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5 self-care daily rituals
Today, we are faced with many challenges–looking after kids; ageing parents; staying employed; putting food on the table for our families etc. We have our heads down diligently running on the spin wheel trying to stay focused on our responsibilities.
Then one day we wake up and realise that our energy fuel tank is zero and we are overwhelmed or exhausted. Why? Because we forgot about caring for the one person that is part of the jigsaw puzzle. You!
You are so busy looking after everyone else around you ensuring that their needs are met that you don’t take time out to focus on yourself.
Looking after yourself is neither selfish nor indulgent–it is just plain practical. One way of looking after yourself is to use a very powerful word–No.
It becomes necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself. For many of us there is always something we feel we could be doing for someone else, whether it is a family member, a colleague or friend.
You can even encourage yourself by saying “I am caring for myself so that I am better able to care for others.”
It also helps to remember that self-care doesn’t have to take up massive time-consuming acts. In fact, the best prescription for taking care of yourself is probably small, daily rituals.
Listed below are five self-care daily rituals that will assist in making you a happier and healthier person:
n Free-form journaling—This process involves writing down and releasing all the negative thoughts and internal tension you have. Start your script with “I let go of…” or “I release…” and then let loose with whatever comes to mind. Let the pen write without thinking, you’ll be amazed at what comes out. Then once you’re done (about five to ten minutes is good), rip it up and throw it in the trash.
n Schedule time alone—this is one way of switching off the incessant noise and flashing lights of modern life and just shutting down for a while. It doesn’t matter what you do in that alone time. Do something that gives you a sense of joy and well-being, ie, reading a book; water colouring, yoga, or cooking. YouTube videos are simple and easy to follow if you want to pick up a new hobby, activity or DIY project. Just remember, this is your time, so even if you spend it relaxing or being still and doing nothing, the choice is yours _just enjoy it.
n Start dry body brushing—Brush your skin with a soft-bristle body brush, Start with your feet and legs and work your way up in quick gentle strokes. It’s a great way to get the circulation going, removing dead skin cells, aid lymphatic drainage, detoxify your system, helps to promote cellular renewal and vitality and keep your skin smooth all over. It need not be too time-consuming and just takes a few minutes before jumping into the shower.
n Practice emotional first aid—How often do you take the time to heal any psychological wounds? We are expected to just “get over” psychological wounds—when as anyone who’s ever ruminated over rejection or agonised over a failure knows only too well, emotional injuries can be just as crippling as physical ones. We need to learn how to practice emotional first aid. See Guy Winch’s TED Talk, Why we all need to practice emotional first aid.
n Go grounding-Grounding is another word for earthing. This is the simple act of walking around without shoes in the grass, dirt or sand, which helps to bring us back to a neutral, balanced state.
Whatever you decide, making some small gesture where you put yourself first every day will pay off for you and your loved ones. The oxygen you need is all around you; sometimes you just need to be reminded to breathe.