We live in a society that entices us with material and financial gifts for working long hours and making no time for ourselves. And I don’t mean the yearly two weeks vacation to Hawaii, or even the occasional weekend to the coast. I am referring to our daily packed schedules that allows no time to recharge our batteries before waking up in morning and doing it again.
I am firm believer in working hard. My family taught me to have strong work ethics and discipline almost to a fault. My type A personality has kept me up for many years planning meals, events, family trips while my husband peacefully snored beside me. After some failed and some successful experiments I discovered five self care rituals that support me, allow me unwind and feel more grounded and present in my body at the end of the work day.
Wear Comfy Slippers
Author Sonja Choquette in her book True Balance explains that to stabilize and harmonize your psychic and emotional energy, massage and care for your feet. Last Christmas my husband purchased me a beautiful pair of wool green slippers. I clapped my hands excitedly and then I thought to myself how little use I would have of them. I have had slippers before and never wore them except occasionally. To my surprise I chose to wear them daily after my long work day. Before, I walked in my socks or wore my work shoes in the house. Now as soon as I took my work shoes off and slipped my tired feet in the comfy wool slippers my cortisol levels dropped by a hundred. The slippers quickly became a sign to my body that it was time to unwind and leave my professional life behind.
Heat up a Warm Rice Pack
I know some people use a hot rice pack for injuries, sore muscles,or cramps. We use it here at the Pearl Day Spa during massage. I began to incorporate it into my daily self care routine during the cold winter nights. I place the rice pack on my belly while I am reading, talking to friends, or watching a movie. It will warm up your core, slow down your heartbeat, increase digestion and help deepen your breathing.
Own a Salt Lamp
There are many benefits of salt lamps - soothes allergies, boost blood flow, improves circadian rhythms, etc. I wish I could tell you that the reason I initially bought one is because I knew about all these wonderful health claims. Instead we purchased one because I thought it would look great in our living room. It has a soft, comforting, orange glow. Every night as soon as the sun sets we turn the salt lamp on and I sit next to it. The light helps me produce melatonin earlier in the evening so by bed time I can barely keep my eyes open.
Diffuse Essential Oils
If you haven’t had your home enveloped in cedar wood, lemongrass, or lavender essential oils, you ought to try it. My husband says our house smells like a spa when he comes home from work. These oils and many others have important health benefits and we will discuss them in depth in a future post. What appeals to me most is the earthy smell and the calming ambiance it creates along with my salt lamp. I can’t help but feel more grounded and less stressed about my day. It also encourages me to take deeper longer breaths, instead of rapid shallow ones.
Drink Tea from Your Special Mug
This is your special self care mug. Choose one that brings you joy. I have a mug a dear friend made for me. When my brain sees this mug it begins to start firing dopamine. It means I am ready to relax. Choose loose leaf chamomile, peppermint or passion flower and get ready for some down time.
There are many other self care rituals such as hot baths, massages, meditating, but these are some basics that help me stay present and sleep better at night. I no longer have a racing brain and I have interesting, soothing dreams. What are some of your self care rituals? Please share in the comments. One can never have enough self care rituals!
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