1. 5-10 minutes of meditation/deep-breathing. In my opinion, the kindest thing you can do for yourself is take care of your mind. That’s where it all starts. And we can’t get enough of the Headspace app. It’s our favorite, for day-to-day taking care of our minds, and for those “emergency” moments in a stressful day where you need some help getting some extra peace of mind. Good news: you can try it for free!
2. Take a detox bath. This is about sloooowwwwing down and pampering yourself. Light some candles, put on some soft music, and just exist for a bit. Some options to add to that relaxing warm water: Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar, essential oils, coconut oil, bentonite clay. Find out what scents/combinations speak to your senses and treat yourself.
3. Drink more water. I know, so simple, right? But this is so important and is possibly the most vital part of being a healthy human, so it’s worth mentioning. But every now and then, we need a little reminder to be intentional about drinking water. Simple way to do this: take your body weight in pounds, and divide it in half: that’s how many ounces of water to drink each day. And something to spice it up: add some fresh cut limes or lemons to vary the flavor; you can even prepare it ahead of time and put it in Mason jars, snap a lid on there, and have them ready to grab and go. Be kind to your body: make a point to give it one of the simplest things it needs in order for it to support you and thrive.
4. Write yourself an encouraging message, or five, on a post-it note. This has nothing to do with anyone else but yourself. Pause for a few minutes and think about what YOU need to hear someone say to you right this second. What do you wish that some angel stranger would come up to you, hug you, and say to you right now? No filters allowed, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Write that down on 3 post-its, and put those in different places in your home where you will consistently see them: your bedroom, your bathroom, and on your refrigerator are great options. Have that constant visible reminder of exactly what you need to hear this week.
5. Take yourself on a picnic. Seriously. Pick a sunny day, bring a jacket, some headphones and a blanket, pack a lunch and a good book, and go treat yourself to some Vitamin D therapy. Enjoy being with your presence and allow yourself to experience being nurtured by Mother Nature.
6. Spend time on an acupuncture mat. You can buy one of these guys on Amazon, and we LOVE ours. Laying on an acupuncture mat improves circulation, reduces blood pressure, reduces stress, improves sleep…the list goes on and on. I prefer to lay on it without a shirt on, but Navy prefers to have a shirt on because she finds the pressure a bit too intense for her. You can adjust as you need to, including the amount of time that you spend on the mat. Also something helpful while you are getting used to it is to slowly increase your time; start out with just 5 minutes, then increase by a minute or so each time. I love it so much that I usually spend up to 40 minutes on it. Completely de-stresses me and helps me feel loose and at ease.
7. Write a letter to yourself five years from now. Talk about all that you have accomplished, if you are married or not, have kids, are traveling the world. WHO ARE YOU five years from now? Fill it with love and light and encouragement and the best version of what you could possibly imagine for yourself, because that is beyond possible for you. Start believing it now, and you will see it later. You are amazing—don’t dim your light with society’s “realistic expectations.” Go ahead and start loving that person you are becoming.
8. Plan a date night/day for yourself. This is just about you and your ideal date. What does that look like for you? Getting gussied up and going to dinner and a movie? Going dancing at night? Staying in your pajamas all day and ordering in? If you were to think about one single date that would put joy and LIFE back into your bones, what would it be? TREAT YO' SELF. Put it on the calendar, have something to look forward to. The most important rule for this evening: you are only allowed to say positive things to yourself. Pay attention to the commentary that is going on in your mind, and only allow LOVE and adoration toward your incredible self.
9. Before bed yoga pose: legs up the wall/leg drains. This is a restorative yoga posture that doesn’t require a lot of flexibility or strength. It’s simple and it’s effective. It relieves stress and tension, grounds you, calms the nervous system, relieves tired leg muscles, helps move any stagnant fluids that can build up in the legs if you spend a lot of time on your feet, and it helps put the mind at ease. Aaaahhhh, yes. This is kind of like an inversion without actually having to figure out how to work up to an inversion. It’s actually a pose that I do often throughout my day if I notice myself getting tense or stressed. I literally just drop everything, go find a clear space of wall, and stick my legs straight up the wall. I just focus on breathing, visualize a place that puts me at ease, and 3-5 minutes later, I feel much more centered and capable to take on what lies ahead.
10. Grounding. You’ve probably heard about it by now. This is literally just going outside without shoes and getting some direct feet-to-ground contact with the earth. The potential benefits: reduced inflammation, reduced chronic pain, improved sleep, decreased stress, normalized circadian rhythms, reduced jet lag, improved adrenal health. Amazing. Just be physically reconnecting with Mother Nature. She really is a healing force. Think about how much time you used to spend running around barefoot outside as a kid; then think about how much time we spend in contact with the earth as adults. It’s almost NO TIME now, except for the one week at the beach during the summertime. This is a simple way to add some playfulness to your days, while improving your health and also reconnecting with nature.
Now, do you want to do all these things in one week? I mean, yes, that would be amazing, but it’s far more realistic to just pick one or two that stick out to you and try to do them once a week for a solid month. Or pick a new one each week. Or, better yet, come up with your own. These are things that we find ourselves doing every week in order to add love and self-care to each day, but you are your own unique being. If there’s something that comes to mind that you know would bring you joy and fill you up, do it! Make that appointment, pencil it in, spend intentional time pouring into yourself so that you can give more to others. What's one way that you intentionally love yourself each week? We would love to hear in the comments.
To your health, to your amazing bodies, to your magical spirits,