The key to practicing self-care is doing it with enthusiasm and joy. If self-care feels like just another chore to you, you won’t be as likely to benefit from it or continue it in the future. Therefore, find what speaks to you through trial and error. Especially if self-care is new to you, make time to explore. One man’s scuba diving is another man’s idea of slow drowning.
On that note, here are 5 ways to add self-care to things you are probably already doing throughout the day:
Make exercise part of your daily activities
For example, try The Potty Squat, rather than just sitting easily while going to the bathroom. Doing squats during potty time is not only extra sanitary, when you avoid resting your bottom on the porcelain throne, you are actually firing up the leg muscles, strengthening the low back and working the abdominal core and glutes. This improves posture and balance over time. But, don’t worry, if you can’t do it for the whole time at first… you may build up to a full hover later!
Take breaks as needed in the beginning, or try lifting a bit energetically through the legs and tightening the core, rather than making a full lift-off from the seat right away. Squatting pose is also amazing for pelvic floor health and is done with ease throughout the world in many everyday scenarios, eating, watching TV or playing a game or even during social gatherings. The chair may be a luxury but seeing how you do without it from time to time is a real challenge that is also sure to optimize your health!
Boost your immune system during your shower or bath
Now, more than ever, it’s important to have a strong, healthy immune system. Luckily, there are simple things that you can do at home that are very effective in strengthening your body’s protective abilities. One is by thumping the thymus. This can be done anywhere, at any time, but is especially beneficial while breathing in the warm steam from a shower or bath.
The thymus is a gland underneath the breastbone that trains fighter T-cells before they reach the bloodstream to ward off threatening viruses. Scientists note that the thymus shrinks, or becomes less functional every year after puberty. Therefore, it is important to get to know and support this hard-working gland. You may find your thymus in the center of the chest, slightly below the collar bones and above the nipple line. To improve immune functions, gently tap this area with your fingertips while taking a few deep breaths.
If that felt good, try adding a little more pressure, perhaps with your hand in a fist, going for three more deep breaths (picture the gorilla thumping his chest vigorously in the jungle to show his strength and vitality). At the end of your shower or bath, take a few moments to stand under cool or cold water for a minute or two. This strengthens immunity and boosts resilience… Talk about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable! Dry off with a warm towel to finish your get-clean routine.
Cook at home or make at least one thing you like to eat for yourself daily.
According to a 2020 study by The Simple Dollar, the average American eats about 4.2 commercially prepared meals per week. This costs the average household about $30 per person weekly. Since we all know food prepared at home is more likely to be healthier for us, and more cost effective, eating out frequently is a double whammy to our wellness.
Cooking can be a joy if you like to work in the kitchen. And, if not, it’s never too late to learn how. Having good ingredients, cookware and systems (like a clean-up plan or helper) make it easier to commit to at-home meal prep. If you’re a novice, look up a simple recipe or watch some food network shows for inspiration. Also, anyone with a blender can make this delicious smoothie:
The Aloha Smoothie Recipe:
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup coconut milk (creamier) or coconut water (smoother)
1 cup strawberries
1 cup Greek yogurt (vanilla flavored for sweeter smoothie)
1 cup crushed ice
Blend until smooth and enjoy! Mmmmmm.
Start a gratitude journal
Journaling is a therapeutic writing technique designed to help us reflect on and integrate our experiences. A gratitude journal takes this concept and amplifies it into the realms of spiritual wellbeing and attracting abundance. Every major spiritual practice and religion makes use of gratitude as a way of deeply connecting the self with the divine. When we acknowledge and appreciate what we have, it actually reinforces positivity that is thought to attract more abundance, compassion and well-being into our lives. To create a gratitude journal, dedicate a place to write down three things that you are grateful for as you start each morning and/or end each day. Reflect on these as often and you can and don’t be afraid to ask for more of these wonderful people, experiences and things in your life.
Get some support by asking for help
Asking for support may vary based on your personal needs and support systems already in place… but NO ONE should be getting help only once in a blue moon (which happens roughly every 2-3 years by the way). Instead, assess where you may need more support in terms of your self-care and plan to get on it NOW.
Do you struggle physically? Emotionally? Socially? Financially? Find a trainer, therapist, friend or advisor who you trust and can turn to for help with improving this area of your life. Getting a recommendation from someone with similar goals is a great strategy. Sometimes we think free is best, but paying for professional services typically improves the likelihood of keeping the commitment, not to mention the likelihood of receiving a higher quality service.
Self Care Journaling Exercise or Rumination: Design some simple self-care rituals to try. We used the smoothie recipe and the thymus-thumping technique in our article. What other acts of self-care speak to you? Write down a couple of activities to immerse yourself in, in the name of feeling good and nourishing yourself.