Self Care Sunday
I often find myself at the bottom of my priority list, putting my family’s needs ahead of mine. But I’ve recently embraced that the notion of self-care is an important part of a healthy lifestyle because we aren’t good to our community when we aren’t good to ourselves.
With that in mind, here are 7 things you can do to put yourself first this weekend:
Allow yourself to sleep in - if your children, partner, or pets will allow it - but don’t oversleep!
Research shows that it is healthy for adults between the ages of 18 to 64 to sleep seven to nine hours each night. Too much sleep or sleep deprivation is linked to a number of serious health problems including heart disease, diabetes, depression, among other problems.
Wake up, S L O W L Y and S T R E T C H.
When you bolt out of bed, you’re running the risk of hurting yourself first thing in the morning. Instead, gently come to a sitting position to slowly wake your body up. I love taking cues from my puppy Sadie, who upon waking up, slowly stretches and lets out a relaxing yawn, before trotting over to her bowl for breakfast! Take five to ten minutes to stand up, stretch your arms above your head, touch your toes, or throw in some yoga poses into the mix.
Plan some alone time.
It is always difficult to find time for myself during the week, so it is vital to me to plan alone time and use the time to collect my thoughts from the past week and think about what my goals for the coming week are. Use this time to write in a gratitude journal, meditate, pray, or take time to practice mindfulness by living fully present in the moment.
Spend time outside.
We spend our days sitting under fluorescent lights and in front of screens, but did you know that spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, and boost feelings of happiness? That could mean visiting a local hiking trail, going on a bicycle ride, kayaking, or simply visiting a local park to cleanse your lungs from pollutants, soak in the sunlight and help your body create vitamin D.
Connect with a loved one.
Self-love can also mean spending time with your loved ones, whether that happens to be your children, your partner, your best friend, your second cousin twice removed, or your fur-child! A recent study showed that families spent less than 45 minutes all together on a weekday, so it is important to carve out a part of your day to be present and engaged with them. Keep your love tank full!
Pamper yourself with a simple spa treatment at home.
You don’t have to drop money on expensive spa treatments to treat yourself! There are many simple things you can do at home, such as picking out your favorite bath bomb and soaking in a warm bath, blending your favorite essential oils in a diffuser, exfoliating with a natural body scrub, or simply updating your nail polish!
Plan for the week ahead.
My family tends to hit the ground running on Mondays. To prepare myself for the week ahead, I find myself laying out an outfit for the next morning, and doing light meal prepping, taking the guesswork out of some of our meals. I consider meal prepping to be a thoughtful gift to my future self, knowing that my day will be significantly less chaotic.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t let anyone tell you what your self-care needs are. Continue to check in with yourself to figure out your specific needs.