This week is Self-Care Week (12th – 18th November). With our busy lifestyles and never-ending to-do lists it can sometimes feel as if self-care and relaxation is some kind of unattainable goal. Failing to look after yourself can mean you are less likely to be able to cope with and manage everyday stressors. So take some time today to just stop and think about you and your health and make a promise to start making YOU a priority!
As a Holistic Therapist I see everyday how juggling life responsibilities can take its toll on our health. As a busy working mum running my own business I understand how very easy it is to fall into the habit of putting everything and everyone else before yourself. So here are just a few things you can start to incorporate into your daily routine to give your well-being a boost.
When I speak to my clients who work indoors about having a lunch break and getting out in the fresh air, the usual response is that they simply do not do it. The outdoors is a natural relaxant and if you are near a park getting some green space is a sure-fire way to calm down any stressful feelings. However you spend your days, I always advise that you get out for at least half an hour and breathe in that fresh air to relax and take time out from whatever you are doing. It’s a great way to top up you Vitamin D levels too if the sun is shining.
Write it Down
Some of you may already keep a journal for reflective practice and preparing your to-do lists. Just spend a little time at the end of the day getting everything out of your head on to paper. This will help to stop your mind racing preventing you from relaxing and recharging.
How many of you spend days, thinking, “I must sort that out, I need to get that done!”? We all do it and there is always something that we do not want to tackle. If it’s a big job break it down into smaller manageable tasks and deal with it when you are feeling most awake. It’s just another thing taking up head space and using up your energy the longer you leave it.
Get some shut eye
People really do underestimate the importance of sleep. Try and build in a bed time routine at the end of the day giving you the time to unwind before bed. Run yourself a soothing bath with essential oils for extra stress relief. Enjoy a calming chamomile tea. Remember to turn off all technology long before you hit the sheets to help you sleep soundly.
It is very easy to overestimate our daily fluid intake. May people only drink when they feel thirsty, however, this is a sign you are already dehydrated. If you are feeling drained, stressed and physically fatigued at the end of the day one contributing factor most likely is because you have not consumed enough water.
Think of ways to remind yourself you need to drink. If you are out and about or at work always carry a bottle with you. If you are at home have a jug of water available as a constant reminder of how much you need to drink.
With some of my treatments I ask my clients to do some deep breathing and I nearly always need to ask them to breathe deeper. Breathing is the most natural thing that we do. We do not, however, always recognise the healing properties of breath work and shallow breathing is the norm. Stop as you are reading this and take a long, deep breath to the count of 10. Stop and exhale SLOWLY. The act of concentrating on your breathing slows everything down. If you are feeling stressed about a particular situation, remove yourself if you can and practice some deep breathing for a few minutes. By doing this you will be mastering a very basic meditation technique.
Having a good stretch once or twice a day feels good and can help prevent injuries (flexible muscles can do more), improve your posture (and as a result help with back pain), increase blood and nutrients to your muscles, and help you to feel less stressed.
If you make a habit of including stretching in your daily routine, it will really help you with any muscle aches and soreness. I always encourage my clients who I see for regular massage to stretch as it will make the effects of their massage last longer. In between treatments, having a good stretch helps support the work that has been done on the massage couch to relax your muscles.
Incorporating complementary therapies such as Aromatherapy, Massage, Reflexology and Reiki into your life is a great way to boost your self-care. When you think of your health holistically you are focussing on the reasons why you are experiencing certain symptoms and looking at ways to change your habits as a preventative approach. This is different to simply treating the symptoms where the cause remains. These therapies are a wonderful way to maintain good health as they help to relieve tension, anxiety and stress, encourage relaxation, improve mood and aid sleep. So what are you waiting for get your diary out and schedule a treatment today!