“Stop the glorification of busy.” ~ Unknown
We all know that self-care is a necessary choice if we are going to be healthy and happy, but still so many people feel like they don’t have time for it. This is because most of us confuse self-care for time- consuming work.
We think self-care is an hour workout or scheduling a half-day at the spa.
Where we really need to find self-care, though, is in the small moments throughout the day when we don’t need to be busy.
It is amazing how even just five minutes of stopping and paying attention to our own needs can revive us and bring us back to the reality that most of the time life ain’t that bad.
We all have five minutes.
We all have small pockets of time each day to show up and give ourselves a little tender loving care.
Here are some easy ways to do just this:
Close Your Eyes and Plant Your Feet Flat on the Ground.
This is another way of saying, do five minutes of mindfulness meditation. But somehow the idea of stopping and meditating seems hard or stressful, so let’s just call it sitting still for a few minutes. Push away from the computer, ensure your feet are flat on the floor, and close your eyes. I like to think of this as coming home to ourselves. Just feeling our innate sense of quiet aloneness for a few minutes. It can really refresh our spirit to stop quietly this way.
Peppermint Lotion Foot Rub.
Our feet are so incredibly essential to our well-being, and most of the time we ignore them. I like to do this foot lotion rub before going to sleep, but the morning or even the middle of the day could work just as well. This foot lotion rub could even be a one-minute activity. Just take your foot in your hands and rub it all over with some good quality peppermint foot lotion, and let the tingly minty-ness soak into the skin and ground you through the gentle sensations that arise.
Our poor shoulders. Everyone is holding so much stress in their shoulders and neck. We feel like we need to hold up the world with our innocent shoulders, and this can be so painful and exhausting. Why not rub some of this stress out each and every day? Again, just push away from the computer and spend a few minutes on each shoulder digging and massaging some of the stress out of the musculature. This is an easy way we can show up for ourselves.
Stand in Nature and Just Breath.
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, equal to nature to rejuvenate our souls. And even when we are in a busy city there is always nature. A patch of grass, a little cluster of trees, a body of water, either a lake or river, that we can go be near. And we don’t have to go and be athletic in nature; we can just stand still, take some deep breaths and let the reality of being in our natural state (connected to the natural world) do the healing work it does so well.
Drink a glass of water—slowly.
And speaking of nature, there is nothing more natural than water. How often are we exhausted and overwhelmed because we’re dehydrated? Just the act of slowing down enough to drink a full glass of water—to really taste it and be grateful for how it keeps us alive—brings gratitude to our over-stimulated systems and calms us down so we can start again.
Eat one piece of Chocolate Mindfully.
We are wired for pleasure. We crave it, we need it, it is what makes us want to remain alive. But often we deny ourselves pleasure for so long that we then overdo it. When it comes to pleasure, a little can go a long way. Eating something delicious in a slow and mindful manner really lets the pleasure soak into our entire system. One piece of good quality chocolate, eaten slowly, so that we really taste the pleasure, allows us to feel excited about this opportunity to be in a human body, which is a much needed reminder for most of us. If you don’t like the taste of chocolate, just replace it with something you do like.
We are never too busy for self-care. This is just a trick the mind plays on us. Enjoying the mundane moments of our life is much easier when we slow down and take the time to care for our own bodies and minds.
And these small self-care moments can help us to increase our ability to be kind to ourselves, which increases our ability to be kind to everyone we come into contact with, thus making small acts of self-care one of the most selfless choices we can make.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Toby Israel
Image: Dominik Martin/Unsplash