What is self-care? If you think that you need a bankroll to hit up a pricey day spa, think again. You can create the perfect indulgence right at home.
All you need to do is nurture your body, mind and spirit. Here are six steps for how to have a self-care day that will leave you feeling refreshed.
If you are like many people, your devices follow you everywhere. You might even feel awkward using the restroom when you forget your phone.
However, all that electronics exposure can mess with your physiology. Research shows that exposure to blue light upsets your circadian rhythms and interferes with melatonin production, which may explain why sleep issues proliferate today. Plus, excessive media exposure can increase feelings of depression and anxiety.
If you want to know how to have a self-care day, start by powering everything down. Breathe an audible sigh as your ears feel the subtle hum that dictates so much of your life fade away.
Ritual purification of the mind and body is a part of many religious rites. However, you don’t need a formal belief system to reap the benefits — just a tub, some tea bags and Epsom salts.
Lavender tea is heavenly for this purpose. You can brew a cup and add it to the water or soak a few bags directly into your bubbles. Epsom salts contain magnesium, well-known for inducing relaxation and calm.
Self-care includes how you feel your body. Nourish yourself lovingly and indulge in delightful beverages.
Start your day with an elevated coffee, no trip to the shop necessary. Adding a bit of turmeric and black pepper to your grounds can reduce inflammation and lends a light chai flavor. Cinnamon and stevia can both help to regulate your blood sugar while adding a hint of sweetness.
One of the best parts of any spa holiday is nourishing food. Who said good couldn’t be gourmet? Indulge in recipes like compressed wild mushrooms and avocado with red pepper coulis and stuffed smoked aubergine for an unbeatable flavor that comes with a cruelty-free bonus.
If you think exercise doesn’t fit into your self-care day, please reconsider that notion. No one said you had to push through a triathlon. Selecting movement that you love eases away aches and pains while producing feel-good brain endorphins that boost your mood.
If you have a bit of energy, put on your favorite tunes and dance. You can find Zumba and cardio dance routines on YouTube if you like to follow instructions, or you can freestyle. Get the kids involved and have a contest.
Make time for gentle, healing yoga. Some practices, like yin, are like a deep-tissue massage without visiting a therapist — gather your props and get gooey.
5. Breath and Be
Self-care entails taking care of your mind, so make room for meditation in your day. You can begin your mindfulness practice with a little 2-to-1 breathing to activate your parasympathetic nervous system and induce a sense of inner peace.
Set a timer if you like and quiet your mind. Imagine yourself as a neutral observer — when thoughts intrude, as they will, picture that researcher writing down their finding and turning the page. By examining the subconscious processes that drive your behavior, you gain insight and make changes that benefit you.
If you struggle to sit in mindfulness meditation, you can turn to YouTube for guided numbers. Instead of wisdom bubbling up from deep within, this practice helps you reprogram your brain with positive thoughts and inspire you to look at the world differently. You can find recordings designed to do anything from helping you stop compulsive overeating to cultivating more gratitude in your life.
What’s the most critical part of any self-care day? Putting down the to-do list and allowing yourself to simply exist. You’ll get more out of your time. If you start treating your retreat like just another itinerary to cross off, you won’t enjoy your indulgences nearly as much.
Therefore, leave yourself ample unscheduled time to do whatever strikes your fancy. If the weather is glorious, perhaps you go for a hike — but don’t “should” yourself into it. If kicking back and enjoying a “Criminal Minds” binge-a-thon sounds like the superior plan, log into Netflix and grab some popcorn.
Have the Perfect Self-Care Day With These 6 Steps
You don’t need to drop a bundle at a pricey day spa to give yourself the healing attention you need and deserve. Learn how to have the perfect self-care day with these six steps.