bath, I prepare something to indulge all five senses – candles, oils, a good book, a nice cup of tea etc. This is a time for myself, where I can recharge my batteries and feel my spirits lifted. Water itself is healing in many ways, you may find it therapeutic to think of the water washing over you, washing out all that you need to release internally (i.e. something that is stressing you out, or any nagging negativity).
2. Go Outside – Every single day! Open your door and go for a walk, get some fresh air and some Vitamin D. Even if you (like me) live in an area with long cold Winters. The fresh air and vitamin D has so many benefits. An action as simple as walking will get your heart rate up. It is also a great time for you to turn everything off, and quiet the mind. A nice added perk for me is these long quiet walks often result in a spark of creativity. Try taking a walk when you are stumped on something, see if the answer comes to you naturally when you stop thinking so hard about it.
3. Routine – Do you alternate your sleep schedule throughout the week, staying up late one night, getting up super early one morning? I find that when I don’t have a set schedule for going to bed and waking up, it leads to feelings of anxiety, overwhelmed and stressed. That goes for work hours as well. More and more of us are working non-traditional jobs or side hustles and we never stop. I can’t recommend enough that you set yourself a schedule (even if you aren’t a 9-5’er). Figure out what works for you, and stick with it.
4. Going to Yoga or Dance – It may surprise you that this is the hardest one for me to be consistent at. While at home flows are great, it is so nice to get out of the house and in to a group setting. For me as a yoga teacher, it’s inspiring and a change of pace to be guided by another teacher. To disconnect, relax the mind, and tune in to the body.
5. Massage or Athletic Therapy – I make it mandatory to have one session per month. Booking the session in advance, so that it is scheduled in just like any other important appointment, and you have no choice but to go. Schedule these in when you’re feeling great, not waiting until you are in dire need. You may find in those times where your mental health isn’t great, that you feel too busy for self care, so get ahead of yourself!
6. Art – This can look like so many different things to different people. Draw, paint, sculpt – whatever it is, creating something is so therapeutic. Again, getting you out of your head and in touch with the creative process. If you’re intimidated by art, start with an adult coloring book to get the creative juices flowing.
7. Reduced Social Media Use – You, like the old me, might feel you need to be on it all the time. To be connected to everyone. Stop suffering from the FOMO. Do a social media purge, rid your timelines of the noise, the people that make you feel unworthy. Instead, follow only those that make you feel good when you see what they share. Post less often, enjoy the moment as you’re in it. I can almost guarantee you will feel less stressed as a result.
8. Say No – Don’t be a yes man! You don’t need to justify or provide a reason for it either. And if they push back, maybe it’s time to reflect and consider that relationship. Your mental health is more important. You are allowed to set your own personal boundaries.
9. Beauty – This one might sound vain, but there is something about making a bit of effort towards your appearance. It can be as simple as getting dressed every day, thinking consciously about putting an outfit together and getting out of pajamas. And/or setting up a skin care routine for morning and night. It boosts your self esteem, makes you feel more professional. As someone that works from home, it was an easy trap to fall in to to never get ready in the morning. But I’ve found that when I look good, I feel good.
10. Therapy – If you take any one point from this, I hope that it’s this one! Try out regular talk therapy. It has enriched my life in so many ways and I wish that it didn’t have so much stigma around it. I think of it like an oil change, going in for regular maintenance of the mind. Find a therapist that understands you, the fit is so important. I also understand that therapy can be pricey, but don’t feel like you need to commit to weekly sessions – start by saving up for one hour. You will continue processing what comes up well after you walk out of their office.
Want to hear more from me on each of these, watch the full chatty candid video below.
Think I missed something? Please feel free to share with me your top tips for self care!
Yoga with Kassandra – Disclaimer
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