Jo's Daily Self-Care Suggestions for Women: Part Two
I'm back with PART TWO of my self-care series. Part One from yesterday focused primarily on self-care suggestions for the mind, this post will feature ideas for the body (as well as some of my absolute favorite self-care products!).
1. Exercise. I'm not going to get into detail on how exercising is good for the body. We've all read a million articles on how exercise is beneficial for us. I will say, however, as with anything else, start small, and start slow. Don't try to do high intensity interval training on your very first workout in months. The results won't do you well. If you haven't worked out in awhile, start with a five to ten minute workout, then build your way up as you build your stamina and endurance. Some movement and activity is better than none.
2. Get out in nature. I was having a conversation with a friend recently, and we agreed that when we are out hiking, walking, or doing something outdoorsy, we immediately feel the weight that's on our shoulders start to melt away. As humans, we were meant to have a strong connection to nature, and often times, we forget that. I know I tend to lose focus and energy when I've neglected to get outdoors for a couple of days (plus, Vitamin D is great for the skin and for mood elevation!).
3. Breathe. Deep, focused breaths help to relax the body and release tension. If I'm feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or tired, I'll stop for a few minutes and just inhale and exhale deeply. You'll do this in meditation and yoga, too. It's a habit that can be life-changing.
4. Stretch. Forward bends and folds are known to reduce anxiety and tension. Stretching before bed helps relax the body and mind for a better night's sleep. Stretching is also a great way to keep things in the body fluid. What doesn't bend, will break. This is also something you can do in just a few minutes a day to keep the body happy.
5. Make time for a mini-spa afternoon (or if it fits in the budget, go to the spa!). On rare afternoons, I say, "Nope, I'm taking the afternoon off!" I will put on my bathrobe, apply a Beautycounter Purifying Mask, light some candles, take a bath (see more on that below!), add a bath soak, and just de-stress. Afterwards, I'll be sure to give myself a manicure and pedicure. The hour or two of self-care changes my perspective and makes all the difference during a busy week.
6. Take a hot bath or shower. Obviously, everyone knows this self-care tidbit. I love incorporating candles, Dr Teal's Lavender Epsom salts, aromatherapy, bath tea, or calming music to my bath or shower experience. If I'm showering, I'll be sure to exfoliate my skin with Beautycounter's Sugar Body Scrub in Lemongrass, which is incredibly nourishing and moisturizing to dry skin.
7. Get a massage. Until a few months ago, I never knew the power of monthly massage, but I will tell you, it makes such a difference for moving toxins and inertia through the body. I hold all of my stress in my neck and shoulders, and due to my line of work, knots will build up on the right side of my neck and shoulders. Can we say uncomfortable? My therapist helps keep the knots at bay and I find I'm able to do more with my flexibility and workouts, because of a therapeutic massage.